Sunday, November 18, 2012

Small Business Saturday

So everybody knows about Black Friday (it doesn't sound very fun to me, but I guess you can get some good deals sometimes).  I recently came across a new marketing campaign for Small Business Saturday, to try and get more people to do holiday shopping at local small businesses.  Even though I know it's mostly just marketing hype to get people to shop, period, sometimes you want to shop locally.  So here's a list of Albuquerque small businesses that I enjoy, in case you want to check them out sometime, too.

I don't know if they are doing anything for Small Business Saturday, but they will be open, and you can even shop online at some of them, too.  They probably don't have the absolute lowest prices, but if you want something unique or specific, these are great places to shop!

Out of the Blue (Rio Grande Blvd north of Menaul)- wonderful toys that encourage creativity and thinking (and are also fun). Free gift wrapping, and kids can play with trains while you shop, and they put your purchase in a discreet black bag for ninja shopping.
Page 1 Books (Juan Tabo south of Montgomery) - new, used, and vintage books in all genres.  Personally, I don't mind if gifts are used (though I know some people would be aghast at receiving a used gift).  They also have lots of cool reading accessories (bookmarks, covers, lights, etc) and local books.
Alamosa Books (Paseo del Norte west of Ventura) - great selection of children's books, especially activity books, and also some really cool children's art supplies and toys.
The Kickstand (Menaul west of Juan Tabo) - great bike store and repair shop. Their repair prices for minor repairs are especially reasonable and well-performed.
Active Imagination (Juan Tabo south of Montgomery) - game store that has board games and pen-and-paper games and war games.  If you want some dice, or the latest Munchkin set, or an obscure German board game, this is a great place to go.
Bricks and Minifigs (San Mateo north of Osuna) - If you know you want LEGOs, they have lots.  New and used, and have some pieces and packs you can't find anywhere else.
Now We're Cooking (Wyoming north of Academy) - If you're shopping for someone who loves to cook, you will find something they could use here.
Sakura (Wyoming south of Montgomery) - This is a restaurant, not a store, but it's one of our favorites.  Great southeast Asian food (especially the laab), and the Japanese food is good, too.
Consignment Interiors (Juan Tabo & Eubank) - Secondhand furniture and art in great condition and at reasonable prices.  

What are your favorite local businesses?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sleeping with the Fishes

I was so excited to spend the night at the Aquarium with the boys at one of their sleepovers.  There was a scavenger hunt that even stumped us on a few questions, despite the fact that when the boys were preschoolers we practically lived at the aquarium, and a jeopardy game that everyone was excited about.  They had fun seeing the rare and exotic (and grotesque?) hagfish, petting rays and sharks, and finally, bedding down next to the lobster tank.

But our favorite thing of all was in the morning, when we got to go behind-the-scenes to see the aquarium kitchen, where they prepare food for all the aquarium animals, and look down into the tanks from where the aquarists feed and take care of the fish.  SO COOL!
Looks like a high-tech secret lab!
We barely managed to refrain from petting the sea turtle

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This is Halloween

This is the first year that nobody whined about being tired while trick-or-treating.  This is also the first year that the majority of the people in the house can put on most of their own costume by themselves.

We went to the neighborhood Halloween party on the Saturday before Halloween, and it was really fun.  Everyone played games and ate hot dogs and ran around and wanted to be in the costume contest, and then we all went home tired and happy (though we did wish, not for the first or the last time, that there was a bathroom at the park).
Indiana Jones

our little pumpkin

Not just any vampire; LORD vampire


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