Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Spirit of the Season

Hello, chickadees!  I hope you are having a beautiful weekend.  Here, we've had one of those sunny and crisp days that seem to happen only in December.  Mr. Magpie and I spent the morning at some neighborhood shops, searching out the last few treasures for stockings.  If you live anywhere near the Portland, Maine, area, may I recommend a few shops that I truly and deeply love?  I adore them for the items that they carry as well as for the incredible people who own and/or work at them.  They are a big part of what makes living in Portland a joy for me.  They're also great spots for last-minute holiday shopping . . . and then, after Christmas, they will be the perfect places to visit to find yourself a treat for the new year.  I'm not being paid for these endorsements; I just want to spread the word about these local businesses!  Several of them also have websites where you can order their unique products online.   

  • Fiachcre ~ Beautiful gardening tools, unique potted plants, gorgeous terra cotta, soaps and candles, and so much more.  I think Mr. Magpie bought nearly all my Christmas presents here last year!  If you go, please tell Melissa I sent you.
  • Portland Trading Company ~ Our good friend Kazeem has made his gorgeous store in the Old Port a true destination for custom-designed clothing, beautiful housewares, and many items that combine luxury and practicality--in other words, perfect gifts.  He also stocks hard-to-find lifestyle magazines and many locally-made goods.  
  • The Honey Exchange ~ I never thought I'd shop at a honey store on a regular basis, but this place has so many wonderful products that I stop in often.  This is where I buy all my local honey and so much more, from candles to jewelry to toiletries and even wine and locally-made beer or mead.  They also carry beekeeping supplies. 
  • Folly 101 ~ Most of my friends know that I have a bit of an obsession with this place.  If you need a hostess gift, this is the number one place to visit.  Also, if you lean towards Scandinavian decor with lots of white and natural wood, you will love the bright, airy feel of the store itself.  I feel at home as soon as I walk in the door.
  • Treehouse Toys ~ This is the only toy store I go to, because it is always my first stop, and I always find the perfect gifts for little ones here.  I also don't want to leave once I'm inside.  It's a pretty magical place.
  • Kurier ~ Beautiful handmade bags and accessories.  I love her designs and colors, as well as her ethos.  She also has an Etsy shop.
  • Papier ~ Exquisite paper, stationery, pens, and cards.  This shop is my idea of heaven.  And now they also carry stunning fresh flowers and arrangements with Fleuriste.  Todd and I are regular customers here, and I can't speak highly enough about their excellent customer service.
These are just a few of my favorites.  I love getting the chance to share them here on the blog.  

I bought the lovely little fern and my paper white bulbs at Fiachre.

I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping and crafting; I've sent the packages and all but the last few cards; the guest room has been taken over by boxes and tissues and ribbons; the rest of the house is as decorated as it's going to get; tomorrow I begin my baking.  In other words, we are in full holiday mode around here.  I don't feel frenzied, though--just lucky that I'll get to see family and friends over Christmas and into the New Year.  

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow as we celebrate the solstice and begin the climb back to longer days.  I hope you are well and that each day brings you moments of joy and of peace as we head into the new year together.  


  1. And may the days of the new year be not only longer, but healthy and peaceful, and may your infinite search for beauty be fulfilled daily!! Merry Christmas, Gigi! BEst to you and yours. mcr

    1. Thank you very much, MCR! Wishing you and yours a Joyous Christmas and Very Happy New Year!

  2. How fun to hear of some of your favorite shops. I visited a couple of them and could really love Foley 101. Enjoy baking cookies. That is what I am into this weekend too. Then must just wrap things on Monday. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

    1. Oh, Marilyn, I know you would adore Folly 101! Have fun baking and wrapping. Merry Christmas to you, too, my friend!

  3. Hope you had a wonderful Eve of Yule.

    And wishing you a lovely Christmas.


    1. Thank you, Tessa! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  4. I can see why you love them. I've checked out a few and they look very interesting. I absolutely adore little shops with treasures waiting inside. Have a wonderful Christmas in beautiful Maine.


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