Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...

KILLER BEES MAKE THE MOST DELICIOUS HONEY

...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?



bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

December 7, 2009

THE R&R REPORT: THE VILLAGE OF WAUWATOSA

It takes a village...

As many of you know, supporting locally owned businesses is something I'm passionate about, and The R&R Report was born out of my desire to champion the cause. Now that we're in the thick of the holiday season I thought it might be appropriate to address the topic of "shopping destinations". Americans seem hard-wired to shop at malls. We gotta do something about this!
Trust me. The average independent merchant did not benefit from Black Friday the way Wal-Mart did with it's "door busters". I understand that the shortage of time seemingly provides these places with a convenience factor, however...what if I offered you a convenient alternative?

The charming and historic Village of Wauwatosa is bursting with quaint shops and eateries- all condensed into a 4 block radius. Yes, you have to get out of your car and walk, but you will be delighted by the personal service and unique offerings. These shops carry merchandise you won't find at the malls, insuring the bearer of gifts something truly different than their mall shopping counterparts! May I present a mere sampling of what you'll find...

*A very special thanks to photographer extraordinaire Brian Cumming for jumping in and taking such stunning shots of the featured shopkeepers...you saved the day!

MAGNOLIA & CO. 1442 Underwood Avenue 414.431.6427
Hours of Operation: M-W 10:30-6pm / TH 10:30-7pm / SAT 10:30-5pm
With her background in Interior Design, Magnolia owner Kerry Tylke has a seriously keen eye for stylish home decor of every kind, from tabletop to furniture...and a deft buyers hand for excellent giftables. For the holidays the shop is well-stocked with perfect gifts for the ladies on your list, and delicious holiday candles. And of course if you're still in a quandry for the perfect gift for me, I'd be pleased as punch to find the Bruce Dorrow painting hanging over the bed- under my tree!
MAGPIE JEWLERY AND METALS STUDIO 7613 Harwood Avenue 414.771.8021

Hours of Operation: M-W 10-5pm / TH 10-6 / F 10-7pm / SAT 10-5pm
Artisan jeweler Christopher Stephens is a creative soul of the highest order. By combining precious metals with gorgeous and unusual stones in his unique custom settings, he sets himself apart from other jewelers with ease. Christopher and his talented posse of Magpie designers offer a price-point for every pocketbook...so let me create a scenario for you. You can run down to Zales and get that specially advertised pendant (which thousands of others will be giving/getting), or you can have something custom made from Magpie. Many say I love you with jewelery. What will you do?
JUXT HOME & BABY 1504 Underwood Avenue 414.257.1710
Hours of Operation: M 10-3pm / T-SAT 10-6pm / SUN 12-4

jux-ta-pose: v., to place side by side, unexpected combinations, colors, shapes, and ideas...
In terms of interiors design, I often speak of loving a good juxtaposition. After visiting Kate Wilfer's delightful shop, I can tell you that this sassy proprietor understands a good "juxt" and pulls it off brilliantly. Right down to the packaging, Kate has a splendid assortment of gifts for home and baby, with many handicrafts from local artisans and manufacturers- ALL YEAR LONG. Her quirky knack for mixing new with vintage is right up my alley, and is sure to delight you too!

THE LITTLE READ BOOK 7603 West State Street 414.774.2665
Hours of Operation: M-SAT 10-8pm / SUN 12-4pm

A Village retail pioneer, Linda Erion Burg and Co. are celebrating 25 years of bringing excellent customer service and the power of the printed word to Wauwatosa. The compact and cozy space amazingly manages to leave no genre of literature unaccounted for, and has a great selection of cards and novelties to finish off any gift purchase- including the ones for yourself! Can't find it? They'll order it for you! It's kinda like "Books without Borders"...haha. Stop by and see Linda and her friendly staff, tell them that Bee guy sent you!


ORO DI OLIVA 7606 Harwood Avenue 414.426.8066
Hours of Operation: M-F 10-6pm / SAT 10-5 / SUN 11-5

A couple of years ago, Josh Saia opened the doors to what is one of the coolest shops- not only to the Village, but in all of Wisconsin! Get your taste-buds ready... His hand crafted extra virgin olive oils include: Persian Lime, Roasted French Walnut, Tuscan, and Wild Mushroom Sage. The amazing balsamic vinegars? Pomegranate, Black Currant, White Peach, and Cinnamon Pear. All available right from the spigot for your sampling pleasure. His prices are excellent, and I'm pleased to tell you that Josh just opened a second location on Silver Spring in Whitefish Bay. Nothing makes my heart sing like a local business owner expanding! For the Foodie in your life ( and the Foodie in you!) Oro di Oliva is a year round must-stop.


FOOD COURT FATIGUE? It's a fact. Shopping makes you ravenous! The Village has great eats... Le Reve Pastiserrie & Cafe, Pizzeria Piccola, Firefly Urban Bar and Grill, Cafe Hollander... And SO many more!
OH! While you're in the neighborhood don't forget to stop by The Underwood Gallery and grab some of Pamela's fabulous blown glass ornaments, The Flower Lady for your wreath, and Vino 100 to pick up that bottle of wine you need for the party tonight- there's 100 great wines for $25 and under!
WHEW! And that really is just a sampling! Check out The Village website for a comprehensive directory, complete with links to their websites, and location information, visit:
Remember folks. WHEREVER you are in the world, there's a "Village of Wauwatosa" near you! Shop local, support your community, and watch the tide turn!

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Buzz Out!