Can’t Deny It Any Longer… It’s the Holidays!

So what category do you fall under? The one where your Christmas shopping was all done by mid-July and wrapped by mid-August (and you’ll remember where you hid everything!) or the one that hates to be told how many days ‘til Christmas ‘coz you know you’ll wait to the last minute regardless? Not admitting which one I am, though I got grumpy when I realized Thanksgiving was only a week away which meant Christmas wasn’t too far behind it… And yet, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed (and I’ve been trying to ignore), Christmas stuff has been popping up all over the stores since before Halloween. So then of course I figure that talking about holiday shopping for the next blog is a good idea despite my personal preference. If it’s any consolation, I’m inwardly shaking my head with a ‘no, let’s not, as it’ll force me to come out of the Land of Denial and I’m pretty comfortable living there’, but alas, that’s not how it works.

It’s funny that I procrastinate on the whole gift thing, as really do like searching for and giving gifts that are absolutely targeted to the person receiving them and the more different they are the better. Typically these gifts just pop out at me in the least expected places, like in Nashville at a flea market. Wanting to stick closer to home and shop local, how about those really cool places for gifts that might not come to mind as quickly as a big box store? Did you know Delavan is full of unique stores and shops with that one-of-a-kind item just waiting for you to find it? I won’t even tell anyone if you buy it for yourself instead of as a gift! Or if you buy it for me!

Holiday Shop Local Reasons

Having raised my girls in Delavan and with both of them now living elsewhere, getting a Delavan logo item is a great reminder of home. Bradley’s and Delavan Lake Store are two places to make that happen. If a book on the history of Delavan is more their style, that can be found at Remember When Antiques & Collectibles. Artwork by a local artist can be found at Lubick Gallery & Gifts and you can get it framed there, too! I personally like the selection of wind chimes at Lubick’s. Hint, hint for those getting me a gift!

Antiques of all sorts can evoke memories for just about anyone. Lauren’s Antiques & Art Centre, JMJ Antique & Trading, Pac-Ratz, Don’s What Not Shop and Remember When all offer endless possibilities of items to bring forth a special memory or something to make new ones. What about refurbishing a piece of furniture, big or small, or some other household item, with the guidance of Pipe & Board and it becomes a treasured family heirloom? Or check out Everything Homespun, where around every corner and in every nook and cranny there is something unique and different to choose from with primitive, farmhouse, rustic, and handmade items.

Speaking of treasured family heirlooms…jewelry absolutely comes to mind, and easily when I look at my own hands and see the ring with my children’s birthstones in it or the ring my youngest me bought with her own money (other than not taking in to account sales tax and having to ask me for it). Beall Jewelers and Utiger Jewelry are two family-owned jewelry stores that can assist with whatever you have in mind and can even help design something.

Got foodies on your list? Then a gift certificate to a local restaurant would be perfect! There are a variety of types to choose from to suit all taste buds and moods – fine dining, café, supper club, sandwich shop, family-style, ethnic, mom & pop, franchise, bar & grill, etc. You can’t go wrong with any of them and consider trying something new, such as The Trout House, as well as the tried and true favorite, like Sweet Aroma or Elizabeth’s Cafe. Don’t forget Lake Geneva Cannery, conveniently located next to Riga-Tony’s, and you’ve got two gifts taken care with an easy stop at each! Not listing all the restaurant and food-related options in town is in no saying that those I have mentioned are better than others – it’s only that there are too many to list them all in the blog! How long do you want me writing for and then how long do you want to be reading?!

I try and go with the ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read’ format in gift giving with my girls and it works pretty well, besides helping tremendously with the budget! Focusing on the ‘something to wear’ portion, Neki’s Hope offers unique boutique items and one-of-a-kind jewelry creations. Bradley’s may be 165 years old, but their up-to-date fashions for women and men certainly aren’t! From a complete outfit, to that favorite piece, to the perfect accessory, and as I say, a girl can never have too many Erin London jackets in her closet! For the new-to-you experience and finding that just right item, be it a Christmas sweater, purse, jewelry, jacket or scarf, or whatever else you didn’t know you needed, Scene II is one of the area’s oldest established consignment shops carrying brand name women’s, men’s and kid’s clothes. Got a special occasion or event where a blinged out dress is required? Alexa’s Boutique is the place to find the perfect dress for any occasion needing some pizzazz and sparkle!

Someone too far away to easily send their gift to them? How about sending flowers instead? Both Rosebuds Floral & Gifts and Treasure Hut Flowers & Gifts can help you design the perfect floral arrangement or pick the plant that even someone with no green thumb at all can keep alive and well. Still one of those that sends Christmas cards out to friends and family, and if so, do you wanna do mine for me…? Jan’s Hallmark is the place to find a great variety of seasonal cards to choose from, along with a huge selection of year-round cards and gifts.

For someone with a very specific interest, then think about LSJ Music for the music lover, Yoga Hohm and Delavan Nutrition Store for the health and wellness follower, Lakeside Bait & Tackle for the fisherman, The Stitchery for the quilter, Pet Pals for the animal lover, Caleta Western Wear for the cowboy or cowgirl, and Boxed & Burlap for the coffee lover. You could be feeding an existing interest or starting a new one!

A couple tucked away spots that you might not think of unless you’re already at the businesses where they are located are Rosewood’s Gift Shop and Lake Lawn Resort’s General Store & Gift Shop. Talk about finding that one-of-a-kind, and not-everyone-is-going-to-have-it item! It also gives you the chance to get a gift certificate to Rosewood for someone on your list that likes dining and entertainment combined, or for someone that wants a spa getaway at the Calladora Spa at Lake Lawn Resort.

Holiday Shop Local gifts under tree

If I’ve missed mentioning something or someone or whatever, my sincere apologies! There’s just so much to offer in Delavan, that to not only keep track of it all, but to write about it can be mind-blowing sometimes! Get out there, wander around and find all these wonderful businesses and more! I guarantee you’ll find that perfect gift for everyone on your list, including for me, and even something for yourself.

Enjoy the adventure!


Are Your Plans Made for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving blog

As much as I’m trying to live in the Land of Denial about the holiday season being upon us, it’s just not working. Spoiler alert for my fellow Land of Denial cohorts – Thanksgiving is two weeks away as of tomorrow and Christmas is following right behind a month later. It’s how it goes every year and I shouldn’t be surprised each year at how quickly it comes around.

So, two weeks away… Got your plans made yet? Are you typically the host or the bringer of food to someone else’s hosting? Is it family that gets together or friends or a combination of each? Whatever your tradition, let me put a few ideas in your head for something different to consider and maybe a new tradition can begin. Coincidentally enough, I’ve personally done three of the four of what’s to follow!

Get your taste buds going for the big day at Delavan Lake Store on the eve of Thanksgiving with their Thanksgiving Eve Pie & Trivia Night, Nov. 22, 6:30 – 9 pm. Enjoy some yummy treats and test your brain power with trivia questions. A perfect place for your sweet tooth and your competitive side for a fun night with friends and family! Admission is easy – $10 for a team or bring a pie of your choice.

Love all the fixings and turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner, but don’t necessarily like all the prep and time it takes to make it all yourself? Not a fan of Aunt Susie’s scalloped corn dish or have never understood Cousin Bob’s idea of stopping at the local gas station for roller-grill hot dogs as his contribution? Here’s the solution – let Lake Lawn Resort do it all for you with their Turkey To Go option! The culinary professionals at the Frontier Restaurant will prepare Thanksgiving Dinner and you take all the credit! Dinner includes a whole roasted turkey (or whole roasted maple-brined breast of turkey), wild rice bread dressing, natural turkey giblet gravy, fresh orange-port cranberry sauce, fresh mashed potatoes, fresh green beans with pecans and bell peppers, fresh baked dinner rolls, and your choice of pumpkin, apple or chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Pre-order by Monday, Nov. 20, and pick up at your scheduled time on Thursday, Nov. 23, between 10:30 am and 4 pm. Whether you have 8 or 20 guests for dinner, there is an option that fits. Think about it – leftovers without the dishes to wash! For details, click here. I’ve attended Thanksgiving at a friend’s and they did this instead of cooking and having the guests bring certain things. It was delicious, plenty of food, a great variety of items, and so convenient! I’d do this in a heart beat for the ease of it all!

If you don’t want to have to clean the house for company, let alone cook, or travel too much to go to someone else’s home, then celebrate with family and friends while still enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner at the Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort. Their abundant Thanksgiving Feast Buffet will sprawl out in endless goodness! Reservations are strongly recommended, with the Buffet being served from 11 am to 7 pm and the final seating is at 6 pm. There is so much food that will be on the Buffet that it’s too much to list, but trust me when I say you won’t go away hungry! For the menu, click here. I’ve also had opportunity to attend this when I had family from out of town and we made a mini-getaway of their visit by staying at Lake Lawn Resort. Like I said, so much food! If you can’t find something you like, and more than one thing you like, then you’re walking the Buffet with your eyes closed and your nose is stuffed so you can’t smell the goodness!

Not that anyone should be alone for Thanksgiving, but sometimes situations come in to play where being together with family or friends just isn’t possible. If that’s the case, be it for you or for someone you know, then make plans to attend the Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday, Nov. 23, 11 am – 3 pm, in the Community Building at Town Park (Hwy. 50 & South Shore Drive). The Friends of the Park, a not-for-profit 501(c)3, are providing a complimentary traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings so no one has to do without. All food is being donated, cooked and served by volunteers. There’s even delivery that can be scheduled for the elderly or homebound, compliments of local Boy Scout troops. For contact details, click here. I’ve attended this event as a delivery volunteer in the past and can attest to it being phenomenal, both from the deliciousness of the food and the loving atmosphere of people coming together in celebration of thankfulness.

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

As the above question asks, what are you thankful for? While thinking of the answer, also consider some of the options given for maybe a different take on Thanksgiving this year or maybe as the start of a new tradition. And with that thought:

Thanksgiving blog_happy

Dine Around The Lakes is in full swing!


November 3 – 12, 2017

Dine Around The Lakes is happening RIGHT NOW, having begun Nov. 3 and going through Nov. 12, and you absolutely should not miss out on the local restaurants that are participating! Here’s the Delavan line-up of restaurants:



The Trout House at Rushing Waters Delavan

The Trout House, in Historic Downtown Delavan, is Delavan’s newest restaurant. If you’ve been meaning to try it and just haven’t gotten around to it yet, here’s your chance – lunch for $10 or dinner for $30, with a specially designed 3-course menu for each – there’s no excuse to make Dine Around The Lakes the time to go! At those prices, go to both lunch and dinner and do it again to make sure you’ve tried all the options on each menu… Sounds like a perfect reason to make a mini-getaway of it! Click here for details.



Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort

The Frontier Restaurant at Lake Lawn Resort could be a tried and true favorite for you or maybe you’ve never been, but with the menu options specifically chosen for Dine Around The Lakes, get your foodie on and get there! With three entrée options for lunch and two for dinner, plan on multiple visits to work your way through each menu. And I think I already mentioned that making a mini-getaway of it is a great idea, so check out the  special Lake Lawn Resort has just for Dine Around The Lakes… Click here for details.



The Lookout Bar & Eatery at Lake Lawn Resort

As the football season comes to a head with thoughts already of playoff hopes and wild card spots, and then college basketball season starting soon, plus whatever other sports you’re interested in (these just happen to be my two favorites…), The Lookout Bar & Eatery is the place to hang out and watch your favorite teams. Adding to that in being able to partake in Dine Around The Lakes and what a combination! There are two delicious entrée choices for both lunch and dinner as part of the specially designed 3-course menus, so make a plan to incorporate each multiple times with watching football, basketball, or whatever trips your sports fan trigger. And as already suggested, make a mini-getaway out of it. Click here for details.


Alright – you’ve got food options galore, special packages for creating a mini-getaway, so all that is remaining is to put it on your calendar and make it happen! If you’re looking for dining company, I’m available!  😀

Bon Appétit!