Runway Kids: Spring & Summer 2016

A Seasonal Preview

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”Margaret Atwood


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 A Seasonal Preview put on by manufactures and their representatives and the many independent sellers provides retailers an insight into the trends we can expect to see emerge in stores over the coming months. As I have told you, retailers buy for specific seasons months and months ahead of time, so it is important that we know what trends will be. Some trends are even forecast two years in advance and it takes for the items to begin to emerge in store and online.

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In this post I wanted to share a few pages from the retail trend books to inspire you as you get ready to join LTD7 for the Re Opening of Grandma’s Bait on March 19th. Please plan to stop by. It will be a day of celebration and gladness as LTD 7 carries on the tradition of having a children’s shop in downtown Staunton.


So without further ado, and without much comment, I invite you to scroll through the blog today and enjoy the friendly and playful and yet classic primary colors, fruity motifs, clean geometrics and sport stripes. Feast your eyes on paradise, hot tropical jungles, pineapples, and exotic fruits. Whoever said that we should all eat a peck of dirt as a child, wasn’t too far off…but when it’s time to clean up, and also when we dress up, make sure to come to Grandma’s Bait for the latest in classic children’s clothing with a little pop of fun thrown in for good measure. (wink)


Have a fantastic week, everyone. Mark those calendars for March 19th!

Living the Dream,


P.S. Don’t forget to scroll through the RUNWAY KIDS below and checkout the Spring and Summer 2016 FASHION TRENDS!

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New York Spring/Summer 2016 Collections
New York, USA – September 11, 2015 – A model walks the runway at the Hadod Brands Kids Rock Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show during New York fashion week.










Frying Pans & Lipstick

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Empower means “give power or authority to.” When you educate children and believe in them, you empower those kids to go after their dreams.

Empower might seem like a new word, but it’s been around since the 17th century. Today, empower often refers to helping someone realize their abilities and potential, or their dreams, perhaps for the first time. For example, in the 1960s, when women felt like second-class citizens, the women’s movement empowered them to stand up and demand their equal rights.




a combination of circumstances favorable for the purpose;

a good chance or occasion, as to advance oneself

I have had many opportunities to be empowered along the path I have taken in retail over many years. My mentors and the people who have presented me with unlimited opportunities along the way have such a special place in my heart. There is no way to ever thank those who have graced my life with such avenues for the expression of my dreams. The only way I can do them justice is to pay it forward and try to be the example they were to me.

Today is Valentine’s Day. My heart is full of love and gratitude for those who have graced my path all along the way to LTD 7 and LTD 7.2 and now beyond as we prepare to open Grandma’s Bait.

Having Susan and Erin Blanton of Pufferbellies, Staunton, join us as a vendor at Grandma’s Bait is truly a match made in Heaven! We go together like baseball and apple pie; like biscuits and gravy; and…like frying pans and lipstick.

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Wait! Frying pans and lipstick? What in the world am I thinking?

I can explain.

Grandma’s Bait is not a toy store and Pufferbellies is not a children’s clothing store. We are like frying pans and lipstick-seperate but necessary for the buyers that are seeking children’s apparel,toys & gifts. We are keeping it in line with the vision Shirley and Bob had 34 years ago. Why change what works?  Pufferbellies is the expert when it comes to choosing the best in toys & books and novelities.  It is a win-win for you, and it is a win-win for us. In retail this pairing of two seperate entities is known as a vendor relationship, or loosely fashioned, a store-within-a-store concept. Think about Best Buy. They have representatives from phone companies inside their brick and mortar stores. They recognize the opportunity to allow customers to meet with cell phone representatives and set up their phones-in house. Similiar examples are the makeup counters in Macy’s that sell lipstick and the housewares department of the same store, where you can purchase a frying pan…everything is under one roof. The retailer wins as they can offer more; the customer wins as they are able to shop under one roof. The town’s economy wins as small businesses grow.

My successful relationships with my vendors at LTD 7.1 and LTD 7.2 brought me, in perfect timing and syncronicity, to Pufferbellies. We are women empowering women. We are like Valentine’s Day and candy. We are the yin to each other’s yang and we are overjoyed to be opeing the doors to Grandma’s Bait in March.

Pufferbellies will grow. LTD is growing. They will expand. We will expand. They will keep their flagship store, just as I will always have both LTD 7 stores. And our new “baby,” Grandma’s Bait, will grow and expand right alongside Pufferbellies. Two hands making one heart.

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It’s a match made in Heaven! It’s small business supporting small business. It is women empowering women. It is a venture that allows each of us to play to our strengths and to your needs.

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Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! Wishing you bushels of love and happiness and the chance along the way to realize your dreams.

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Living the Dream,





The next chapter in my dream…the possibilities are endless.

Grandma’s Bait, Since 1981, Staunton, Virginia

Re-opening March 2016

February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Although it is celebrated as a holiday of love today, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop. For eight hundred years prior to the establishment of Valentine’s Day, the Romans had practiced a pagan celebration in mid-February commemorating young men’s rite of passage.

In an effort to do away with the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius ordered a change in the festival. He ordered a box to contain the names of saints. Both men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the game was to emulate the ways of the saint they drew during the rest of the year.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this Valentine’s Day we could draw from a shoebox like the ones we hand decorated in kindergarten? What if we could draw out a message that allowed us to pursue our dream… for the next year? Just think about that! The possibilities are endless!


What if, for one year, we allowed ourselves to pursue our dream? What if, starting on February 14th, we gave ourselves permission to work on our dream? Baby steps that begin this week! Floaties on, we jump in the pool! I am getting excited just thinking about it!


My wish for you this Valentine’s Day is that you allow your dreams to take root.




Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!

Living the Dream,




Hitch-Itch, Grilled Cheese and Guatemalan Beachwear

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Do you own an RV? Do you dream of owning one? Do you like the pop up camping lifestyle? Would you like to travel in retirement? If you answered yes to any of these questions AND you are one of those who have a knack for sales, and a love for something that is marketable- have I got the job for you!

When I think about my dream (years and years ago) of opening a store and pursuing my passion, I can remember days where I knew that owning a retail brick and mortar store was too much, at the time. There were few if any Internet sales, so I worked in many a store…but it wasn’t where my heart was. These days many of you might wonder about or be considering internet sales as the way to go in pursuing your dreams. And then, there are those of us who love the open road and traveling, with an equal love of flea markets, antiquing, vintage goods and craft shows. How better to get there AND sell your wares than to invest in a pop up store…one that you can sleep in each night!

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Mobile stores are all over Europe and they are becoming more commonplace here in America. They allow store owners to take their “stores” (RVs) to various locations to maximize their exposure and attract diverse customers. You can take your store on the road using a bus, a van or an RV that is set up specifically to hold new or used clothing, vintage items or personal crafts, jewelry, art, or food. The possibilities are many if you stop and think about it. While the space is smaller than a typical brick-and-mortar location, you can still display your wares throughout the mobile store for shoppers to browse.

What if you have an historical interest that spans years of collectables and want to share it? Take it on the road! Museums that travel are popular and the choice of attending a show or event is up to you. The contacts you might meet and the friends you would get to know that share your passion would be incredible.

Do you plan (or hope) to retire at the beach? Why not supplement your income selling hot dogs and lemonade from your RV? Heck, why not sell cupcakes, baked goods, Italian ice or even ice cream! Can you imagine the fun you would have? RVs can be equipped with professional kitchens and the menu can change according to your whims.

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Flea marketing and selling in a caravan and the RV lifestyle are extremely compatible. You can sell whatever interests you. Many caravans take orders for the goods they sell, while others have everything on hand. You want to always plan on having something popular to sell that people can take home that same day.

You can sell a hodgepodge of used and new items, and personal crafts and wares, depending on what is available, where you are at, the type of show, and how long you expect to be there. Weather is always an issue for the mobile enthusiast who travels with her store. Your selection of merchandise can change from weekend to weekend, based on the weather, the area and your inventory. Some vendors specialize in one line; others travel and spend time looking for new wares to sell, and then set up their store. Still others make their goods while they travel and sell it at the same time-sometimes even unfinished!

Being mobile has several advantages when it comes to selling merchandise. Items that may not sell well in one area may sell great a couple of states over. A market may be saturated with a certain product, to the point where no one is selling much of it, and a dealer with a stockpile of it may be more than happy to trade it for stock you have that is new to his market. The barter system can be fun! When traveling, it is also possible to stop at wholesalers across the country to pick up merchandise, thus saving on shipping charges and allowing you to obtain items that are not available from a catalog. The RV mercantile of today is nothing like the past. Your life won’t suddenly become an episode of Little House on the Prairie…although sometimes I bet many of us long for that simplicity.

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Flea market vending while full-time RVing lets you choose how often you relocate and how many new markets you work. You can also choose the size of your booth display, making it suitable for any size rig. The amount of traveling you do can fluctuate with the time of year, the prosperity of the present market, and how severe your hitch-itch is at the moment. (Hitch-itch is a term used by full-timers to express the uneasiness of being in one place for too long a time, and the desire to hitch up the rig and move to somewhere new).

In the fall, for instance, you can do a series of farm harvest shows, which means you move every weekend. In the winter, you may find a place you like and settle in for a couple months. It is possible to sell at a different market every weekend throughout the year. It is also possible to stay at one market year around, although sales may be better if you move at least seasonally.

You have to consider costs when moving, balancing the cost of moving with anticipated sales increases. Your desire to be in one place or another plays a big part in how often you move, as well as to where you go. Overall, when flea marketing, vendors move an average of about every two or three weeks.

Several guide books and numerous publications are available to help locate markets. State tourism departments offer listings of events, many which include flea markets, craft sales, and antique shows in their programs. Dealers share information on markets and shows, often providing a lead to the next stop.

The equipment needed to operate a business in a caravan is as varied as the people who do it and the merchandise they sell. One flea market set-up is large and seems excessive to some, while others seem too small. Sometimes vendors use as many as 28 eight-foot tables, plus ground space. Some use a pick-up truck to tow a cargo trailer that carries merchandise. One’s home trailer can be pulled by a van, or a truck, transformed into a well-equipped workshop on wheels. In addition to an inventory that is both extensive and bulky, and tables, you need to have one or two canopy sets. On the other hand there are set-ups that include a single card table and a showcase full of jewelry or a box full of the seller’s own handcrafted works. The norm is somewhere in between the extremes.

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In addition to flea markets, other sales vending opportunities exist for RVers who want to spend time outdoors. Fairs and carnivals can be very lucrative. RV shows and rallies are natural places for RVers to sell their wares. Community days, fall days, special interest hobby shows, car shows, beach venues and numerous other special events usually have a sales area.

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Many thrive on the freedom and independence flea marketing and caravanning provides. However, while there are few rules, there are fewer guarantees. One weekend sales may be great; the next they may be completely rained out. Many vendors become family in much the same way RVers in clubs do. Many choose markets that allow RVers to stay on the grounds with their trailer (and pets). Although the facilities may not be the fanciest, overnight fees/campground costs are next to nothing.

An added bonus is that many venues are historical areas or tourism hot spots. This is an added bonus for non sale days. Obtaining merchandise, processing it for sale, setting up, selling, tearing down, packing, doing bookwork, etc. are all part of the job., but everyone needs a day off now and then and you can plan excursions on these days.

Selling in a mobile store is still a job. It can be a lot of hard work. But, it is a job that allows couples or friends to work together pursuing their personal interests while maintaining a lifestyle that is reasonably free of tight time schedules and arbitrary rules. It is a fun way for a single retiree to spend time with like-minded people. It is a way for “Mom” to get away on weekends and take the kids along.

If you are not quite ready for a brick and mortar store or consigning your wares, and online sales aren’t your cup of tea, another way to pursue your passion is with a caravan.

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What do you think? Could you become a store on wheels? Is this the lifestyle for you?

Where there is a will, there is a way. Never stop dreaming.

Living the Dream,



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No matter how busy we are, the fact remains that Halloween is just around the corner. There are costumes to make or purchase; there are treats to buy and the porch needs attention. Whether or not you celebrate Halloween, the pumpkin is a fall favorite in homes and I have put together some ravishing ideas for you to see and perhaps make with your Jack-O-Lantern.

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Interspersed between the wonderful and relatively simple picture ideas, I have also copied some incredible facts about the pumpkin. You will definitely be “in the know” at the dinner table if you share some of the ideas and facts found here.

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Got a snake bite or a few freckles? Pumpkin will clear that right up! Or at least that’s what people thought in the 18th century when pumpkin was often prescribed as a cure-all.

Pumpkin pie dates back to the colonial period, when colonists filled a pumpkin’s interior with milk, spices and honey. The concoction was then baked in hot ashes. Thank goodness the recipe has changed since then.

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Even though pumpkin carving is an iconic American tradition, turnips, potatoes, or beets were the original Jack-O-Lanterns. When immigrants from Ireland, England, and Scotland arrived in North America, they began using pumpkins instead. Native to the Americas, not only were pumpkins much larger, making it easier to carve, they were also readily available.

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A pumpkin is a pumpkin is a pumpkin, right? Not so! Pumpkins come in more than 50 varieties.

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While most recognize the classic Howden Field variety, you may not have heard of the Atlantic Giant—which grows to more than 100 pounds—the precious Little Boo, or the miniature Munchkin varieties.

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Think your Jack-O-Lantern is huge? You’ve got nothing on Scott Cully. In 2010, this determined farmer carved a pumpkin that weighed 1,810 pounds—over 500 pounds more than the average weight of an American Saddle Breed Horse!

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Though this tough fruit originated in Central America, today it grows on almost every continent, including super cold climates like Alaska. The only place you won’t find pumpkins? Antarctica.

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Pumpkins might seem substantial, but they’re actually 90 percent water. The world’s largest pumpkin on record weighs more than 2,000 pounds. That’s about 10 times more than the world’s largest watermelon, which weighs a measly 268 pounds.

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The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, was found in Mexico.

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The color of pumpkins is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them. The main nutrients are lutein and both alpha and beta carotene, the latter of which generates vitamin A in the body.

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The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon (πέπων), which is Greek for “large melon”, something round and large. The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pumpion and later American colonists changed that to the word that is used today, pumpkin.

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Pumpkin chunking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chunkers breed and grow special varieties of pumpkin under specialized conditions to improve the pumpkin’s chances of surviving a throw.

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In the Harry Potter novels, pumpkin juice, a favorite drink of the students of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is a recurring element.

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Starbucks turned this association into a marketing success with its pumpkin spice latte, introduced in 2003…and aren’t we glad?

Happy Pumpkin Hunting Everyone! Stop in LTD 7 soon and let us know which ideas you have tried.

Also, if you have any costume makeup you would like, my daughter, Erika, is booking appointments and there are still a few openings left.

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Living the Dream,


A Picture Perfect Day!

On behalf of LTD 7, our guest vendors, and Vector Industries,  we want to thank our loyal customers and all of our new customers for coming out yesterday to our Fall Market. We enjoyed seeing each and every one of you and we hope you had a wonderful time with us!

While it was a bit nippy early on, it turned into a picture perfect day, and my dad was behind his camera, unbeknownst to me, shooting the sights.  I always LOVE his candid shots and he did not disappoint. Thanks, Dad!

Here is what he saw…on a picture perfect LTD 7 Fall Market Day, 2015.

I hope you enjoy looking at them!

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Living the Dream,


Marsala, Marsala, Let Down Your Hair

When I think about the word, “Marsala,” images of wine and chicken and veal come to mind. If you have never tried Veal Marsala, or Chicken Marsala, look up a few recipes on Google and tempt your palette. I am not much of a wine drinker at all, but I have no qualms with cooking with it, as the alcohol reduces away, and it sure smells wonderful while it cooks.

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But I am not all about recipes today on the blog. Look back at the pictures and note the deep reds you can see. That is known as the color, Marsala, and it is the “color of the year,” as touted by Pantone. ( See my previous blog). Pantone is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer.

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Just this month Pantone introduced the Fall colors for 2015 and like I have done in previous blogs, I wanted to share the color combinations and selections with you. I find it is always nice to at least “know” what colors I am going to see cropping up in fashion, decor. weddings, jewelry, nail polish and the like.

Here it is; what do you think?

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I think that the wedding world was onto Pantone’s fall color combinations way before we were.

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“For most consumers today, color and style coordination in home interiors is a consistent goal, but the old rigid color rules have been replaced by more creative guidelines and options. Lifestyle patterns and tastes are consistently evolving and so are the resulting forecasts that are spawning new harmonies in both color and design.” You can add a touch of a new color, such as a pillow cover, or you can paint an accent wall. I love the teal chairs pictured here:

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The design pictured below is a little too much for my personal taste, but you can easily see all the many color combinations of Fall, 2015.

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For those of you who are not into such large changes, how about nail polish? I bet we will be seeing these fall colors cropping up in nails very soon. And lipstick…don’t forget lipstick in colors you may or may not have tried. Go ahead, you can do it!

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There are so many ways to pair Marsala with colors you likely have in your closet.

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Wow! I have given myself a lot to think about today. What changes can you handle? All, none or a smattering? I bet if you look around your home, you will see new ways to incorporate these earthy, colors into your lifestyle.

Here’s to Marsala! Let down your hair, make a change or two and have an absolutely awesome week, everyone.

Living the Dream,