I try my best to block out all memories of winter and the chills that came with it. However, one particularly bitter day stays pleasantly in my mind. I was walking to my driver’s ed. class about a mile away. It was windy and cold and the sun hung low in the sky despite the fact that the bells rang only five times as I passed the church. I stomped on, wholly displeased with the situation (placing blame on the state of Wisconsin for requiring in class driver’s education and for its unfortunate geographic location). However, the cozy friendliness of the shops I passed brightened my spirits, from a bakery perpetually smelling of donuts, to an inviting yarn shop, to a chocolate shop that always hands out samples, to a cheerfully painted children’s clothing shop.
While I regularly patronize the three former shops (due to my insatiable sweet tooth, and the delusion that I have any crocheting skill), I had yet to visit the children’s shop, Buttons and Bowties, because I am unfortunately niece and nephew-less. Fortunately my cousin’s son’s first birthday gave us an occasion to shop there. When you first approach the store you’re greeted with a welcoming saying sketched on a chalkboard, and when you enter the store itself you are treated with several displaces of adorable outfits along with books, toys, and racks of clothes for infants to preteens. We found the perfect bug-themed outfit and toy for a one year old boy, and plan on shopping there again when we’re invited to another birthday party.
We’re big proponents of the “shop local” movement. We like the little shops, handmade displaces, tissue paper wrapped goodies, and the friendly shop owners who live down the street. We plan on stopping by Simple Simon bakery to pick of buns for our cookouts, Wilmar’s chocolate to stock up on chocolate for their July hiatus (you know how those withdrawals can be), and Iris Fine Yarns (because if I just keeping buying yarn, I could magically gain crocheting proficiency I so clearly lack). We encourage you to shop locally too, because if a shop can brighten a December day imagine what it can do for a July day.