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Thursday, April 5, 2012

From Easter to Out-of-Towners- Lots to Give in April


Easter Baskets are due by sunrise this Sunday, April 8th!  If you're planning to stop by the grocer, drugstore, or department store for the typical pre-packaged basket, there's still plenty of time.  If, however, you'd like to step it up a bit this year…
… and present something a little more elegant, you can easily create personalized “baskets” … but you'd better get a move on!  

Since I always think earth-friendly, I'll start with a handy, eco-vessel like a reusable shopping bag or tote.  Forget the plastic grass and eggs, and fill it with good quality chocolates and other tasty tidbits, like roasted nuts and fresh fruit, or tins of tea and coffee … or, how about a reusable travel mug filled with your famous homemade latte? 

Along with other “fun to get” items like lip balm, pretty hand soaps and towels, magazines or a book and bookmark, your version of the Easter Basket will be a much appreciated surprise for any kiddo, parent, neighbor, friend, or spouse. Here are a few of my favorite local artisans for local-fare items to fill your baskets:  

Cellar Door Chocolates- chocolates, multiple varieties of malted milk balls, gummy candies
Coco's Chocolate Cafe- chocolates, muffins, giant cream-filled cupcakes, cookies, chocolate-praline almonds
Schimpff's Confectionery- molded/decorated bunnies, lambs, dogs, ducks, cats, and dinosaurs! + their own homemade Modjeskas and red hots 
Muth's Candy- chocolate covered caramels, bourbon candies, turtles
Lexie's Trading Post- extensive line of family skin care, where a portion of the proceeds benefits "The Giggles Program" 
If there are folks in your life that are restaurant foodies, pop in a Louisville Originals gift card - a card honored by a good number of the original restaurants in our community.  Louisville, by the way, has been recognized by Zagat as No. 3 on its list of the eight best foodie getaways around the world. For more information, check it out online here

Time to talk Derby Gifts

Derby and Derby Festival guests will start pouring into town before we know it!  You'll be busy with a myriad of events and activities, not to mention getting the house and garden ready for visitors. Plan now, and make a list of local gift items that you'll want to have on hand.  Think about hostess gifts, as well as gifts for visitors … a gift box containing bath & body products from Lexie's Trading Post would be a lovely welcome gift for out-of-towners, one that they can use while visiting you. 

Of course, Kentucky Derby Festival pins, T-shirts, and hats (many of which have been designed by local folks) are great souvenir choices for family, friends, and guests and can be had for as little as $5.00 each for the pins (they have the added benefit of giving free 'entrance' to Derby Festival events). Finally, the Pegasus poster is especially elegant this year, and would make a perfect hostess gift (note cards are available also).  

I'd be remiss if I left bourbon balls out of the running … we have a lot of good bourbon balls in this town, but ones of note are those made from 9-year old KNOB Creek bourbon, distilled by Clermont's own Jim Beam.  The Old Louisville Candy Store's "Happy Balls" are delicious, and the proceeds are dedicated to the restoration of a one-of-a-kind Victorian home in Old Louisville. 
Lastly, I attended a luncheon featuring Mayor Greg Fischer last week, where I learned about an altruistic means of giving, called Give A Day.   Give A Day is the newest event to be added to the Derby Festival schedule. Set for the week before Thunder Over Louisville - April 15 - 22 - the Give A Day service projects will be the official start of the 2012 Derby Festival.  

The goal is for it to be the largest volunteer service-day effort in the world. "We want Louisville to be known as the most caring city, where neighbors help neighbors and people look after each other," Mayor Greg Fischer said. "We want as many people as possible in all areas of our city to get involved.

Contributed by Amy Holley, owner of HolleyWrap, Louisville's Premier Gifting Service.


  1. I love the basket above. Can you do the lotions and soaps with a Derby Theme for out of towners. I love the idea instead of the candy baskets. And local products to boot.

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  3. Amy is a genius, always uses local products and the presentation is amazing! Don't forget about corporate gifts too!


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