Happy Holidays!

I’m going to cut right to the chase with this post. Mainly so I can get right to gushing about a local business near and dear to my heart, but the fact that it’s close to Baby G’s bedtime at the end of a long stay-at-home mama’s day doesn’t hurt. Yes, I am still wearing yoga pants that I pulled on this morning and yes these things did happen today:

Mixed up a time on an appointment and managed to get the two of us out of the house in less than five minutes

Made coffee in my Keurig without a cup (after congratulating myself on not really needing coffee this morning)

Wore Baby G in her Bjorn more than I didn’t….and discovered all the things you really can’t do with a baby on your chest

But do you know what helps me get through these kind of days? Knowing that I get two mama breaks a week during the holiday season and those breaks will be spent at Orange Tree Imports. I love working part-time at this Madison institution.

For those of you who don’t know, Orange Tree Imports is a kitchen and gift store on Monroe Street. Carol “Orange” Schroeder started Orange Tree Imports as a Scandinavian furniture and gift store. When her husband, Dean, joined the business, they added the kitchen side of the business. 38 years later, they still run Madison’s favorite gift store. Orange has been a true leader in the Madison small business scene. I feel so privileged to work with them!

This Holiday season, Orange is generously hosting a blogging contest for area bloggers and this contest could mean a $100 gift card in your pocket. I am going to share with you my favorite finds at Orange Tree and if you go to the store and mention my blog, you can enter to win a $100 gift card and the blogger who brings in the most readers get a gift card as well. How cool is that?!

Let’s start out by taking a quick virtual tour……

candy section Orange Tree Imports

The candy section! I love all the old fashioned candy they keep in stock. Workers are allowed $1 worth of chocolate per shift and I have tried to sample all of them. I am particularly fond of the Peanut Butter Truffle Pigs. Yum!

local food section Orange Tree Imports

Here is where they keep their local and specialty foods. I always buy my local maple syrup and popcorn, as well as my olive oil from California.

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The gadget wall: I bet you didn’t think they made that many spatulas, did you? No matter how much time I spend there, I always find something new. If you go to Orange Tree Imports and need a gadget, ask for Angel. She is a gadget guru.

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Cookie Cutter rack: So many fun cookie cutters, perfect for holiday cookie baking. Some of my favorites: the state of Wisconsin, multiple sizes of angels and hearts, and a cow. Yes, a cow.

soap at Orange Tree Imports

Wall of soaps and lotions: Anyone who comes to my house knows that I only use this kind of soap. The Thymes soaps are so worth the money. My bottle has lasted for close to a year and I’m slightly compulsive about washing hands. Thymes is a Minnesota based company so it’s almost local.

wall of towles and aprons Orange Tree ImportsFabrics wall: This is nestled into the back corner of the store. They have aprons, mitts, and towels that all match. I love getting these as gifts….hint, hint.

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Storage shelves: Up on the second floor, you can find tons of storage containers, including these glass bottles. Great for infusing olive oils or making your own vanilla extract.

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Rack o pots: This is also on the second floor. Yes, they have All-Clad, but another brand that I really like is Swiss Diamond. I had never heard of it before working there and if I could stock my kitchen with dream equipment, I would have a full collection of Swiss Diamond.

Believe it or not, I have barely scratched the surface of this store. There is so much else to see and I hope I will see you there.

So, what would I buy with $100?

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Manatee and I only use cloth napkins, and it’s high time we got some new ones! I would buy 6 new cloth napkins at $3.50 a piece for a total of $21. I would also get a matching tablecloth for $19.95.

 

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When Orange and Dean hosted the bloggers at an event last week, Dean shared with us this season’s hottest buys. In addition to the cheese knife (a store favorite), the up and coming gadget is a silicone cover that can fit on a range of containers for a range of uses (freezer, fridge, on the stove). I would buy a silicone cover for $17.

swiss diamond pan orange tree imports

Manatee and I are always making omelettes so this Swiss Diamond frying pan for $30 would be just perfect and start my Swiss Diamond collection.

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I love store my oils and vinegars in fancy bottles. I would buy two bottles at $7 each to round out my $100 (and pay a $1 out of pocket).

There’s so much at Orange Tree that I didn’t even mention: glass ware, wine gifts, holiday ornaments (of everything you can imagine), a sticker wall, kids stuff, cookbooks, bake ware, porcelain pieces, a wall of coffee mugs, tea kettles, there really is something for everyone there.

This is such a great local business and I really hope you can come in to see for yourself.

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Now, it’s your turn to go shopping at Orange Tree!

Remember, stop in to Orange Tree Imports before December 15 and tell them that Badger Girl, aka Kimberly, sent you. And keep an eye out for me, I would love to chat and give you a personal tour if I am there.

Happy holidays. Tell me what your favorite kitchen gadget is, or something from your wish list this holiday season.

See you on Monroe Street!

 

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