Monday, July 8, 2013


In honor of summer, we thought we'd do something HOT!

Select jewelry & summer merchandise
50% OFF

Jewelry Repair
20% OFF

Through the end of July

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Morning Musings: Monroe-isms

“I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure.  I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle.  But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”
-          Marilyn Monroe

Enough said.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Brunch: Mimosas

Raise your glass with this delicious mimosa recipe, but don't forget to serve them in style!

Mimosa Recipe Created by Joanne & Adam Gallagher:

Ingredients for 8 Mimosa Cocktails
1 750 ml bottle chilled, dry sparkling wine
3 cups chilled orange juice (freshly squeezed is best)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or triple sec (optional)

Fill 8 champagne flutes half full with chilled sparkling wine
Top with orange juice
If you are using, top with 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or triple sec
Do not stir as that will flatten the wine

Colleen Essence Champagne Flute by Waterford, available at The Menagerie

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Morning Musing: June Brides

I can’t resist.  It’s June and that, traditionally, means the height of the wedding season.  (For those of you who don’t know, my shop, The Menagerie, has a traditional bridalregistry.  We try to make each bride feel like a princess because, we believe, service like that still matters!)

Even though times have changed and brides now marry in almost equal numbers year-round, I wanted to give you some (I think) funny quotes on what it means to marry in June.  Maybe these are why June used to be so popular?

(FYI, the origin of these quotes is unknown.  Most think they are oral tradition, handed down from mother to daughter for generations.)

“Married in month of roses June, life will be one long honeymoon.”

“A June bride will be impetuous, and generous.”

“Marry when the June roses grow, over land and sea you’ll go.”

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Brunch: Rainy Day Oatmeal

It's the first Sunday in June, and it's raining here in Austin.  The drizzly weather makes us think of comfort food that will warm us from the inside out.

So, for today's Sunday Brunch installment, we'd like to present a delicious recipe for Irish Oatmeal, which can be served perfectly in Portmeirion's Sophie Conran cereal bowls (shown here in Celadon, but also available in white).

Irish Oatmeal Recipe from

4 cups briskly boiling water
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Milk to taste (optional)
Honey or brown sugar to taste
1 tablespoon nuts
1/2 banana, sliced

1.  Pour the cinnamon and oats into boiling water and stir until it begins to thicken.
2.  Lower the heat until it simmers and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3.  It's important not to overcook the oats so that you get a nice, nutty flavor.
4.  Add the remaining ingredients and enjoy!
Sophie Conran by Portmeirion, Cereal Bowl in Celadon

Photo of Irish Oatmeal by gailanna

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Fun Days: An Update from Vegas!

Our two jewelry gurus, Vickie and Leslie, have been tirelessly scouring the showrooms of the largest jewelry show in the world this week, looking for the best product to bring home to Austin.

Vickie just sent us this fun pic from Vegas, and we wanted to share:

The word from Vegas is that: "Anything goes!  Mix gold with wood, diamonds with wood, yellow metal with white metal...."  You name it, they're seeing it this year.  We can't wait until they get home - we'll be sure to let you know when all the new jewelry has arrived!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: Give Her a Gift She'll Never Forget

Whether you exchange gifts at the Rehearsal Dinner, the day of the wedding, or on your wedding night, be sure to choose a gift that is as special as she is.  Here's one of our favorites: the diamond huggie earring.  Classic, timeless, small enough to wear every day but sparkly enough to make an impression, the diamond huggie will become one of her favorites too!

Diamond Huggie Earrings shown in White Gold, 1/2" long x 1/16" wide

Call or stop by to view a beautiful selection.

Tabletop Tuesday: What's New

Perfect for Iced Tea or Summer Lemonade, by the pool or at the table, the Federica Pitcher is one of our new favorites:

Having family to visit this summer?  Planning large parties by the pool or on the deck?  Make sure you have enough flatware on hand with this 45 piece place setting of Italian-made stainless steel flatware by Ricci:

Order online or call The Menagerie to order today.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

“When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?”
-          George Canning

Thank you to all of the men and women who have kept us free throughout history.  It is your sacrifice which makes this country such a wonderful place to live.  Thank you.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sparkling Saturdays: Look What's Coming

While we don't normally use our "Sparkling Saturdays" series to focus on the jewelry industry, this week we want to make sure y'all know about what's coming: the largest jewelry market in the world!

At the end of this month, The Menagerie's owner, Vickie Roan, will travel to Las Vegas to meet with old and new vendors, diamond dealers, and other industry insiders to learn about product trends, the state of the diamond industry, and more.  She'll attend JCK, Luxury, and the Antique Show.

With her focus on customer service, Vickie always loves to shop for specific, hard-to-find items for customers when she's at Market.  She can frequently be heard in the store or on the phone: "I'm going to Market; what do you want me to bring back?"  No focus groups for Miss Vickie!  She just opens the door each morning, asks her customers for their feedback, and builds her success on meeting their needs.

Looking for something special?  Give her a call at the shop to let her know about your heart's desire!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Fun Days: Initialize

You've probably (hopefully) seen them around...the new monogram necklaces gracing the necks of everyone from starlets to suburbanites.  Well, we have them (of course!  We're always on trend like that at The Menagerie), and we're pleased to present them to you for today's installment of Friday Fun Days.  Behold, the monogram necklace:

Super cute for tweens, bridesmaids' gifts, or just because, we love these for gifts and gifts-to-self alike!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Lifestyle Thursdays: Get Your Juices Flowing

We're a fine jewelry, tabletop, and gift store, but that doesn't mean that we don't have to (and like to) focus on things beyond our own little world of retail.

Today we'd like to recommend something called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.  It's a how-to book and workbook for artists of all types, but we've found it useful for life in general, whether you consider yourself an artist or not.

In retail you have to make decisions every day: do I bring that product in?  Should I display these products in the window?  Do I phase out that line in favor of another one, since floor space is limited?  All of these decisions are, inherently, about creativity.  It helps to have a mind whose creative juices are flowing before you come to work to tackle whatever will show up each day.

One of Julia Cameron's suggestions is called Morning Pages.  Essentially, she instructs us to 'unclog' our minds each morning by writing three pages of stream-of-consciousness thought first thing in the morning.  She has had lawyers adopt this practice to great effect - seeing more productivity and efficiency in their law practices because they bring clearer minds with them to work each day.

So, for today's Lifestyle Thursday post, we thought we'd point you toward Ms. Cameron and her Morning Pages, in the hopes that you will find the practice as useful as we have.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: Bridesmaids Gifts

You've asked them in the most thoughtful way possible.  They've said yes.  You've shared countless memories, both pre-wedding and during the wedding festivities.  The Big Day is approaching.  And, you need to say thank you.

How can you tell these wonderful women who have stood by you through so much just how much they mean to you?

Here are a few of the many wonderful items we have in our store to help you say 'thank you.'

Who doesn't want something personal and memorable?  This initial necklace from The Menagerie is the perfect way to express your gratitude for all of the help and support your bridesmaids have given you.
100" of baroque pearls for $100?  Yes, please!  These pearls are such a fun, modern take on a classic.  Wear them wrapped, wear them long, wear them as a double-strand, or wear them as a bracelet.  Whatever way your bridesmaids decide to wear them, we promise they'll look fabulous!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tabletop Tuesday: Summer is Coming!

With all of the end of school year madness, we thought we'd focus on the soon to be here lazy days of summer.  You know, to give you something to look forward to.

Long days at the pool, family vacations that will create lasting memories, boating on the lake, running around a splash park...these are some of the ways we like to pass the HOT summer months in Austin, Texas.

Wherever we are, we like to eat and entertain.  So, for the summer, we recommend putting away your formal china and pulling out something fun and practical (that won't break by the pool!).

Our #1 pick is Beatriz Ball.  We LOVE the way it looks (as do our customers!), and, because it's made out of aluminum, it never tarnishes (no polishing!).  Easy to clean - simply wipe with warm water and soap.

Soho Organic Oval Platter by Beatriz Ball
Soho Taxco Bowl by Beatriz Ball, available in large and medium

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

Some people give me a sympathetic look when they find out my birthday always falls on or near Mother’s Day.  You know…the look that communicates, “I’m so sorry your gifts and special times aren’t spread out.”  I understand that.  It would be nice to have a spontaneous celebration in, say, November I guess, but I actually really love how both of the days I get to celebrate are tied together.  It reminds me how much of me is about being a mom.  And, I use it as an excuse to turn the whole month into a celebration!

To mark this auspicious occasion (I’m 39 years young, of course), I thought I’d leave you with my all-time favorite birthday present.  Not the best present I’ve ever received – that would be too hard.  I’ll tell you my favorite present to give.  (For the sake of this blog, I’m picking one that’s a little generic.  Just know that I usually prefer to make it personal.  And that’s definitely the advice I give to all my customers!)

My all-time favorite present is (drum roll please): a small, glass vase in the shape of a bird with a single white rose sticking out of it.  The note should read: “a little birdie told me it was your birthday today; have a great one!”

In closing, I want to thank all of you who have already sent well-wishes my way.  I often say, and I truly mean it: I have the best job in the world!  Thanks for letting me be a part of your lives!

-- Vickie

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Brunch: Mom Style

Let us be the first to say: Happy Mother's Day!

Now, stop reading and start cooking!  We know you either are a mom or have a mom or know a mom to celebrate today!

Recipe - from Martha Stewart's Spring Recipes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet and serving
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Maple Syrup, for serving


Cook's Note: Freeze cooled pancakes in an airtight container, up to 1 month.

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add buttermilk, egg, and butter, and whisk until just moistened (batter should have some lumps; do not overmix). Fold in blueberries.

Step 2: Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter and heat over medium-high.  In batches, drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet.  Cook until bubbles appear on top and a few have burst, 2-5 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 2-5 minutes.  Repeat with more butter and remaining batter (makes about 12), wiping skillet clean between batches and lowering heat if necessary.  Serve with butter and syrup.

Our suggestion for the perfect way to serve Mom pancakes on Mother's Day:

Pile this Queen Victoria Chop Plate high with steaming pancakes.  Because it has handles, you'll easily be able to carry it to the brunch table while the food is still hot!

Give Mom her own Herend Miniature Creamer filled with Maple Syrup (no reaching across the table at this brunch!).  She'll feel like a queen!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sparkling Saturdays: Mom, You're a Stud

In one more homage to Mom before the big day, we thought we'd highlight the classic gift any mom would be thrilled to receive: the diamond stud earring.

At The Menagerie, we always have a few pairs in our case.  They are high quality stones of varying sizes.  We keep them in the store for those occasions when someone forgets an anniversary or has to have a pair for a black-tie affair that night.

But, we also create custom diamond stud earrings for many of our customers, finding the perfect Cut, Clarity, Carat Weight, and Color to suit each client's particular wants.  Three-pronged or four?  Platinum or white gold (or, even, yellow)?  It's up to you.  Your wish is our command.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Fun Days: It's a SALE!

In honor of Mom's everywhere, we're having a SALE!  In-store & online.

20% off everything except bridal orders & purchases PLUS

50% off select jewelry (in-store only for 50% off jewelry)!

Sale ends Saturday at close of business (5:30).  Call or stop by today or tomorrow!!!

Or, visit us online!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lifestyle Thursdays: A Tribute to My Mom

“It’s easy to be an angel when no one ruffles your feathers.”
-          Hanny

My mother, known to the girls as Hanny, used to say that to me during my growing-up years and my adult years and all the years between.  After my divorce, when she and my dad came to live with us, she even had it written on a sign and placed up in the kitchen, the roost she most definitely ruled.

She helped me so tremendously during those years, my first taste of single motherhood.  She cooked and cleaned and babysat while I created this amazing gift called The Menagerie.  With two little ones under foot, there were most definitely many attempts to ruffle her feathers.  But, for the most part, she remained unflappable.

I think of that – of her and her saying – when stress creeps in and circumstances feel overwhelming.  Can I still be an angel when the feathers are flying?  I hope so.

Since on Sunday we will once again have our Sunday Brunch post up, I wanted to write this tribute today.  Mama, I miss you.  Thank you for those and all the many other lessons.  I can only hope I’m worthy of them.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: A Site We Like

Today might be our shortest blog post ever!  We just wanted to share the online love and point you to a cute site/resource for before the wedding:


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tabletop Tuesdays: Topsy Turvy

About ten years ago I sent my youngest daughter, Jenny, to etiquette school.  She learned about the history of fine dining, etiquette surrounding the table, and even etiquette for tea and dessert courses.  She loved doing it and came back with a lot of useful information.  One of the things we enjoyed practicing upon her return was the European style of eating.

Did you know that most sterling silver patterns still carry decoration on the back of the fork?  This is because, in Europe, where eating with utensils originated, the fork is laid tines down.  When you eat, you have the fork in your left hand the whole time, and you place the food in your mouth with the tines facing down the whole time.  You never switch handsand you never flip the fork over.

For a few more detailed explanations, click here and here.

In many ways it's a much more elegant style of eating, with less complication.  It takes some getting used to for those of us on this side of the pond, but we highly recommend it!  Another added benefit?  You're forced to slow down and take smaller bites, always a good thing!

To view beautiful Old World forks with decorations on the back, stop by the store today!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Brunch: The Cheese Plate

Earlier this week we pontificated about the difference between a salad and dessert plate, as well as the tradition of a separate dessert course (a meal in its own right).  Today, we're going to deviate from our normal brunch fare to continue this theme.

In many bistros across France, the dessert course includes a selection of cheeses, possibly accompanied by nuts and dried fruit.  For more on this fun take on a meal's finale, read about suggested cheeses to serve at the Cheesemonger's blog.

Now, what to serve these cheeses on?  We thought you'd never ask.  Here are a few ideas, from your friendly neighborhood tabletop shop:

Happy cheese-ing everyone!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sparkling Saturdays: The Cross Necklace

At The Menagerie we always have a wide selection of diamond Cross necklaces, in white and yellow gold, because many of our customers love to give (and receive) them as gifts.  For birthday, anniversary, or 'just because', these necklaces make a meaningful keepsake that can be passed for generations.

For more information on these necklaces or to view more of our selection, contact us at 1-800-778-4644 or stop by the shop in Jefferson Square.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Fun Day: The Vase

With Mother's Day only a week away, we wanted to highlight one of our favorite gift items: the vase.

At The Menagerie, we have vases starting at $12 and ranging on up.  What makes them unique?  Each one carries a hallmark of beauty, craftsmanship, and design to make it a gift worth giving (even without the flowers!).

Here are some of our favorites.  Fill them with flowers, candy, or notes to Mom, and she's sure to be delighted on Mother's Day!

Soho Bud Vase by Reed & Barton

Wisteria Trumpet Vase by William Yeoward Crystal

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lifestyle Thursdays: To All the Men We've Loved Before

We recently came across a funny and somewhat inspirational article at Esquire's online home.  It's a directive to men on the fine art of fine dining.

The article includes 39 tips.  Our favorites?

#14 A gentleman never has his cell phone on the table.
#17 A gentleman always orders after his guests do.
#20  A gentleman takes his mother out to dinner four times a year.

Some of them made us smile.

#6 A gentleman never talks about golf with women present.  (Thank goodness!)
#11 A gentleman does not use sugar substitutes.  (Huh?)

For more fun tips on how to be a gentleman at the table, read all of Esquire's tips here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: To Tell Them or Not to Tell Them?

Some people think we're crazy when we say that it's still traditional not to include registry information on any printed wedding items.  The age-old thinking is that it's rude to ask for gifts; that, instead, one should graciously receive whatever well-wishers want to give, whether it's on your registry or not.

We often get asked: "if that's the case, then, why register at all?"  Valid point.  And that kind of thinking is definitely turning the tide on tradition.

Today, it is much more common to receive a wedding or shower invitation with the registry information printed on an inserted card or on the invitation itself.  While it sometimes feel uncomfortable to let go of old traditions, we do acknowledge how this new tradition has its advantages.

To that end, The Menagerie is pleased to offer complimentary registry cards with your personalized registry information.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tabletop Tuesdays: Salad or Dessert?

Queen Victoria Dessert Plate by Herend

We often have brides ask us, "what's the difference between a salad and dessert plate?"  Our answer?  Excellent question!  

The answer depends, in practicum, on the manufacturer.  For most, there is no difference.  The salad and dessert plate is interchangeable.  For others, like Herend, every pattern comes with two plates: a smaller dessert plate and larger salad.

This is because, hundreds of years ago and still today in some parts of the world, the dessert course was its own meal.  After the main course guests would remove to the parlor where they would enjoy champagne or a dessert wine, a selection of cheeses (and sometimes nuts), dessert, and then coffee or espresso.

While we love this tradition, we understand that it's not practical in the fast-pace of today's world.  Nor is it practical for many brides and grooms to register for an extra set of salad/dessert plates, both from a financial perspective and from the vantage point of room (where would you store it?).  So, we recommend registering for only one size that you can use for either salad or dessert.

One last tip: for many of these plates, their finishes can be affected by oil and vinegar.  So, when using them for salads, be sure to rinse them immediately after use.  

Monday, April 29, 2013


“…[Claudia] said, softly.  ‘Everybody changes.’  ‘No, you’re wrong-nobody really changes,’ Bobbie spat out, shaking her head.  ‘We’re just like the antiques.  We grow old and get scarred and beat up along the way, and the only question becomes whether we’re going to make it until we realize what we already have is valuable.  So you need to snap out of it and take care of your valuables!’”
-          Page 88, Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale, by Lynda Rutledge

This is one of my new favorite books, written by an Austinite my daughter came across at the Writer’s League of Texas’ annual conference in June (an event she highly recommends, by the way).  This quote struck me, particularly, because it is so germane to the human experience…how it takes us so long to come back ‘round the bend and realize we really want to be right where we started.  That we love what we’ve always loved (in this case, the sense of home represented by Claudia Jean’s mama’s old antiques).  That we want what we’ve always wanted.  It’s just taken us a while to allow ourselves to admit it.  Out loud or, even, to ourselves.

So, where are you in your life?  Are you in the ‘figuring it out’ stage or the ‘been there, done that’ stage?  Are you looking ahead to the sun rising or looking back on the sun setting?  What does this quote make you think of?

Happy Monday everybody!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Brunch: a Visit to the Louvre

Did you know that French porcelain-maker Bernardaud has devoted an entire pattern to the famous palace museum the Louvre?  We absolutely love this collection because it is so durable (like all fine china), the bakeware items can be put in the oven and refrigerator, and it's absolutely gorgeous!

Each item has a different motif - all of which are taken from the actual Louvre just outside of Paris, France.  We know not everyone can visit the Louvre, but you could bring the Louvre to you by hosting a Parisian-style brunch.

Here's a classic French recipe to get you started, from the masters themselves:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sparkling Saturdays: Good Gifts for Mom

Mother's Day is right around the corner, so we're highlighting some extra special gifts to make the mom (or wife!) in your life smile.

Diamond Bangle Bracelet in White Gold

Diamond Dangle Earring in White Gold

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Fun Days: It's all about Moms

We love Moms!  Whether you are a mom, you have a mom, or you know a mom, we know you'll want to celebrate moms on Mother's Day!

At The Menagerie, we celebrate Moms all year long, but we especially love helping you pick out the perfect gift for the mom in your life.

Here are some new items from china-maker Herend.  Each piece is hand-painted like they have been for centuries, making each one as unique as the mom in your life.

Add to her collection or start her a new one today!

Perfect for the new mom, Herend's "Just Hatched" comes in several colors.

Herend's "Mother & Baby" in gold perfectly embodies a mother's love.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lifestyle Thursdays: It's All About Color

We're not sure if you've noticed, but, these days, it's all about color.  In fashion, makeup, and, yes, even tabletop, color is everywhere.

We wrote a post about the color of the year - Emerald - and we've been having fun decorating with it in the shop.

Have you been going bold with color this spring?  In your home, on your face, or with your clothes?  We'd love to show you a few of our creations, so be sure to stop by soon!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: How did you say "I Do"?

If you walk into our shop in Jefferson Square, you'll usually find one of our long-time staff members sitting behind the jewelry cases chatting with one or two regular customers.  We talk about what's happening in Austin (which still feels like a small town despite our population growth!).  We talk about family - sharing pictures of grandkids and catching up on news of our kids who just left for college.  We talk about business, both local business and the state of the economy at large.  You name it, and we cover it.

Almost always, we talk about celebrations - birthdays, anniversaries, and, of course, weddings.  We love it when wide-eyed grooms bring back their new fiances and tell us all about how they proposed.  We love seeing the ring on her finger and watching her blush with joy.  We love talking wedding plans knowing that, all too soon, we'll be hearing about her baby shower.

We have such a happy business.  We'd love to share it with you!  Visit us today to learn more about how we can help you celebrate!

Tabletop Tuesday: Fun Pics from Tabletop Market 2013

Here are some insider pic's to the showrooms at Tabletop Market in New York (April 15-19).  Enjoy!

From the Royal Crown Derby showroom at New York's Tabletop Market 2013

New from Phillippe Deshoulieres, as seen at New York Tabletop 2013

Color on Display: a hot new trend in tabletop!

More from Royal Crown Derby, we love this East meets West display.

Pretty in Pink by Wedgwood

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Power of Paying Attention

No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.
-          Theodore Roosevelt

If anyone were to ask me, “what’s the key to your success as a salesperson, retail store owner, boss?”, I would answer: listening.  Or, better put, paying attention.

You’ve heard me say it before on this blog: I know my customers, and I’m privileged to do so.  I know their lifestyles, what their homes look like, their kids and parents.  I also know what they care about – the charities and causes and little idiosyncrasies that matter, really matter, to my friends and clients.

But more than just knowing, I care too.  At The Menagerie my marketing budget is 90% charitable giving.  I give to the causes that matter to me and to the causes that matter to my customers.  This isn’t an empty gesture or a cynical ploy.  It’s because I really understand President Roosevelt’s point.  Why should I expect loyalty from my customers if they don’t think I care about them?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if more of business in America operated this way?  In such a way that customers felt cared for and companies made it a point to support the things that matter to their customers.  There are many companies that do this (Whole Foods, founded and headquartered right here in Austin, comes to mind), and I applaud them for it.

I’m not saying we get it perfectly right at The Menagerie.  Of course we don’t; no one can.  But day in and day out, we keep trying.  And that’s part of this quote too.  That’s the part represented by that seemingly insignificant word ‘until’.  The ‘until’ tells us that we don’t stop trying to show we care until we, somehow, get the message across.

And so, I’m up on another Monday morning, getting ready for the week, and looking out for ways to listen, pay attention, and care for those around me.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Brunch: Au Lait!

What's brunch without a good cup of coffee in your hands?  This week we're featuring our favorite coffee mugs in addition to some innovative ways to serve the drink at your Sunday brunch:

New from Bernardaud, the Louvre Latte mug is perfect for enjoying a latte at home.

The Arcades coffee cup and saucer works well for a spring brunch or at holiday time.

"Afternoon Tea" by Anna Weatherley, hand-painted with three-dimensional designs, 
this coffee set could be a centerpiece in and of itself


Disclaimer: All coffees are for a 16 ounce cup of coffee and the milk should be steamed or foamed to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  Recipes taken from a Tina Samuels on Yahoo's blog.  
Caramel Macchiato 
Fill ¾ full with steamed milk
Pour in ¾ ounce of Vanilla Syrup
Pour in two shots espresso
Top with foamed milk to the rim
Drizzle caramel sauce on foamed milk
Fill with steamed milk
Pour in 2 shots espresso
Top with ¼ inch foamed milk
Fill with steamed milk to ¼ inch from the top
2 shots espresso
2oz mocha syrup
Top with whipped cream
Pour in foamy milk
2 shots espresso
Cafe Au Lait 
8 ounces regular coffee, not espresso
Add steamed milk to just below rim
Cafe Breve 
12 ounces steamed half and half
2 shots espresso
¼ inch of foamed milk
Cafe Americano 
12 ounces hot water
3 shots espresso

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sparkling Saturdays: Diamonds by the Yard

The "Diamonds by the Yard" necklace has become a jewelry wardrobe staple, rivaling the diamond stud earring for its versatility and ability to be worn everyday.

We love this gem of a statement because it can be filled with meaning.  For example, each diamond on the necklace could represent a member of your family or a significant event in your life.  

The beauty of it is, if you prefer, the significance of your necklace can be kept private, or as a secret shared between you and the person who gave it to you.

Whether you wear it everyday or only on special occasions, we at The Menagerie can help you find the perfect version of this classic necklace.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Friday Fun Days: The Sideways Cross

We know you've seen them - crosses turned on their side in necklaces, bracelets, even rings.  This design showed up in the jewelry world a few years ago, but it's only just now becoming more mainstream.  We couldn't be more thrilled because we love this fresh vision of a classic jewelry staple.

Here are just a few of the versions we currently have in our store:

Be sure to call or stop by if you want to learn more!

Lifestyle Thursdays: Establishing a Tradition

At The Menagerie we have a tradition of helping our customers find the perfect gift for their new Godchildren.  This is one of the many special occassions we are privileged to be a part of, and it's one of our favorites because our customers are choosing a gift that will last a lifetime.

It's all about tradition.  When a Godmother or Godfather picks out that first gift - for the first Christmas or first birthday or Christening - she or he is choosing to start a collection that she or he will build on each year.

Some of our favorite examples of collections for Godchildren include:

annual Christmas Tree ornaments

Spode Woodlands plates (for Godsons)

hunting knives

sterling silver flatware (Grand Baroque by Wallace, shown)  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wedding Wednesdays: The Manner of a Man

We always have a blast when grooms become as involved in picking out their registry items as the brides-to-be.  Thirty years ago most men wouldn't have been caught dead inside a china shop, culling through dish after dish to find the pattern that best reflects 'him'.  But my how times have changed.

Today, more often than not, men and women approach their union with equanimity.  Grooms certainly have an opinion, and, why shouldn't they!?!  They'll be living with the registry choices just as much as we brides do.  Some men have even taken traditional wedding registries to a whole new level.

Yes, we've all heard of tool registries and hunting registries and sporting goods registries.  But did you know that, at The Menagerie, our grooms will sometimes pick out their own set of china?  Or register for hand-crafted, American-made hunting knives?  

Here are just a few examples:

Big Gamer Hunting Knife, 9"

Spode Woodland Quail Dinner Plate

Like I said, we love it when the men make their opinions known!  It makes for a more interesting lift of gift choices, and, ultimately, for a happier marriage in the long run (in our humble opinions)!