I love Amazon.com as much as the next gal, but when it comes to quality customer service, attention to detail, and small businesses dedicated to differentiating themselves, I’ll happily shop locally. Over the weekend, we did just that by celebrating the girls’ fifth birthday at a nearby bookstore called “The Reading Reptile.” While talking with one of the other moms, we agreed it reminds us of the Little Shop on the Corner from the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movie “You’ve Got Mail.” Deb, the owner, was in charge of the “Arty Party.” Uber-organized and efficient, she’d memorized all the kids’ names within a matter of minutes. She read them stories (all sat and listened intently), made clay with them, and then walked everyone through three cool art projects. We finished up with cupcakes the kids got to decorate. A wonderful time was had by all, and it was definitely a memorable morning for Abby & Izzy!
This place is what I imagine Heaven might be like, where characters from mine and my children’s best-loved books come alive in paper-mache all over the place (all made by Deb, the crafty and talented owner!):