LITTLE EXCHANGE BLOG
All you need is love … but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. – Charles M. Schulz
Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. The average Valentine’s gift in 2016 was $115. An estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
Do you have Valentines traditions? Ever since my grandkids were young, I have always taken a brown paper sack and filled it with a few of their favorite things … “ Brown paper packages tied up with string-these are a few of your favorite things!” Of course as they got older, their favorite things increased in value! But always something sweet (See’s is so yummy!), something to read, and something to create. This year our Armored wallets are big sellers (pictured above with red flowers) to keep credit and gift cards safe. Our selection of unique gifts at all price points, plus complimentary gift wrapping a win-win when you #ShopForACause at the Little Exchange benefiting Dayton Children’s Hospital.
Winter has arrived, complete with snowstorms, icy roads and frigid temperatures. Braving the elements means hats, gloves and warm cashmere wraps in beautiful colors, perfect for cool offices. We have them all at our nonprofit boutique benefiting Dayton Children’s Hospital!
Need to warm up? This delicious (and easy) soup by one of our volunteers, Michele Morrison, is a huge hit to chase the chill away. Thanks, Michele, for sharing!
Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
7 cups chicken stock/broth 2 cups chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 cup diced carrots 1 1/4 uncooked rice (Royal Select Blend)
1 cup diced celery 1-2 Tb Better than Bouillion chicken flavor
1 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour 1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots with the butter in a large stock pot for about 10 minutes until tender. Add flour and combine to form a roux. Mixture will be very thick. Sauté another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well to combine. After all the stock is added, gently pour in cream and let simmer while preparing the rice according to manufacturer’s directions. Add cooked rice and chicken to the pot. Simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with a baguette and glass of wine. Enjoy!
Crisp, cool Fall days always put me in the mood to bake. And baking always conjures up images of my beloved “Grammer” teaching me how to make the best pie crust, homemade noodles and melt-in-your mouth brownies from scratch in her cozy farmhouse kitchen.
Step #1 was always “Get the mixing bowl out of the pantry.” Amazingly, I still have her old Mason Cash mixing bowl with a small chip on the handle and a hairline crack on the side. I used that bowl for many years to whip up Gram’s brownies. Last year The Little Exchange began carrying the Mason Cash line. I promptly retired Gram’s old chipped bowl and began a new tradition – teaching my own grandkids how to make those perfect brownies from scratch in my own Mason Cash mixing bowl. Building memories is what makes life so rich!
1/2 c butter
1 c sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1/2 c flour
1/2 c chopped walnuts
Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Blend in cocoa. Stir in flour and nuts. Bake in greased 8×8 pan in slow oven (325′) for 30 minutes. Cool. Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy with a glass of milk!
“All that I am … or hope to be … I owe to my mother.” – Lincoln
Technically Mother’s Day should be EVERY day. We owe so much to the woman who raised us. But the second Sunday in May has been set aside to honor them. And therein lies the stress that comes with finding that perfect gift.
I was at the hair salon this week and two young technicians were discussing how they can never think of anything to get their moms on their limited budgets. I began to ponder why gift giving causes so much angst. Honestly, my very favorite gifts have always been gifts from the heart … a simple letter of love, a picture drawn by a cherished grandchild, and even a tin of burnt cookies made with ❤️.
The Little Exchange has a great variety of perfect Mother’s Day gifts at varying price points. How about a lovely scarf (20% off) … or a new contemporary handbag by Joy Susan (I want one in EVERY color!) Does Mom like to cook? From fabulous cookbooks to gorgeous table linens, we are your one stop shop! Too stressed to decide? A Little Exchange gift certificate is the perfect solution!
Am I the only person on the planet that didn’t know what a “beer flight” was? So glad I volunteer at The Little Exchange, because now I can discuss all things beer … including the purpose of a beer flight (which we happen to sell at our shop)!
A beer flight is similar to a wine tasting … you have the opportunity to try several different beer varieties at one time. The different beers are poured into small glasses, and most flights feature at least four kinds of beer. This form of “taste presentation” is better known in winemaking, but is also used in the culinary industry, and is becoming prominent in craft brewing as well. The Dayton area has some wonderful craft beer breweries, so why not impress your friends with some beer accessories? https://thelittleexchange.org/product/beer-tasting-set/ Order yours today!
Happy Flag Day!
Nothing shows American pride more than flying our nation’s flag … not just on holidays, but each and every day to remind all citizens what a privilege it is to live in this great country! The American flag is the symbol of our freedom, national pride and our history. At The Little Exchange Fine Gifts we’re celebrating the red, white and blue with true Americana … plates, canisters, bowls, aprons, napkins and even candles! Our flag garland is just adorable and will look darling as an accessory for your upcoming 4th of July celebration! Call to reserve your items 937.299.1561.
“The American flag represents all of us and all the values we hold sacred.” – Adrian Cronauer
April 15: Tax Day 2016
Are you like me, always putting off paying your taxes until deadline day …. and agonizing over how much you owe? One way to reduce your tax liability is to make a charitable donation to a non-profit. Our charity of choice? The Little Exchange! Making a donation to the Little Exchange not only helps you defray some taxes, but it helps us because we are a gift shop operated by volunteers who donate our proceeds to Dayton Children’s Hospital!!
March 14, 2016
Saturday was our Bridal Event. Congratulations to Nancy for a fabulous event! Don’t forget The Little Exchange is your local gift shop with a unique Bridal Registry! A huge “Thank You!” to Ashley’s Bakery, Jeff Martin Florist and the Mulberry Tree. Superior customized customer service, complimentary gift wrap and free local delivery!