One of the things I love about my hubby is that he knows and honors one of the easiest ways to make this mama happy: give me a little time alone in a gift shop. When we come across a darling boutique, I have a tendency to swoon; I slow to a saunter, I gaze at the goodies in the window, and I might drool a little. And usually, Brad offers to walk the kids around the block or occupy them in other ways so I can get my boutique fix. So sweet, right?
We recently spent an afternoon in Stillwater, MN – a charming, historic community nestled into the bluffs along the St. Croix River. When we came across mara-mi, the flagship store for one of my favorite stationery lines, I was swooning big-time. We all stepped inside the big and breezy warehouse-like space, filled to the brim with cheerful stationery, ribbon, cards and gifts. 
After surveying the scene and watching Tru climb all over the furniture {see the pics below, ahem}, Brad made a beeline for the riverfront with the boys so I could just browse. Alone. With no one asking for more juice or begging to go or grabbing at displays. Nowadays, even a few quiet minutes in Gift Shop Heaven is a total treat {I can’t decide if this is sweet or pathetic}. 
Loved this creative use of wall space to showcase all of mara-mi’s card stock color combinations. I bought some index cards in a sea breeze blue to cut and use for thank you notes in my Etsy orders. Oh, and some cute washi tape. 
There’s also a full-blown cafe at mara-mi – both modern and darling – with pastries, pizza, ice cream and more. Yummy food, yummy design. 
Before the guys left the store, Tru turned their front window seat into his own playground. He matched the decor, so he felt right at home. And, even though I loved all the goodies there, I think he was the cutest thing in the shop!
Got a quick way to brighten your day? I’d love to know what activity you can count on for a dose of delight!