Dear Blog Readers,
We have become the kind of blogger we never wanted to be — the kind who has a "read our blog" button on our website but the newest post is months old. We blame Facebook for this — it's so much easier to write something there and we seem to have more followers there than we did here on the blog. Still, we can't quite bring ourselves to give it up altogether yet — so instead, we're posting this little note to explain our lack of current entries. Please do check out our facebook page, we think it's fun, if not quite as long form.
sincerely, the Joie de Blogger.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Product Testing on Vacation

Sometimes I see how an item works when I order it. Or think it's neat, trust the vendor that it does what they say it does, but I never actually play with it myself. It was like that with the Mighty Kite. I saw a man wandering the aisles of the Javits Center flying a little tiny kite. I went up, asked where he got it, and found he was the maker. He introduced himself to me as Kitemando and we spoke and I ordered some. We've been selling them for several years, but after that first glimpse, I never personally saw one fly, though we did have some enthusiastic repeat customers. Anyway, I was packing up some Joie items to take to the beach - bubbles, a few puzzles, etc - and decided to throw in some kites. One of the families visiting us arrived with three kids and a giant toucan kite. One afternoon they were trying unsuccessfully to fly it and I remembered the little ones. We brought them out to the beach - and I can now personally say how great they are - easy to fly, and they go really really high. And they swoop and move around at the tug of a string. They will now be much more enthusiastically endorsed by me personally ! And as a side note, I also brought an affirmation button and we found a previously unknown use for it - it's a perfect tool for getting reluctant two year olds to eat their cereal. After each bite, we let our resident two year old press the button, and hearing "you are awesome" proved to be excellent motivation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

gone fishing

Well we thought we might get the world-famous Devil Duckie to blog while the Joie Scribe is away — but his peeps say he can't be reached... vacations are awesome!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Item of the Month

We have a new item at Joie de Vivre that we're all a little in love with - and we've decided to make it our item of the month - those of you who get our monthly email newsletter will see it soon! For those of you who don't, here's a little sneak preview! Go there and see what it does! Then you'll understand part two of this blog - there was a little girl in the store the other day, probably about 4 years old. We pushed the button for her, and she smiled and said, "It's right! I AM awesome!"

And blogger disclosure: the official Joie scribe is on vacation this week, enjoying the beautiful New Jersey Shore (not the Jersey Shore inhabited by Snooki and Co - a far gentler, kinder place.) Blogs may be a bit infrequent - though guest bloggers may take up the slack! Oh - and the official Joie scribe brought one of the above with her - not being used to appearing in public much in a bathing suit!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sound of Joie . . .

is not the sound of silence, that's for sure ! Today, we heard the gentle clinking of the fork and spoon puzzle as someone tried to untangle it. The squeaking of the rubber duck. "To me that's an absolute disgrace" spoken in a British accent by the soccer sound machine. The yodeling of the pickle. The animatronic singing plush goat, channeling Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music. The Rites of Spring - wind chime version. Mozart on a music box. the oinking of the pig keychain. the crying baby of the get off the phone excuse machine. the excited voices of teenage customers (three teenagers can seem like a dozen) or kids crying "Mom/Dad - look at this!!" Sometimes all these sounds occur almost in the same minute. No wonder that woman had a hard time deciding whether to buy that $150 music box . . . . and no wonder we sometimes get a little confused while adding up a sales slip and reach for the calculator. Yet - we really mean it when we say "that's okay" when someone apologizes for pressing the Emergency Meow button - once you've been at Joie for awhile, you achieve a kind of Zen about it all. At least most of the time!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Starting The Day Without a Bang!

Today we started the day off without a bang in the best possible sense. As I walked toward the store I saw a lot of commotion a few blocks down the street - flashing sirens, backed up traffic and something in the median of Mass. Ave. At first I thought it was a bicycle and that someone had been hit - but then I noticed the yellow crime scene tape blocking off a several block area. I walked down to investigate and didn't get far before hearing - there was a grenade in the street. It had a wire in it. (fuse?) And, as they weren't sure if it was a live grenade or possibly a toy (?) (wouldn't one be able to tell??) they had sent out the police in force. It was a good half hour before they took it away and we await the results re its nature - real or not. At any rate, we are very happy that the day did not start with a bang ! And I personally am glad I decided to walk to work and so did not have to sit in that traffic jam!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

90 Degrees - and Snowing !

This post is not about global "weirding" as they like to call it these days - but it's 90 plus degrees here in Boston today - so it seems a good day to showcase one of our absolute new favorite items - the Eiffel Tower Snowstorm. That's right - this is not a snowglobe, but a snowstorm. Its so full of snow that you never see more of the Eiffel Tower than you see in the photo. And when you shake it up - you see absolutely nothing but snow. No gentle snow wafting past the tower, but as named, a raging storm of snow swirls and envelopes the tower completely. We love it. Think it's really funny. And on a day like this, sort of refreshing to boot . . . .

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independents for Independence!

A quick look at the newspapers reveals:
Bloomingdales - open
Target - open
Home Depot - open
Urban Outfitters - open
A quick look at our neighborhood reveals:
Nomad - closed
Cambridge Clog - closed
Susanna - closed
Tag Hardware - closed
and . ..
Joie de Vivre - closed !

Do we see a theme here? Big stores open,
small stores closed. We feel sorry that the
holiday has degenerated for some to a chance
to get 60% off designer shoes. Or whatever.
(We understand grocery stores being open,
what about all those who forgot to buy ketchup?
Or decided to make brownies at the last minute?)
We intend to read the Declaration of
Independence, maybe garden a little,
cook and have a few beers with neighbors
and friends, and think about our country,
its wonderful good, and its imperfections as
well. See you on July the 5th.