Thursday, December 20, 2012
If the holidays leave you with little time to shop for gifts, try these stores in Potomac and Bethesda for great last-minute gift ideas.
With all of the tree trimming, cookie baking and partygoing, there is so much to do during the holidays that it's easy to leave shopping for Christmas presents until the last minute. But by then, the malls and chain stores are usually chaotic and the mere thought of battling crowds is exhausting. Here are some ideas for easy gifts that can be bought locally and require little stress: Tell us: What are some of your own last-minute gift ideas? Share in the comments below.
Monday, December 17, 2012
Check out what Andy Meyrowitz of the Wine Harvest had to say about gifting holiday wines and beers this season.
Gifts of wine and beer are some of the most widely well-received gifts among those of your friends who imbibe. But getting the right beverage for a range of people with varying tastes can be difficult. To help you get the creativity flowing, we asked Andy Meyrowitz, wine guru of Potomac’s Wine Harvest for some tips on gifting the perfect alcoholic beverage. Patch: When shopping for a bottle of wine or a case of beer to take to a holiday party, what are some things to keep in mind? Andy Meyrowitz: When shopping for a bottle of wine and/or beer to take to a holiday party I always focus on a few major components. Who is hosting, will they be opening the bottle, or putting it away? What type of event is this holiday party: casual, formal, …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
The new store will offer personalized chocolates, catering and gift options.
When Tasty Image opens later this month in the Westfield Montgomery Mall, Bethesda and Potomac residents will have a new option for personalized gift-giving. The franchise’s first Maryland store will open on the lower level of Montgomery Mall Dec. 21, according to Mercedes Bendeck, the store’s senior catering specialist, and offers an assortment of chocolate boxes and personalized chocolate products. In addition to catering and gift options, Bendeck says the store will have enough space for in-house parties. “Our specialty is the personalized gifts – really putting your name on it,” she said. Edible color photos on chocolate lollipops, gift boxes and coloring chocolates are some of the more popular items the store offers, Bendeck said, and…
Take note of these holiday shipping deadlines, and plan accordingly.
Time is running out for holiday gift and card shipping through the U.S. Postal Service. Mail parcels and packages by Dec. 14 for parcel post delivery by Christmas, and cards by Dec. 21, the post office's blog advises. If you miss those days, though, you're still OK—as long as you're fine with paying a little extra. Here are the absolute-last-day deadlines to keep in mind, according to the U.S. Postal Service's holiday calendar: One more date to keep in mind is Monday, Dec. 18: Traditionally, the post office's "busiest day is ... the Monday before Christmas as people mail cards and packages they prepared over the weekend," The Huffington Post reported last year. A good way to cut down on time spent waiting in line is to order your holiday…
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Great for gifts or parties: Learn the delicious and artful skill of infusing olive oil with herbs, spices and flavor.
One of my absolute favorite foods is fresh baked bread dipped in good, quality olive oil. There are few other culinary combinations—to me—that are so deliciously simple. Increasingly, bread and infused dipping oils make appearances in restaurants and at parties. One might think that it is a complicated process to infuse oil, but I assure you that is not the case. Infusing olive oils—and really any oils for that matter—is a simple process that yields a classy and unique hors d'oeuvres or gift. Below are five pointers to help guide you to your own special variety of infused oil: 1) Be creative. There are so many potential combinations of ingredients with which you can infuse oil. Consider spices and herbs that you enjoy. Chances are those …
Brian Mack of Potomac’s Toy Castle details the hot, educational toys for this year’s gifting season.
If you’re like me you find children to be some of the most difficult people to shop for. Maybe a $100 gift you were so sure would please is passed over for a piece of string and the child’s imagination. Are you going to be the cool aunt that gives great toys or the one who hands out clothing to a nine-year-old boy? Should the gift be educational or fun? Can they even be both? To help you get the creativity flowing, we asked local gift store-owner and children’s toy expert Brian Mack of Potomac’s Toy Castle for some tips on gifting the perfect child’s toy. Patch: When shopping for children's toys what are some things customers should look for/keep in mind? Brian Mack: Keep in mind that each child is different, the age on the box is intended…
Friday, December 7, 2012
Autograph tickets are $25.
Lorenzo Alexander, special teams captain for the Washington Redskins, will be in Potomac to sign autographs Saturday afternoon. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hall of Fame Cards in the Cabin John Mall, Alexander will greet fans and sign photos and helmets, in addition to other items for purchase in the store. Autograph tickets are $25. For more information call the store at 301-299-9201.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bethesda Row's Ten Thousand Villages will donate 15 percent of purchases made from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday to the outreach group.
This holiday season, many of us are thinking about ways to help out the community's needy and ways to give back to friends and family with the perfect gift. Thursday, you can do both at the same time by shopping at Bethesda Row's Ten Thousand Villages. The shop will donate 15 percent of all purchases made from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6 to Bethesda Cares, a local advocacy group that works to help and house the community's homeless. The group offers services to those living on the street in Montgomery County and Washington, DC. It also helps needy residents with eviction prevention and works towards permanent housing for the homeless, many of which have been living on Bethesda's streets for years. The group recently helped house a 72-year-old …
Friday, November 30, 2012
Study reveals we buy according to our age and life stage. But, for gifts, is cemetery lot maintenance really a crowd pleaser?
During the holiday season, many struggle with the anxiety of wondering if a recipient will really like his or her gift. Are you considering opera tickets for your great aunt? What about purchasing a photograph session for a person under 30? Or, maybe grabbing a game for granddad? If the data in a recent article on The Atlantic’s website is any indication, you may want to think foremost about a person's stage in life before purchasing. The article cites a report from HS Dent, an economic forecasting firm that looked at U.S. Census data regarding spending behavior by age groups. Some of the data is less that shocking – spending on hearing aids, prescription drugs and the upkeep of cemetery lots rises dramatically as we age. Expenditures on…
Local storeowner tells us how to turn a lackluster box into a beautiful, personalized gift.
It’s a tedious task at times, but a good gift-wrapping could make or break a gift recipient’s holiday joy. Ever received a gift so beautifully wrapped that you didn’t want to untie the bow, and yet couldn’t wait to see what was inside? At the same time, a lackluster fold around what’s obviously a book doesn’t do much to inspire excitement. To help you get the creativity flowing, we asked local gift store-owner and presentation-extraordinaire Stephanie Menick of Occasions Gifts for some tips on wrapping beautiful presents. Patch: Half of the act of giving a gift is the presentation. How much effort should be put into the wrapping? Stephanie Menick: Gift-wrapping shows that you care about the person enough to take the extra time to wrap the …