The Dandelion Patch

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Little Miss Firecracker" - Is this still me?

Ok, so if you're like me you've been thinking of (or shopping for) that perfect patriotic gift to wear at this year's 4th of July celebration. What to wear? I am a big fan of solid colors with only one thing to "stand out" and this year for me, it's this darling straw bag from Bosom Buddies. I love the big red bow and the fact that it is still big enough to hold my beauty secrets (oh, so many!), but the gold shell really makes this bag special. I can wear with pride on the 4th and then carry again throughout the summer with my red flip flops and straw hat. Just in case you don't want to be my twin, we have other styles that might work for you. But for this season of red, white and blue, these bags are destined for BBQs and pool parties all over the land.
Oh say can you see that glorious Mariposa napkin holder? Yes, this item is hot, hot, hot for the 4th of July holiday! The fact that it stands on its starry end isn't lost on me either . . . I think it looks like a folded flag in its case. You can't get more patriotic! Place this practical centerpiece on a red table cloth and add some sparklers for a festive birthday party. Start singing Happy Birthday to America and have a blow out celebration.
My father used to call me "Little Miss Firecracker" when I was growing up so this season holds a special place in my heart. So, as soon as possible, each year I begin to decorate my home with all things patriotic. I simply adore American artisan Lori Mitchell as she has captured the charm and nostalgia of vintage Americana with her whimsical figurines. As in life, these paper mache "children" offer up a cheerful attitude and rosy outlook. Every time I see the "bathing beauties" sitting in my kitchen window, they remind me of one of my favorite quotes - "Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."
Here's to being a bit silly, curious and wacky this summer!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Our Birthday - Sweet 16!

It's our birthday! And to celebrate the 16th Anniversary of The Dandelion Patch, we are offering 16% off all in-store merchandise (exceptions apply), and you can cool off with a FREE scoop of ice cream from Ben & Jerry's (Reston) or Cold Stone (Vienna) with every purchase of $50 or more. Enjoy!

Our birthday sale is from June 28th - July 4th!


My, How We've Grown! - with Special Thanks to our Customers

It almost seems like yesterday when we opened The Dandelion Patch. And here we are, with two fabulous stores - one in Vienna and the other in Reston - with plans for more across the area!

Yesterday, the story of our growth was featured in the Washington Post. It's a lovely article written by Vickie Elmer titled, "A little thankfullness takes Dandelion Patch stationary stores a long way."

As we celebrate our continued growth and good fortune, I just want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your business and for the opportunity to be a part of your life at each and every life milestone.

Thank you!



Time to "Summerize"

When winter approaches, we "winterize" our homes, our cars, and our wardrobes. With temperatures in the 90's, why not "summerize?" Summer isn't merely a season, it's an "attitude!"

First, you have to look the part. Put on your best brightly colored prints, and switch into a comfortable but stylish pair of Switchflops. Pick out your favorite type of sole - flat, wedge, or kitten heal (how about all 3!) and you can build a wardrobe of interchangeable straps and snaps to show off your pedicure every day of the week. Speaking of days of the week, you might want to hang the "How to Live in Flip-Flops" calendar nearby with inspirational cartoons reminding you how to live life in the "slow" lane.

Next, grab a fun tote - anything Vera Bradley if you are just headed to town. But, if you are headed to the beach, how about one of our oversized Scout Bags? They are perfect for holding several beach towels. Perhaps a monogrammed and eco-friendly Queen Bea oversized straw handbag is more your style? Don't forget to slip in some fun summer reading like, "How to Live at the Beach" by Sandy Gingras.

With summer beating down on your, increasing your fluid intake is vital. Rehydrating can look so much more fashionable when you use Lilly Pulitzer tumblers, or if you want to sip away slowly and keep things cold, the Lilly Pulitzer thermal mug. What you drink in them is entirely up to you!

Don't forget the kids! (As if!) Sunny Patch Kids has tons of fun summer items for them including cute flip flops for sunny days and boots for rainy days. Adorable sprinklers for cooling off on hot days, magnifying glasses for summertime exploration, their own tote bag for going to the beach or pool, and a sand ice cream set for imaginative play at the beach or backyard sand box.

And finally, if your summer is all work and no play, you can cop an attitude - Vera Bradley has spunky lanyards that will hold your work badge in a professional way, but will let you still feel like you've "summerized."

Take a break from the heat by stepping into one of our air-conditioned stores and find your summer attitude.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Where in the world is the "Patch" going this summer?

To the Eifel Tower? Or to the Statue of Liberty? How about Disney World?

Capture a moment of your summer vacation holding a Dandelion Patch bag and get a Vera Bradley tote bag for FREE!* Plus at the end of the summer, we'll have you help us to select the BEST photos of the group and that entry will win a "Patch" shopping spree valued at $250!

Here are the contest rules:

1) All entries must be submitted by September 1, 2010 to

2) Photos must be high resolution and The Dandelion Patch and the entrant agrees that The Dandelion Patch has full rights to use the photos for marketing purposes.

3) Only one submission per family or group.

4) Photos must be obvious about the vacation location / destination and MUST be outside the greater Washington DC region.

5) The Dandelion Patch reserves the right to disqualify entries.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Heidi's Picks for June 21st

For some reason, the warm weather always makes me want to redecorate and entertain. And since the markets aren't yet back to their wonderfully golden level, my husband suggests that this is not the year for me to purchase an entire new family room of furniture.

However, these gorgeous AB frames are just the ticket to keep me smiling for another few months. With a variety of colors and sizes, the combination of bling and the bow are the perfect pick-me-up when a photo of your loved one is inserted. To be sure that I am not ALWAYS thinking about me(!), I have purchased these fab frames as gifts for a bride, a new mom and a golden anniversary. But you know how the story goes . . . one for you, one for me (or two for me?) . . .

So, you're planning a party but your guests aren't chummy (yet). How do you turn up the heat and turn "ho-hum" to "happening?" I suggest you bring along a cube of Table Topics Not Your Mother's Dinner Party. With questions ranging from "Would you rather be addicted to gambling or food?" and "If you had to obtain $1,000,000 by illegal means, how would you do it?" these conversation starters guarantee your party will be totally hip, slightly taboo, and highly entertaining. Move over June Cleaver, here come the modern moms who know how to make a memorable evening with laughter galore.

And just in case you are in the over-40 or over-50 set that needs readers to help you see those conversation starters, bring on the Eyebobs! These uber-chic readers are totally about the woman with an attitude and confidence. Create different looks for day / night / office by simply changing your readers. After all, most people have 8 sets of readers so why not have 8 different styles? These distinctive glasses make the term "beer goggles" seem pintless (oh, I mean pointless)! Feel your attitude adjust into sassy mode the minute you slide on a pair of these glasses - exclusively made for your inner diva.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Sense of Place

At The Dandelion Patch, we are all about personalization. Whether it is stationary, serving pieces or jewelry, walk through the store and you will see that I'm a complete sucker for anything with a monogram! But after names, there is a second place of identity important to people - where they live.

"Home is where the heart is" - there is truth that adage. Where we choose to settle down holds a lot of meaning to us. Home is where we come to after a long day at work. It is where we spend our weekends with our families. It is where we spend special holidays and celebrate annual traditions. Home is a special place.

I think that is why people seem to stop dead in their tracks when they see our Danielson Design "Home is" plaques. These gorgeous recycled wood plaques are painted with a local city name (Falls Church, Alexandria, Reston, Vienna, and many more!) in the background and have the phrase, "Home is where your story begins," in the foreground. The Dandelion Patch is the exclusive carrier of these localized plaques.

They make a lovely gift for a new home, newlyweds, new businesses or anyone starting a new chapter in life. With over a dozen different local cities and towns to choose from, we should have your NOVA zip code covered and your perfect personal gift waiting for you.

Labels: ,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Join Us For Gal's Night Out - Thursday June 17 from 6PM-8PM in Reston

Grab your girlfriends and join us this Thursday, June 17th from 6PM - 8 PM for Gals Night Out!

You will enjoy champagne, cupcakes from Chantel's Bakery, chair massage from Calvert Rejuvinations and 20% off all in-store merchandise (Trollbeads excluded). And bring your Sex and the City ticket stub and enter to win a "Charlotte" basket worth over $300 of "Charlotte-worthy" merchandise.

This is a one day event, taking place on June 17, 2010 in our Reston store only.

We hope to see you there!

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Heidi's Picks for Father's Day

Since Father's Day is right around the corner, I thought I would focus this week's entry on gifts for the men in your life - especially those who seemingly have everything.

If your Dad is FAN-atical about college sports (or maybe just crazy about his alma mater), I have the perfect gift for you! These ceramic veggie platters are FAN-tastic! With slogans and mascots, logos and stadiums, these university serving pieces are a walk down memory lane as well as a work of art. Luckily, most of the big schools are covered. So, if you are looking for schools in the SEC, ACC, or the Big 10, buy this gift and be prepared to start singing his fight song! And if you happen to be from the Big 12 like me (don't mess with Texas), you may need to include a big hat and belt buckle to match!

If you are like me, you believe that life is better with humor. And this concept is not lost on those from Life is Crap! They say (and I quote), "While the glass may be half full . . . sometimes it's half full of crap!" Poking a little fun at ourselves and at those we love is the best way to say Happy Father's Day! From silly to outragous, these shirts have a slogan for every man in your life because laughter really is the best medicine (even if you've lost your cell phone in the toilet, had your BBQ peed on by your dog, or hit your 15th ball into the rough!) . . . for those who are not eternal optimists, life is crap may be your anthem!

For the ultimate in personalization, try this BBQ branding iron. From steaks and chicken to tofu and burgers, Dad can say what me means - branding directly onto the food! As my family brainstormed how we'd use this cool tool ("Happy 4th!" or "Burnt by Dad!") we have already booked a festive red, white and BBQ party with our friends (red wine, white wine and BBQ). Even if Dad isn't the "grill god," he'll love putting his lasting mark (and conversation starter) on any party with this unique gift. Not: this is NOT a do-it-yourself tattoo kit!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Sale with a Silver Lining!

For the month of June, buy a decorative clasp from Trollbeads and receive a silver bracelet FREE! Get your memorable and meaningful bracelet started today!

Labels: ,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vera Bradley Summer Sale!

Prices are slashed 25% on all retiring Vera Bradley colors and styles. Shop now, before they are all gone!

Visit us today to see our selection!

Labels: ,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Save the Date - The RIght Way!

Some of our favorite customers at The Dandelion Patch are newly engaged brides-to-be. We enjoy being part of this very special moment in a couple's life together.

To make sure you are surrounded by loved ones on your special day, consider sending a Save-the-Date announcement. This wedding "trend" is here to stay, although the format keeps changing almost as often as bridesmaid's dress styles. A Save-the-Date announcement is an advance notice of the wedding date and location so your guests - who may be all over the country or even the world - can reserve your wedding day on their busy schedules, and if necessary, make travel plans. Even if your friends are close by, at the very least during a busy wedding season, it ensures that your wedding gets on their books first!

Wedding planning is fraught with many etiquette pitfalls, and the Save-the-Date is your critical first step. As it is the very first impression your guests will receive of your wedding, you want to make sure it makes a good one! When they talk about your wedding, we all want it to be for the right reasons!

So, what are some of the things to keep in mind when sending a Save-the-Date announcement?

First, distinguish the Save-the-Date announcement from the actual invitation by including a line such as "formal invitation to follow." Although you may not have your entire wedding planned yet, do try to make the Save-the-Date in the same style or tone of the wedding you have in mind. In other words, don't send out a casual Save-the-Date for a formal wedding and vice versa. Think of this as a trailer to a movie - something to get guests excited about the big day. You don't want to send out a MacGruber style Save-the-Date if you are planning a Casablanca wedding.

Do send out the Save-the-Date as soon as you have the pertinent details (date and location) but make sure you only send them to people you are certain you will invite to your wedding. Not all of your wedding guests need to receive a Save-the-Date, but everyone who receives one must be invited to the wedding! You don't want Aunt Edith, sitting at home, clutching her announcement and wondering when that "formal invitation to follow" is going to arrive. Nor do you want unexpected guests at the reception because they got put on the "B-list" when your guest list got too large, but you had forgotten you had sent them a Save-the-Date!

Be sure to include your names, the date, and the geographic location (city / state or city / country) of the wedding and anything else your guests may need to know in order to reserve the time on their calendars. Last names are key as well, because as precious as you are, just remember, you may not be the only "Mike and Jen" in their lives!

What should your Save-the-Date announcement look like? There are all kinds of creative options. Magnets are falling out of favor as they are not recyclable and they don't stick to many of today's luxury stainless steel fridges. Instead, we are seeing cards that incorporate the heritage and personality of the couple through photos, artwork, sketches of the wedding location and more. They can range from simple cards to bookmarks or small booklets. There are as many variations as there are brides and grooms.

Come to The Dandelion Patch and tell us about your engagement story. Let us look at your sparkly new ring, and we'll be happy to help you choose your Save-the-Date announcement.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Heidi's Picks for June 2d

For the "wee" one:

I'll admit it. I had Eric Carle books when I was a kid. And no, that doesn't make me 100 years old! Eric Carle is celebrating the 40th anniverary of his famous Hungry Caterpillar book this year (you can do the math). Because of this momentous milestone, and the many fun memories from my childhood, I love to combine this old fave with a developmental toy that allows the characters to "leap" off the page and onto let's say . . . a stroller or a car seat. And what's better than a baby playing quietly? That's easy to answer . . . a happy mommy!
For the lovers of luxury:

For sure, these carved soaps are the best gift to give any hostess. These Vermont-made beauties are hypo-allergenic so even those with sensitive skin can enjoy the pampering properties of these custom-designed bars. Choose a color a monogram or a family name. Give yourself a week (yes, I said a week!) and watch the smiles appear when you give Oprah's favorite to your most discerning friends and neighbors. Add a personalized hand towel for extra elegance (and not a ton of extra cash!)

For the 8 - 10 year old:
Every year when my son celebrates his birthday, he inevitably receives at least one gift that keeps him interested and entertained for weeks. This year, he opened several Green Science Kits that were by far the hit of the season. From robots made of tin cans, learning about electricity through a potato spud, to creating renewable energy through a plastic bottle and making a windmill; I was shocked at how engaging these experiments are for the 8 - 10 year old set (and how much I had forgotten from science classes of the past!). And get this - NO BATTERIES REQUIRED!

Labels: , ,