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.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Never Underestimate the Power of Bubbles!

I went up to visit my cousin and his wife at their beach house a few weeks ago. Almost as an afterthought, I threw a half dozen tubes of bubbles in my bag - I like bubbles. When I arrived, the two grandchildren, 3 and 6, were variously watching television and playing with an array of electronic devices. They barely looked up when I entered the room. Eventually, we left the house and spent a lovely afternoon boating and swimming, returning to the house in time for dinner. It's always a chore to get dinner for a lot of people to the table, and the youngest natives were getting restless when I remembered those bubbles. I got them and we went outside - and they could not possibly have been more of a success. The kids were blowing them, chasing them, watching my grown-up bubble ability (really big ones, or lots and lots at once, etc.) They were running around, laughing, and the six year old even made a scientific discovery - he figured out, and informed me, that when you blow really hard at a medium size bubble, it turns into lots of smaller bubbles. I tried it, he was completely correct. It was very satisfying to see how those bubbles engaged those kids. Yay for the simple and magical bubble!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do You Have "that" Candle?

We can confess now - for awhile, we've been selling a birthday candle we thought was illegal in Massachusetts. We thought it was illegal because sparklers are illegal here, and the flame on this baby is about 100 times more intense than a lovely little flickering sparkler. But, knowing it was legal in Europe and 45 of our 50 states, we decided to quietly sell it anyway. We kept it behind the counter, and customers who were in the know would ask - nudge nudge wink wink - if we had the "special" birthday candle. Or "that" candle. We always showed them a video so they would know what to expect and warned them to keep it away from those who might have imbibed a little too much birthday cheer. Anyway, the other week I saw these candles on sale at our local Shaws supermarket. Shaws is a giant corporation, and I knew they would never sell anything illegal. Then I went to the Gift Show last week, met the supplier, and learned that for some reason, as a birthday candle, the special candle had squeaked through the regulations that the (to us) much less dangerous sparkler cannot. So - starting next week, we will have these wonderful candles on sale here at Joie - right out in the open. Besides their spectacular display, they also play Happy Birthday. (And buyer beware - they will play it for up to two weeks if the wire is not cut.) If you have a special birthday event coming up, we have just the thing for you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gift Show !

Joie de Blog is at the New York Gift Show, walking the 12 miles of aisles (so they say) to find wonderful new items "the better to delight you with." One of the things we love most about this particular show is the wide range of items and prices we see - here are two items, one of which, due to price, you won't be seeing at the store - and one that you will - (feel free to guess which is which) Illuminated Sign: $600. Small Felt Mouse - $12. Happily most of the things we have found fall easily into the affordable price range. Now, must finish coffee and head back to show!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Joie Product Spotted in New York Times!!

We were perusing the real estate section today - don't ask us why - these things just happen - and read an article about open houses.  The author was speaking of people finding items that made them uncomfortable when they opened a closet or medicine cabinet for a better look, and wound up that section of the piece with this:  "Likewise, all the nice prep work inside the apartment doesn’t prevent a bad impression from being made by other tenants of the building. At an apartment I saw in Brooklyn, the downstairs neighbor had a doormat that read 'Come Back With a Warrant.' I didn’t."  Okay - we sell that doormat here at Joie de Vivre - and we think it's very funny.  How anyone could think that it gives a serious bad impression  is kind of beyond us!   Too bad the people in the next apartment didn't have the Witness Protection one!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Joie Wants to Know !

Why would you change a perfect item?  We have been selling the Penguin Race for over 25 years.  There are some who don't like its incessantly (relentlessly?) cheerful chirping sound but we have come to accept and, yes, love it.
It's a rather inexpensive toy that inspires paroxysms of delight in small children, and shrieks of "I had that when I was a kid, I loved it!" in twenty year olds.  We've bought it from different distributors over the years,  and seen slight variations in box design and graphics, but the actual item has remained the same - until now.  I just ordered a dozen from one of our regular Penguin Race suppliers and they had not only a different look but a very different sound - the cheerful chirping replaced by more of an electronic fuzzy noise.  When I called to ask why, I was told that the supplier had decided to go with a cheaper factory, and that so far, no one seemed to mind.  But - never fear - we will sell only the original here at Joie de Vivre. And suppliers of inferior products take note - we say to the Penguin Race - we love you, you're perfect, don't change!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We Interrupt This Blog . . .

for a week while we admire the waves and beaches of the New Jersey Shore.  And we're not just admiring them  - we're swimming in them, walking on them, and doing all kinds of other things  here.  When you live in Massachusetts and tell people you're going to the Jersey Shore on vacation,  people look at you kind of funny. Like - why would you go there?  But take it from us - many parts of the Jersey Shore are not only Snooki free but absolutely beautiful.  We will resume our regular blogcasts next week at the latest !

Friday, August 3, 2012

Due To Circumstances Beyond Our Control

We just received a letter of apology from one of our suppliers, a company called Mr. Christmas.  They were writing to tell us that one of the items we had ordered for the holidays would not be produced, explaining that one of the factories in China who makes goods for them unexpectedly closed, due to "financial obstacles."  They said that they were trying to understand what had happened, then went on to add that the factory owner was allegedly kidnapped, they lost the deposits they had made on their orders, and the massive molds for several of the products had disappeared.  Yikes !  I think we can accept their  "sincere apologies" and believe their last sentence "we hope you will understand that this was not in our control."