A Smile Made My Day!

My day didn’t go as planned… it was so much better than I could have dreamed.

I awoke to a text from a friend informing me of a craft show being held in the quaint seaside town of Manasquan, NJ. Oh goodie! A craft show! I love craft shows. I hardly ever purchase anything, I just enjoy talking to the crafters about their product, the process, and if they are doing well.

The show was being held in Squan Plaza… which to my dismay Google Maps had no clue how to direct me. I found it any way… you can’t keep me away from a good craft show! As I drove up to the plaza, all the signs read CAR SHOW. Ugh! Was my friend crazy? A car show? Really? How could someone confuse the two? Well… it turned out they were correct… it was a Craft Show AND a Car Show, all rolled into one. Something for the men while the women shopped. Perfect.

As it turned out, my friend actually had a car in the show. His cherry red, immaculately cared for and well loved 2013 Shelby Mustang.

Tom and car


We were standing near the car when an adorable boy, about 10 years old and his mom timidly walked up to take a closer look. You could tell he wanted to ask something… so I leaned toward him and inquired, “Do you have a question”? Shyly he looked up to my friend and quietly asked, “Can you start it?” To which my friend replied, “I don’t usually start it up, but for YOU I will.” As the boy stood back a bit, my friend jumped in the driver’s seat, placed the key in the ignition and turned it over. The car rumbled to life!!!

WOW! That little boy’s face lit up brighter than the annual christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. I looked over at his smiling face, then looked over to my friend… smiling just as wide. In that special moment a little boy and a grown man who didn’t know each other, bonded over the sound of a loud engine. Ah…. boys and their toys… making a connection through the generations.

Oh how I wish I had my camera out and poised to take the shot so I could show you that moment. Silly me KNEW the boy would have a dazzling smile… who wouldn’t??? However I too was caught up in the moment. I will never forget it.

An adorable little boy with a huge genuine smile… made my day!!!

Times like this remind me we all impact each other in one way or another. A positive encounter with a stranger can change the way you look at life. So go on out in the world, and make someone’s day!!!

New Addiction! Treats by Eileen

You might remember last year I blogged about a local coffee roaster… ROOK COFFEE. It is still my #1 supplier of caffeine. I have graduated to a more intense flavor, substituting my safe choice of the Honduras bean to a more robust one from Guatemala. But now I have an AWESOME snack to go with my cup of joe! Granola… Vanilla Almond Gourmet Granola to be exact… made right here in Ocean, NJ by TREATS by EILEEN.

Treats by Eileen


I never would have discovered this delicious treat had I not made the decision to get out of the house for a change of scenery. I hit up Barnes and Noble… to read their magazines :-0… when a woman came in frantically looking for this month’s copy of Food and Wine. Apparently a friend of hers received her copy in the mail and reported there was a BLURB  printed about Treats by Eileen. She wanted to read it for herself… and buy a bunch of copies… because SHE was Eileen… as is in ‘Treats by’.

Sadly the store still had last month’s issue on the shelf, but that didn’t stop us from thumbing through the issue any way ‘just in case’. Yes, I said ‘us’. Spurred on by her excitement I grabbed a copy and helped her look. It’s alway more gratifying to have someone to share your good news with… even a stranger.

I remember when the sign went up on the building of my very first bookstore… Chicklet Books. I was bursting with excitement… and there was no one to share the experience with. It was a let down of sorts… but just for a brief moment. So now… whenever I see an excited someone I step up and help celebrate the moment. THIS was one of those moments.

We sat on a bench in the magazine section and talked for a bit. Eileen shared her story about her Gourmet Granola. Her passion for her product and business just bubbled out of her. She’s been producing granola for over 30 years and is STILL excited about it. As she talked about the wholesome all natural ingredients, the soft feel against the palate when you bite down, the fact that she uses no sugar or honey… it made me hungry. When she mentioned her granola clumps and is more of a ‘cookie’ shape I perked up. Did she say COOKIE??? Now you’re talkin’… I could use a cookie right about now.

As we parted ways, I decided I just HAD to try this fantasy granola. I was planning on treating myself to a cup of ROOK coffee any way… and thought some granola would be a nice side treat.

Treats by Eileen is sold locally in Delicious Orchards, Sickles Market, and all of the Dean’s Markets… as well as other locations. Dean’s was close to my home… so off I headed first to Rook’s then onto Dean’s. I couldn’t WAIT to get home and taste what all the fuss was about.

OK… Eileen was right. Not only does the granola taste great… but the soft crunch is what makes this granola superior! I purchased the Vanilla Almond flavor and was happy with my choice. Roasted almonds mixed with stone ground whole wheat flour, oats, and a touch of maple syrup and vanilla… ahhhh… PERFECT!

Not only am I ‘keeping it local’, but healthy and natural too!!! Go me!!!

AND… for those of you not living locally… don’t worry… you can order online too. Go to their site… Treats by Eileen.

OH… and I just found out… if you are in a rush for your caffeine fix and don’t have the time to stand in line for the ’45 second pour’ of delicious coffee… you can TEXT your order and it will be ready when you arrive!!! To order their coffee online and get the text info check out their website… Rook Coffee.

While you’re at it… grab a book to read from The Paperback Exchange… and you are all set!

Have a wonderful day!



Donation Quilting. I Need HELP!

A few years ago a friend insisted my quilting ability was a marketable skill. I have since realized very few people are willing to pay the going price for a quality quilt. Each lap sized quilt takes on average 50 hours to complete and costs about $85.00 in materials and supplies. If I charged a fair hourly rate of $20 an hour… I would have to charge just over $1,000!! It makes my stomach ache just thinking about it. Yes, my quilts are worth it… after all they are true family heirlooms, but I found I gain more pleasure in quilting for charity.

My Grandson's Forever Quilt!

My Grandson’s Forever Quilt!


Over the past two years I have mailed out over a dozen quilts anonymously to families hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Using fabric from my personal ‘stash’ kept the costs down. However, at my own expense I purchased the batting and backing fabric. Just because I was donating these quilts, I didn’t skimp on quality. I still insisted on using the best of everything.

My goal this year is to complete 4 quilts for the QUILTS OF VALOR program. All donated quilts are given to a wounded warrior to be wrapped in love and warmth. In addition, I would also like to contribute 4 quilted wall art pieces to THE HOUSE QUILT PROJECT presented to returning wounded warriors. Both causes are calling my name!

I anticipate the QUILTS OF VALOR donations to cost approximately $100 each in materials and shipping and the HOUSE QUILT PROJECT donations to cost about $30 each. Is there any chance you (or someone you know) might be willing to help defray these costs?? I would be forever grateful!!! Please contact me for further details. Anyone donating $100 or more will get their name added to the quilt label and journal that goes along with the quilt.

Donations can be made through PayPal (use the email address of deb(at)uniqueandnovel(dot)com), or by sending a check or money order to my home. Please contact me for information. Oh, and YES… you can donate ANONYMOUSLY in cash (believe it or not I’ve had this happen once).

If for some extraordinary reason I receive donations above what is needed to complete these 4 quilts and 4 wall hangings… I promise to use the funds to continue on and make more quilts for donation.

All donations and progress will be notated on my blog in a monthly post. I intend to make these items no matter what! With help, without help… no matter.

If you would like to help design, cut, sew or do any ‘hands on’ work, please contact me via email: deb(at)debhathaway(dot)com. I will send you my timetable for you to tell me when you are available. *This is a perfect opportunity for those of you wanting private quilting lessons… For FREE!! If you don’t live near me, it is still possible to help by sending items via snail mail, however YOU will be responsible for all postage to and from me.

If you would like to donate batting or backing… please contact me FIRST. I am very particular about the brands and quality I use. FYI… I am frugal in my purchases and LOVE using coupons, however I have PLENTY!

I can not accept donations of fabric at this time. I only use top quality quilter’s cotton from reputable independently owned quilt shops. Besides, until I design a pattern, I have no idea how much of which fabrics I will need. But thanks for thinking of me!

If you really want to help, but don’t have the time… feel free to buy me a cup of coffee to keep me going!!! My favorite ROOK coffee costs $2.35… I drink a regular size Honduras with cream and sugar… oh and a chocolate croissant or a bagel is a nice touch 🙂

Please check out the sites for QUILTS OF VALOR and THE HOUSE QUILT PROJECT and see why I’m obsessed!!

If you have any questions, please comment below or send me an email!

Thanks in advance for your support!