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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shopping for MOMS and DADS

The Myers park area has recently added some cool new places.   Even if you don't live in the area they are worth the drive.  Hey, and while you're there you may as well go ahead and eat at the newly opened Mellow Mushroom!  Just down the sidewalk from MM you will find two great spots to buy some unexpected gifts for the men in your life.  Sure these work for the ladies too but its the guys that are always hard to buy for!  

I don't know about you all, but my husband feels all manly when he is grilling a big slab of beef.  Why not treat your husband to some meat worth grilling at The New York Butcher Shoppe.  This family owned business is run by authentic New Yorkers who know their stuff.   They can help you decide between lamb, beef or chicken and will gladly educate you on different cuts of meat.  Aside from all of the marinated meat and stuffed chicken breasts, they have pre-made meals, frozen dinners and sides, and they also offer fresh Boars Head deli sandwiches on the spot.  Why not treat your husband to a gift certificate so he can go pick out a great steak and then feel all manly while grilling it!  It would truly be a great gift to anyone who enjoys cooking (or eating) a great meal! 

Looking for the perfect gift for the guy who is not a big beef eater?  Just head down the sidewalk to Clean Catch Fish Market.  This place is beautiful inside and the owner, Bill Ryan is super friendly and helpful.  Clean Catch also offers gift certificates so you can give someone the experience of treating themselves to a great and healthy meal!  The staff can guide the most inexperienced seafood chef to a great selection and they can even suggest wine pairings.  They carry a selection of wines in the market.

For the ladies who like to cook these are a couple of gifts that caught my eye.  Trader Joes is a great place to find inexpensive and healthy snacks.  Sometimes when I shop there I am not sure what to try so I love when friends tell me their TJ staples.  Thanks to their tips I have discovered the frozen steak burritos and marinated beef filet tenderloin.  I would love even more suggestions so I can add them to my dinner rotation so this cookbook would be a lifesaver.  They carry copies at Paper Skyscraper but I am sure you could find it at any local bookstore and if not Amazon.com has several editions.

I also love these canisters from Brass Exchange.  I have a running list of stores in my mind that I plan to visit when I either, A. get a nanny or B. find a way to sew my 4 year-old's hands into his pockets.  Brass Exchange can now be checked off this list.  *No I didn't pull out the needle and thread, I just asked my mom to babysit.  I am not sure how to classify this store because it had a little bit of everything from, ornaments, to picture frames, to large furniture, to fabric.  These canisters caught my eye because they are pretty and white and look a little antique-y.  They are only $10/small and $14/large.  Plus the crown motif goes great in any Queen City kitchen.
A cookbook dedicated to one of
Charlotte's best grocery stores!
Sold at Paper Skyscraper,  $18

Perfect for a "Queen City" cook!
canisters sold at The Brass Exchange
large $14, small $10

Both of these stores also had some great stocking stuffers for moms.   I love these coasters because of their bright colors.  Their bonus feature?  They are silicone so they double as teethers for my 1 year old.  There are few things that can be safely placed on my coffee table these days and these fit the bill.

The birds are kind of unusual but I love them.  They could hang over a kitchen sink or in front of a window.  At $5/each they are a great unexpected gift.  And the picture of them was taken inside the store so it gives you just a peek into the cool accessories they carry.

Paper Skyscraper, $13

I recently found another store that carries all kinds of treasures.  It is a little out of the way, located on    S. Tryon street and it is housed in an unassuming industrial style building but it is worth finding.         Post & Gray is the sister store to Interiors Marketplace (another one on my "no-kid store list") and has all kinds of things inside.  It is similar to Black Lion in that it hosts different vendors.  There is furniture, fabric, and accessories.  Some vendors are local and others are from all over.  The staff is very friendly and they are open Tues- Sat 10am -5pm.  I didn't snap any photos but there were a lot of potential gifts there: candles, artwork, throw pillows, and a small area of kids decor.

The next two things I am going to mention will be on Momsie very soon each with a post dedicated strictly to them.  First is Blis, an uptown gift boutique that is awesome!  Owned by my friend Whitney and her mom Susan, it is stuffed full of gifts.  They carry something for every person on your gift list and it is nearly impossible to go there and not leave with something(s) for yourself.  Like I said there will be a post all about the store soon because there is just too much to mention today.  But, I did want to let you know that they are carrying a great line of products from Mayfair Lane called Happeez clips.  This little product could have  saved me many nervous breakdowns had I known about it.  They are clips that stick to anything.  Anything including stainless steel refrigerators.  YES, you heard me right there is such a thing.  You can actually hang your kid's finger painting or a grocery list right to the front of your fridge like we did in the olden days!

To top off that news, the clips have artwork on them made by local Charlotte artist Caroline Simas.  Caroline is quickly becoming my hero the more I learn about her.  She is designing products for a ton of well-known companies; everything from fabric to coasters.  She is super talented and there is just too much good stuff to say about her and her products in this little post.  But do go and grab some of her Happeez products from Blis.  Enjoy both and stay tuned for a lot more information on this store and this talented lady SOON!  Check out Caroline's blog in the meantime!

Don't forget to check out Momsie tomorrow for another great gift idea for moms, dads, and anyone who likes awesome things.  It is a service provided by some local experts that you will LOVE!

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