June 2, 2014

Connect with us by Email, Facebook and Pinterest!

When we opened Pine Straw in October 2011, I had no idea how enduring and guiding our Live. Give. Celebrate. tagline would be! Today, as much as in 2011, the goal of the store is to help you live, give and celebrate with ease and enjoyment.

Do you know all the ways you can connect with us through social media and apps? It's just another way we are trying to make finding what need, and shopping in general, more effortless and simple.

Email Subscription
Subscribe to our email list to receive our monthly newsletter, special event invitations, sale announcements and updates to holiday store hours.

Like us on Facebook for breaking news on the arrival of new shipments, pictures of exciting items, outfit styling ideas, alerts about store closings, etc.

Follow us on Pinterest for inspiration on everything from home decor to entertaining to DIY gifts to yummy recipes.

House Account
Download this free, local shopping app from the Apple Store and shop us from your iPhone! Once you download and register, the app will bring up all the best local stores, designers and artists surrounding you, based on your proximity. Follow Pine Straw and photos of our current merchandise will appear in your feed. When you see a photo of something that interests you, you can “like,” comment, or even click the “Buy/Chat” button.

As you can see, our social community is growing daily and we'd love for you to be a part if it!!

May 23, 2014

Live, Give, Celebrate in May '14

I couldn't be happier to be writing this month's newsletter on such a beautiful warm and sunny day -- it feels like the good weather is really here to stay. May is such a busy month for everyone. I have had my daughter's college graduation, Mother's Day, two buying trips to NYC, my youngest son's 13th birthday, and my 25th wedding anniversary -- and there is still one week left!!

As we look ahead to summer, I am taking inventory of just what we need to keep Pine Straw fresh. I have come to realize that it is discovering those unique items, typically produced by smaller artisans that bring the most joy to me and our customers. I can promise you that in the months ahead, you will see many more "made in the USA" tags and of course, interesting background about our artists either in the newsletter or on our website.

For those of you who love to read (in addition to shopping!), we will be launching a "Pine Straw Book Club" this summer. My cousin Halle, an avid reader and librarian in Hilton Head, SC, will be offering suggestions for good reads. Every book she has suggested to me over the years has been a hit with my friends. I am so happy to be able to share her with all of you! She will kick start the summer with a Summer Reading List. Stay tuned!

I wish all of you a Happy Memorial Day Weekend! A special congratulations to all the graduates and their parents of both high school and college -- all the best on your next chapter. To all of our teachers, thank you for another great year! Cheers everyone! Next up, happy summer!

Read the rest of our May '14 Newsletter to learn about a comfy summer sandals from Charleston Shoes, our wide array of graduation gifts, our even wider assortment of hostess gifts and summer table top accessories, a yummy burger recipe from one of our newest books called Burger Parties, and our beer and wine novelty items that are the perfect conversation piece for your next party!

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May 19, 2014

Busy as a Bee?

Think about that expression for a minute. Yes, it’s May. It's an extremely busy time of year: end-of-school field trips, graduations, first communions, bridal showers, weddings, first vacations of the summer, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to catch a breath.

Now consider the phrase "busy as a bee". From the minute they are born worker bees, ironically all female, have a job. They work together for the good of the colony. In the beginning they might work in the nursery, later they could work as house security, protecting the hive, or as undertakers, removing dead bees. Once they mature bees are promoted to field agents to forage and collect nectar and pollen to feed the colony. All this busyness is beneficial to you because honeybees and other pollinators are directly responsible for every third bite of food you take. Imagine what life would be like without apples, almonds, or avocados? And that’s only the A’s. And did you know it takes 154 trips out to forage just to make one teaspoon of honey? Talk about busy! There is never a glass of wine on the porch or a game of badminton on the front lawn.

You may have heard huge numbers of colonies have been dying lately. This decline has been termed Colony Collapse Disorder and while the definitive causes are still unknown there are steps we can take to help the bees. Plant flowers that are good forage sources for the bees like summersweet, coneflower, milkweed and sedum, to name a few. Limit or abstain from using pesticides which have been shown to be detrimental to bee health. The tastiest thing you can do is buy local honey.

Spring is a busy time of year but make sure to take some time to smell the flowers. And appreciate the honey bee that might be working in the center of them.

Pine Straw Gift Tip: We have a wonderful selection of honey products in the store for you to enjoy or to give as a gift to a teacher, tutor, graduate, newlywed or party host. Come check out the Savannah Bee Company body butter, gift pouches and 100% pure honey hand-selected to best pair with a wide range of fine cheeses. We also have La Rochere bee glassware and a Busy Bee journal!

Thanks to our guest blogger Deborah Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden and award-winning container garden designer for giving some natural perspective to our busy spring lives. Learn more about Deborah and her garden design services on her website: http://www.thecapturedgarden.com

May 14, 2014

Cut It Out!

It may seem counter-intuitive to buy new clothing with holes in them, but we happen to think there are some tasteful, fun, creative ways to support the trend. We have some fantastic pieces from Dylan that celebrate the feminine side of clothing, but are playfully on trend with eyelet and laser cut details.

There's no question that these pieces need an underpinning. The obvious answer: a seamless tank! You must try our collection by Recover, if you haven’t yet. But, take a creative cue from us: we love the way the eyelet sweatshirt is being paired with a high-low tank. Or maybe try this peplum tank with lace detail for textured layers to pop out. Just a peek of something unexpected!

Thanks to our guest blogger Maria DiLorenzo, Pinestraw's personal stylist. If you are looking to refresh your wardrobe or want help shopping for an upcoming event or vacation, make an appointment with Maria by calling 781-235-1844 or emailing her.

April 16, 2014

Live, Give, Celebrate in April '14

Now that the daffodils are blooming and the snow has finally melted, I think we can safely agree that spring is here! Thank goodness. I know I'm not alone when I say, its about time! We have many new arrivals in the store, including Farmhouse Pottery (Vermont) and ZPots (Oregon). We also received a new shipment of vintage wine barrel cheese boards from Provence Platters.

If you're heading out for April vacation next week; safe travels to you! If you're heading somewhere beach or poolside and need a cute coverup or beach tote, we've got you covered!

We wish everyone a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! If this newsletter isn't enough to satisfy your Pine Straw fix, check us out on House Account, a free app that will allow you to view our current inventory online! Think of it as Pinterest-like, only you can contact us directly when you see something you like and we can conduct a transaction over a simple text or phone call! As always, we are happy to ship that perfect gift at your convenience. Check us out!

We would like to wish all the runners in this year's marathon all the best! Pine Straw will be closed that day, but we will be cheering you on from the front of the store.

Read the rest of our April '14 Newsletter to learn about a buttery-soft wristlet that will charge your phone for you, gorgeous hostess gift sets from Michel Design Works, Easter basket stuffers, decadent chocolate mini-cakes with an adorable presentation idea, and Mason Jar Cookies.

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March 14, 2014

Live, Give, Celebrate in March '14

It seems the consensus these days is that winter needs to be over -- way over! I know I feel that way (especially as I write this on the eve of yet another storm). I'm ready for warm sunshine, light jackets, and sandals! Until then, I will enjoy encouraging spring thru the store.

Spring has definitely sprung here -- new apparel is arriving daily. We gave an early preview to those who stopped by our Spring Style and Wellness event. What a great time we had! The good news for those who missed it is that there is plenty more apparel and accessories to go around! Uno de 50 was welcomed with open arms and Ginny's health tips were just what we needed to get our minds (and bodies) ready for spring.

Now that my buying season is winding down, I am happy to be back at the store full time. I'm so excited about all the new lines we found on our trips and I'm happy to say that we have so many great "made in the USA" brands joining us including many emerging artisans from Vermont to the Carolinas and from Maine to Oregon. On the apparel front, fans of Prairie Underground will be happy to know we are bringing in that fantastic line, along with Label and Thread, les 100 ciels (a French cashmere line at an affordable price!), Odd Molly (Sweden), Mystree, Hazel and our old faves like CP Shades, Sanctuary, Johnny Was, Weston and Michael Stars and Muse.

In the meantime, think spring -- our calendars say its only a week away! We know that the warm weather won't flip on with a switch on March 20, but it will be here soon. Until then, use these next couple of cooler, inclement weather days to get those procrastinated jobs like taking down the holiday wreaths and decorations, closet clean-outs and general spring cleaning done.

On a side note, thanks to all who voted for Anne during the Big Leap. She may not have won the contest but she certainly won our hearts -- from her daily posts on Facebook and just the fact that she kept such a positive attitude during such a stressful, busy time for her (she basically worked around the clock for about five weeks straight!). She will always be a winner in our book. Congrats Anne!

Read the rest of our March '14 Newsletter to learn about the tasty flavors in the Bella Cucina products, our excitement in introducing Tokyo Milk by Marge Elena, gorgeous beeswax candles from Green Tree Home, the perfect towelettes and Anne's amazing pizza recipe.

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February 27, 2014

Winter Skincare: How to Glow, Not Crack

Skin is the largest organ in the body. While most people take care of their face by washing regularly and moisturizing, the skin on the rest of the body goes largely unattended. All of your skin needs attentive care, especially in the dry months of New England’s winters, because your skin protects internal structures and helps eliminate waste from the body.

Here are some things to consider in your selfcare:
  1. Humidify
    Add moisture to the air and help soothe your dry skin. Consider using a small appliance in the main rooms of your house and in your bedroom. Alternatively, install a whole house humidification system.
  2. Hydrate
    Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day (or herbal teas if you are cold). Also eat fruits and vegetables with high water content. These include apples, pears, grapes, oranges, cucumbers and leafy vegetables.
  3. Use Warm Water
    Minimize the time you spend in hot showers or baths or lower the temperature of the water. Use a moisturizing cream or oil as soon as you dry off to add moisture to your skin before the pores close up.
  4. Exfoliate
    Gently removing the top layer of dead skin cells from your body, face and lips helps keep pores from getting clogged and allows moisturizers to penetrate more easily. Both dry brushing and scrubs are effective for exfoliating.
Pine Straw Wellness Tip: Your hands take a real beating in the winter months, especially if you don't wear dish gloves during kitchen clean-ups. It's so much easier to remember to moisturize your hands when you LOVE your hand cream. We have so many brands and scents at Pine Straw you will definitely find a favorite. Be sure to try Lollia and Tokyo Milk, both by Margot Elena. Beautiful, great scents and crazy good!

Thanks to our guest blogger Ginny Keator, Certified Health Coach, for these tips on improving our skin health in the cold winter months! For more health tips and to learn how a health coach can improve your quality of life visit Ginny's website: www.claim-yourhealth.com

RSVP to our Spring Apparel and Wellness event on Friday, March 7th from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. Ginny will be on hand to talk about how to improve your general health and get yourself ready for the warm weather months. Pine Straw’s personal stylist Maria DiLorenzo will be revealing the fresh styles of spring 2014. Come by with your girlfriends for a fun and inspirational morning!

February 13, 2014

Live, Give, Celebrate in February '14

The fact that Valentine's Day is already here boggles my mind. Where is the year going? How can time go so fast yet we are all feeling like this winter will never end? I know spring must be around the corner because our spring apparel is arriving daily (and it's quite spectacular!). Cotton sweaters in bright pops of color (think pink!) await you.

I have spent these past few weeks doing lots of buying for spring and summer and happy to say that NYNOW was a huge success. We shopped til we dropped. We had the best time buying great gifts for graduation, Mother's Day and Father's Day. I cannot wait for you to see all the new lines we are bringing in! We have vendors from Oregon, Vermont, North Carolina and Texas -- needless to say, lots of Made in the USA items! I really enjoy meeting the people behind the products and am so happy to continue to support the "little people." They bring forth fresh ideas and products and are excited to be in our store -- it's a win-win situation for all of us. I think you'll agree when you see everything that comes in over the next few months ...

Read the rest of our February '14 Newsletter to learn about snuggling up in cozy blankets, fragrant TOCCA hand creams, trendy and fun Mason Jar shakers, and beating the winter blues with baking.

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February 7, 2014

Chocolate Plants! A New Trend in Gardening

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner -- if you haven’t seen the numerous red and white colored flyers, ads, billboards for the last month you’ve been out of the country!

I know one of the go-to Valentine's Day presents is chocolate. I, however, do not need any more real estate on my thighs so I’ve been looking to get my chocolate “fix” in a low-cal way -- and I think I found it! Using “chocolate” plants is one of the newest trends and I have jumped on board. Plants can smell like chocolate, have foliage or flowers that look like chocolate, and even sound like chocolate.

Imagine coming home after a long day and being greeted with the fragrance of chocolate as you walk through the gate. You might think there’s some Toblerone left in your purse but no, it’s the climbing akebia, aka chocolate vine, scrambling over the arbor. The chocolate smell is indescribable. I had an akebia in my old house and since moving last fall I have been looking for a place to plant one on my new property. This vine not only smells delicious, it’s beautiful (see the picture above). Before you get to the back door you might stop to smell the chocolate cosmos, their maroon-brown daisy shaped flowers swaying in the breeze. Sure they’re only annuals, but easy to replace and they self sow. The chocolate mint in a pot by the back door is begging to be added to your afternoon tea. It’s kind of like a junior mint without the calories.

Other chocolate plants will appeal to your eye: Dahlia ‘Chocolate Sundae’, nicotiana ‘Chocolate Smoke’, foxglove ‘Milk Chocolate’ and columbine ‘Chocolate Soldier’ remind me of varying shades of melted Hershey bars. Brown is a complimentary color in the garden; it can glam up pink or tone down blues. Of course, it is very much at home with other earth tones.

Finally, there are the plants that sound like chocolate. Chocolate chip bugleweed, dark chocolate coleus, chocolate mint coleus. Yummm …

This Valentine's day why not try a chocolate that will not melt, go bad or make you hate your scale! You order the chocolate plants I've mentioned or get a gift certificate for the plants at online nurseries such as Chocolate Flower Farm and Plant Delights Nursery.

Pine Straw Gift Tip: A gift card is often the perfect gift but may not feel personal enough. Pair it with a thoughtful item to both personalize the gift and give it a wonderful presentation. We have a fantastic assortment of mugs for Valentine's Day -- everything from sophisticated hearts to modern hearts and red florals to classic solids. Pick the perfect mug and slip a nursery gift card in it! Your love can dream and plan for the gardening seasons ahead while savoring the warmth of their hot drink!!

Thanks to our guest blogger Deborah Trickett, owner of The Captured Garden and award-winning container garden designer for her insight into a new gardening trend and a fun twist on a classic Valentine's Day gift. Learn more about Deborah and her garden and floral design services on her website: http://www.thecapturedgarden.com

February 1, 2014

Wrapped in Color!

Scarves are such an easy accessory to add some color and spark to an outfit without sparing warmth. Don't shy away from bold print or color -- it's easy enough to take the scarf off when you need to, and toss it back on to spice things up.

We are loving our very recent deliveries of scarves from Chan Luu and local designer Pam's Pashminas and Exotic Scarves. Pam brings us the most amazingly, soft, unique designs. These not only have amazing floral designs, but they are also embroidered in select areas, which just enhances how special they are.

Pine Straw Style Tip: Store scarves with care -- all scarves are a bit susceptible to pulls. Make sure you fold them or hang them away from your necklaces!

Thanks to our guest blogger Maria DiLorenzo, Pinestraw's personal stylist. If you are looking to refresh your winter wardrobe or want help shopping for an upcoming vacation, make an appointment with Maria by calling 781-235-1844 or emailing her.