Holidays

Snowflake Celebration: Holiday Shopping in Brooklyn (and Queens)

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Blue Ribbon General Store

[THIS POST WAS UPDATED NOV 2008]
By now, we all know the benefits to shopping from small, local retailers rather than big box stores, but the main reason should always be because you find more unique, wonderful things to buy in a more enjoyable shopping experience.

To that end, Dani has brought you some recommendations of great new stores in Brooklyn and Queens to do your Holiday gift shopping this year. And to make sure that buying from Mom and Pop is a great shopping experience Buy in Brooklyn is hosting a Snowflake Celebration the first two Thursdays in December (Thursday, December 4th and 11th) where local Park Slope retailers will offer special discounts, promotions, and in-store refreshments to shoppers. Last year the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music performed concerts, carolers wandered the streets, and snow machines dusted the sidewalks to set the mood. More about that after Dani's recommendations:

Two stores in Brooklyn & one in Queens with great gifts for the holidays will remind you that NY shopping exists outside of Manhattan. While you're there explore a little & enjoys some food & fun.

Go to Brooklyn.... Take the A or C train to the Hoyt/Schermerhorn stop in Brooklyn. Just around the block on the corner of Bond St. & State St. is Blue Ribbon General Store which opened in September. They have tons of great gifts for kids (and adults). Make sure to check out their "grab bag" bins that are filled with all kinds of treats perfect for stuffing those stockings and would be a great resource for kids birthday goody bags as well. Along with clever toys from Eeboo, Crocodile Creek, Toysmith and Melissa and Doug, they carry tons of puzzles, art supplies and books. They also have lots of kids cooking kits that will come in handy on those inside days that we're always talking about.

Grab your bags & head down Atlantic Avenue and make a note to tell Santa about all the fabulous clothing shops that have opened there. You can take a break and grab some delicious falafel on homemade pita bread at Bedouin Tent. They also make fabulous pizzas that are really kid friendly on that same pita. You'll also pass Downtown Atlantic which carries some of the most delicious cupcakes around. Grab a couple to take home!

After you're finished, make your way to Exit 9, 127 Smith Street. This store has a great selection of really original offerings from old fashioned gag gifts to housewares to really stylish fashion accessories. One of my favorites is the old fashioned phone receiver that plugs into your cell allowing you to talk the old fashioned way. This store is perfect for everyone on your list with stuff for older kids, teenagers & adults as well. It's packed with really inventive gift ideas and lots off stuff from a variety of designers & artists. They also have a really cool selection of baby gifts & shower gifts so this place could be a valuable resource year round.

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ToyQube

Queens.... Get in some for some shopping & then grab a bite at one of the great Chinese, Korean, or other southeast Asian restaurants that abound in Flushing. ToyQube & Gallery (Flushing Mall 133-31 39th ave. #F36) is located in Flushing a few blocks from the 7 train. This store carries the best & brightest toys that you'll never see in toys r us. Kid Robot might be a recognizable name to some with older kids, but if you’ve never heard of them they are one of many colorful inventive figurines from Japan, Hong Kong & other faraway places. For those with younger kids they also have Yo Gabba Gabba Dolls.

It’s a store but also a gallery so you can be inspired by the creativeness of these toys that are worlds away from the average toy store counterparts. The store also carries skate accessories, sneakers and lifestyle accessories. Your cool? quotient will definitely grow after visiting this store with the tweens & teens in your life. You might even take home something for yourself.

To get a preview of all the wonderful things you can expect to find for sale at the Snowflake Celebration, check out the Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn Holiday Shopping Guide which shows some of the highlights and diverse finds you'll find while strolling down both Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue in Park Slope.

For a full listing of all the special deals, discounts and offerings of the Snowflake Celebration visit Buy in Brooklyn.

Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide and Store

mpholiday.jpg Today we are excited to announce the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide. In it you will find all the Holiday related posts in one easy to navigate place. We hope this will make it easier to find information and plan your Holiday outings.

We will be updating the Holiday Guide every day not only with the newest posts, but also exclusive content created just for the Guide (today you'll find delicious Italian Christmas cookie recipes from Granny Poppins) and event listings.

It was a busy weekend. In the Holiday Guide, under Shopping, you'll see we also created a Mommy Poppins Holiday Store. We've selected some of the best toys for NYC kids. These are the toys represent quality over quantity.

You don't have room for every toy under the sun. Give these carefully chosen toys and your children will be entertained for hours and hours, and years and years with the same toys. They let kids use their imaginations, get some active play, and all the toys have been selected for being compact; creating suburban playroom-sized fun for tiny, NY-sized apartments.

Keeping the Magic of Christmas on a Budget

Just because the financial world has come crumbling all around us doesn't mean Christmas can't be as magical as ever. After all, Christmas shouldn't really be about the stuff. Not to sound like a pollyanna, but you really can have your best Christmas ever without spending a lot of money. So here are my tips for saving money during the Holidays:

Mommy Poppins Holiday Toy Swap/Drive

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Photo by PapaPaolo

I'm sure most of us have closets full of toys that our kids barely touch. Wouldn't it be nice to get rid of those toys to make room for the new Christmas and Hanukkah hauls that are about to descend on your poor, unprepared toy chests?

At the Mommy Poppins Toy Swap/Drive you can unload all the gently-used toys you want to get rid of and pick up some of the toys others are getting rid of. Maybe you'll even score something suitable for under the tree this year.

This event would be free except that to get in you have to bring a new, unwrapped present to donate to our charity toy drive. It's really a win-win-win situation. Purge, Splurge and Donate. All the swap items that aren't taken by someone will also be donated to charity.

The Holiday Toy Swap/Drive would be held in Tribeca on Sunday, December 2nd.

In order to do this I need to know how many people would be coming, so I've set up a poll to let people vote. It's right over there in yellow in the sidebar. If you are interested in this event please vote. If I don't get enough responses I won't do it.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Go Publish Yourself

As the end of the year and the holiday season approaches I start to think of photos. Whether it's realizing that another year has gone by that I haven't organized our photos into albums, or the thought that maybe I should put together some photos of the kids for holiday gifts.

Luckily my friend, Sara, has figured this all out for us already. She recommends a website called blurb.com which can help you turn your photos into albums lickity split. It's great whether you're just getting organized or perhaps making some holiday gift books. Here's what Sara says:

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