"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ten On Tuesday

1.   The Spice Shop is buzzing along; lots of people in and out, talking ideas for gifts, Christmas dinners and New Years celebrations.  So fun but, since we do all our own packaging in-store, the hours are long and intense. The Kiosk is doing much better now in our new location on the lower level of Penn Square Mall, just north of Santa's Village.

2.  Had a wonderful afternoon with my dear old Dad yesterday. We drove the tour of the new construction/destruction in downtown Enid. I still can't believe they tore down the old Kress building AND and new Cherokee Strip Center. Oh well. They are trying to draw business interests there and they needed a hotel close to the event center. I understand that.  It sure looks bare though; who knew there was a bank on the west side of Kress?


Here are R. Anne and I working on a blog post this week at Abbey's house.  This doll is the same size as Maggie J. and one night, while stumbling around the house looking for a glass of water, I found myself talking to her (Anne, not Maggie) as if she WERE Maggie. "Hey Mags, why are you sitting out here in the dark, Sweetie?"  My two standing excuses are: It was dark in the room and I didn't have my glasses on. When she didn't have a ready answer, I knew immediately it wasn't Miss M.

4.  Gary the Elf has been staying at our house for the past couple of weeks. He hides here and there in the house during the day and then flies back to the North Pole at night to tell Santa how wonderful Zane has been during the day. Sometimes he brings little gifts back  when he comes.  This morning I found him having breakfast and a friendly chat with 
Mrs. Tiggywinkle, St. Joseph and the child Jesus and Gru. Now that group would make for some interesting conversation around the table wouldn't it.

5.  Chicken News:
      Ruby has grown a mean streak from being cooped up (ha ha) alone in the chicken house for so long. No, farmer Tim has not shown up with any friends for her and, at this unfortunate point in time, I don't know if it would be a good idea to bring any over. Ruby now chases the cats around, eats their food, if they haven't gobbled it down before I let her out, and tries to shoulder her way out the door and to freedom every morning. One of these days she will succeed and I will not be here to shut her up at night and the coyote community will have some fine dinning that evening. Let it be on her head.

6.  The birds are loving all the seed we have been putting out for them and this morning they are all atwitter because supplies are running low. However, this is a sunny morning and, if not warm, at least not frigid. I believe it is supposed to warm up considerably by this afternoon. They can do a little bit of hunting for the seeds we all know are scattered about in the grass.  Soon, my pretties.  Still no bluebirds here although my friend to the north of me has them at her feeders regularly.

7. If you are still on the fence about a special/unique gift for someone who likes to cook and/or entertain, check out these ideas from my daughter Abbey who, is a very creative scrapbooker as well as our social media guru. Here is a repost of her 10 on Tuesday about the shop. I know I could have given you the link but, what the heck.  : )

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ten On Tuesday: Savory Spice Shop Christmas Edition

As most of you know, my mom and my brother own Savory Spice Shop OKC.  As with all things in our family, we help each other so my sister and I, and our husbands pitch in to help where we can.  This Christmas season I've been helping with a few things here and there and thought it might be nice to have a gift guide of fun Savory Spice Shop gifts.  I'm going to go through 10 starting with basic ones they have pre-made in the store and then do a few VERY easy DIY ones.  These are all things we're thinking of giving to our children's 11 teachers, bus driver, extended family, close friends, etc...  (Spoiler alert, if you are one of those people you might want to stop reading). 

1. Cookbooks - Yes, it is a spice store and there are hundreds of spices, but cookbooks are great so people know what to do with those spices.  They have five available including the Spice Bible (pictured above).

2. Microplane + spices - The microplanes are bundled to you with a complimentary bag of nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric and ginger. We added this as a gift topper last year, but it would fit perfectly in someone's stocking or as a teacher gift or gift for a friend. 

3.  Mortar & Pestle - Tools are cool.  I like giving people gifts they might not buy themselves which are fun and interesting.  These sets start at only $17 and are made of marble!  They can be used to grind spices, muddle berries or fresh herbs, mash garlic, or a variety of other things.  I think they'd be a fun present for pharmacist friends too.  (PS, those Himalayan Salt Bricks in the background would make excellent gifts for the grill master in your life)

4.  Pepper Grinders - I think pepper grinders are essential for everyone's kitchen, but find that lots of people still don't have them.  You could buy one of these and a bag of peppercorns for under $25 and give something that your friend or family member would use everyday. (Yes, they have salt grinders too.)

5. Gift packs!  They have so many premade gift packs that are amazing and in a complete range of prices and tastes. Here is the full A-Z list.  I am a big fan of the Oklahoma Collection and Flavors of Oklahoma, which feature the tastes of my home state.  These gift packs are only available available in Oklahoma and are awesome.  Pictured above is another favorite of mine -Picks for Popcorn.  This one is so versatile and easy to give to anyone.  A few of our teachers will get these this week!

6.  Another great way to make gift packs is a custom version featuring your favorite spices.  Pictured here is one I'm giving this Christmas that includes: Peruvian Chili Lime Seasoning, Gold Coast Tropical Poultry Rub, Black Dust Coffee & Spice Rub, and Supreme Shallot Salt.   You can pick any four, six, eight, or more that you like and they'll make up a set for only a small packaging fee.

7. Gift cards -  This Christmas the gift cards are giving back to you.  For each $25 in gift cards you get back $5 in Spice bucks to use starting in January.  At the checkout you'll get a little card like this that you just bring back between January and March 2014 for $5 off of your purchase.  This is a great deal!
8. Individual Hot Chocolates, spice tubes, and Recipes to Go - these are smaller items that would be great gifts or stocking stuffers.  You can find individual red or burgundy boxes with one of three different kinds of hot chocolate inside.  The Recipe to Go boxes have all the spices the person would need to make the included recipe. The recipes are for seasonal things like spiced nuts or reindeer party mix.  Both the kiosk and the main store have spice tubes just for the holiday season.  They are often filled with flavored sugars, but also now feature regional blends, including our family favorite Great Plains Beef & Bison Rub (I use it in everything savory basically).

We are giving out individual hot chocolates to a variety of school administrators, the bus driver, etc...

9. 2-jar gift sets - Ok, here are the promised very very simple, DIY projects.  I have kept these super simple and easy to mass produce.  All you'll need for the first project is:

  • twine or string of some kinds (I'm using baker's twine from my scrapbooking stash)
  • Scissors 
  • 2  2 oz jars of the spice of your choice - I chose spices that were red and green to make it extra festive.

I made this small gift set for 8 different people and they were quickly mass produced. 
See, nothing to it.  Just pick up a bunch of jars of beautifully colored jars of spice and tie them up in pretty string. I wrapped the twine around twice, tied a not, then tied it to the wrapped string, and tied a big bow.  

(Hint: if you want a large number of jars of the same spiced call ahead (405-515-9119) and they will bottle them up so they are ready when you arrive!)

10.  This one is only slightly more complicated.  We are giving these to B's "special" teachers - PE and Gym teachers. I wanted something small enough for him to easily carry to their classrooms, but still as special as these ladies are to us:

  • Gift Cards
  • Bakers twine or other string
  • Pre-bagged cinnamon sticks ($1.80)
  • Tags (from an office supply store or scrapbooking/craft supplies)
  • Washi tape
Cut a very long strand of string, I used roughly 18 inches.  Fold it in half and wrap it around the gift card and cinnamon sticks. then stick the end through the look and keep wrapping.  I just tucked the tail end into the loops of string.  Then cut another roughly 8-10inch piece of string and tie it around the wrapped twine in a big bow (feel free to trip the ends shorter if you like).  This would be fine as is, but we'll be adding tags so I wanted to show you those as well. 
I am using gold washi tape from my collection.  You can find it in the scrapbooking/craft section of target or at a local craft store.  I just wrapped it once around the end.  We will then write our greetings and thanks on the tags. 
I attached the tag folding the string in half, threading it through the tag, and tying another big bow of twine around the whole thing.  

I think they are cute and they took no time at all to complete.

I hope you found some gifts that work for you and that you have a delicious, happy holiday season!

Ps.  If you don't live nearby or don't want to venture out, call the shop at 405-525-9119 or email them at okc@savoryspice.com and they will gladly mail your order to you or to your intended recipient! 

8.  My friend, Christal, is on the mend after an emergency dash to the hospital to get rid of a hot Gall Bladder. Glad you're feeling better and up and about.

9. Through the darkened woods of wintertime
      we walk on feet boot shod,
      we seek and search for shining rhymes
      to light the way to God.

10.  oops...Audra and the boys are back. There is no ten.

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