Earth Explorers Toys in Zionsville is closing

In case you missed the announcement, Earth Explorers Toys in Zionsville is set to close very soon.  All toys in the store are now 40% off, Legos are 30% off.  They also have fixtures they are selling.

I wrote about this great toy store over the summer and how much fun my kiddos had taking their classes.  I will really miss this locally owned business.  Some of what was left in-store when I went today is shown in this post. They are located at 27 E. Pine Street in downtown Zionsville.




Support Local: Simply CeCe Nail Salon in Carmel

It has been awhile since I have highlighted one of my favorite local businesses.   I have been getting pedicures for about a year from Simply CeCe Nail Salon from Cecilia.    I cannot tell you how much I look forward to this visit.  My toes are always in such sad shape when I see her, and then when she is finished I have perfectly presentable toes again.  She is also a real sweetheart, too.  Her prices start at $22 for a basic manicure (there are lots of variations of manicures available) and up to $39 for her very popular soft feet pedicure.  There is also a $30 pedicure available, too.   You can also check out her reviews on the Vagaro web site.  Here is her FB page:  Simply CeCe Nail Salon.  Simply CeCe Nail Salon is located inside Sola Salons in Carmel and you can book an appointment here:  Vagaro Booking

726 Adams Street Studio #27 (Sola Salon)
Carmel,Indiana 46032
Phone: 317-590-0430


Local favorite: Earth Explorer Toys

It has been awhile since I have written about a local business favorite.  If you travel to downtown Zionsville, there are locally owned restaurants and businesses.    Nearby, there is Lions Park.  You can walk up some steps and be located in downtown Zionsville from Lions Park.  When you step into the stores, you will surely be greeted by a small business owner.  Earth Explorer Toys is not any different.  Outside, you will most likely see a tetherball or bubbles blowing outside.    I recently signed my kids up for some two hour programs they have had throughout the summer for kids aged 6-12 taught by a former Zionsville teacher.  They have had so much fun learning about Lego Chains, Chemistry, Art, Recycling & Reusing, Rocks & Fossils, and their absolute favorite so far has been creating their own board game!  One of the neatest parts of the board game class was that an actual board game inventor came to talk to the kids about inventing a game.  On a recent visit, I took some pictures of the inside of the store and some of the items they have for sale.   Being the bargain hunter I am, they even have a room dedicated to clearance items.  The pictures do not even come close to displaying everything they have available.  They have many unique toys, books, classes for kids, including a monthly Shopkins exchange.   Make sure to like their FB page:  Earth Explorer Toys and stop by and visit them soon!

Local favorite: Tilly’s Tea Room in Fishers for lunch, tea, and even fish and chips currently on Saturday evenings! Plus a giveaway!

It’s been awhile since I’ve highlighted a local favorite.   Shopping local helps support the communities we live in as many of the dollars spent at local shops end up back in the community in which we live.   I’d love to tell you about a favorite place of mine in Fishers, Indiana.

If you are local to the Indianapolis area, you need to check out one of my favorite local tea rooms for lunch!  P1070664  Nestled in the heart of downtown Fishers at 8745 E. 116th Street, you will find a quaint place to stop for tea, lunch, afternoon tea, or desserts called Tilly’s Tea Room.   Tilly’s also offers afternoon tea, or even fish and chips (only available on Saturday evenings currently from 5-9).  Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm.  12048487_10153587358776351_1231407470_n My friend and I both12096611_671615262940276_5419799698292361498_n had this yummy chicken salad.   Doesn’t the dessert look divine?  I am dying to try the fish and chips currently being offered on Saturday nights until the Indiana weather gets too cold!  12118843_669724953129307_6657918492835471723_n

Tilly’s can also host a number of events such as baby showers, bridal showers, children’s parties, or your other special occasion.  You can contact Tilly’s Tea Room at (317) 316-1121 or via their Facebook page:  Tilly’s Tea Room.  Tilly’s Tea Room has generously offered a $10 gift card to one reader of Economicalbear.  In order to be entered into the giveaway, you must like Tilly’s Tea Room on Facebook and Economicalbear on Facebook.  Please like this Facebook post on my page and share the post and say what you are wanting to try at Tilly’s for a chance to win the gift card.   Winner will be randomly drawn on Tuesday, October 20th!

Giveaway to my next favorite local small business: Drunk Arts and Crafts in Westfield

One new local favorite business I have discovered recently is Drunk Arts and Crafts in Westfield.  Beth Rutz, a local Westfield resident, mother, and former teacher uses her talents and skills to create personalized gifts.  If you’d like a personalized gift and are having a hard time coming up with something, she can also help come up with a gift.  Some of Beth’s work: 
2014-04-25 16.25.35 2014-06-14 13.23.28 2014-07-12 17.34.09 2014-09-19 21.20.26 2014-11-24 12.22.421 2015-01-02 13.44.19 2015-03-09 16.19.58 2015-03-23 09.23.311

Beth was nice enough to offer a giveaway of a $10 credit on her Facebook page once she reaches 715 Likes.  Make sure to check out her page and like it here:  Beth can also ship items so even if you are not local, you can still order from her.  I ordered one of the Chalkboard Birthday items and the digital image can be emailed for only $10!   There are many more items available so make sure to check out and Like her FB page.   Her items would make cute gifts for teacher gifts, Mother’s Day, or just for changing up the décor at your house.

Cyber Monday book a photo session with Lillybug Photography!

Today is Cyber Monday and that means lots of deals are to be found online!  I promised in the blog that I would highlight some of my favorite local small businesses.  One of my favorite local small businesses is Lillybug Photography.   Sarah recently took some family photos of our family.  She took some amazing pictures with my crazy family.  Not only did she take great pictures, she did great with my kiddos. She is having a Cyber Monday special and if you are local to the Indianapolis area and are wanting to have some family pictures taken, please check out Lillybug Photography.    She included the digital images with our family session, which many photographers charge extra for.  The web site is:   You can also view some of her work on her Facebook page:  Here are the details of the Cyber Monday special she is offering: 

The first three clients to book a family session will receive their session for only $100 and a FREE photo upgrade…that’s $85 in savings when paid in full.  Everyone else, take $25 off a family session and we will include a FREE photo upgrade of every photo edited in color and black and white…that’s $60 in savings when paid with a deposit.If you are expecting a little one, book our Watch Me Grow package and save $310! Payment plans are available! Expecting a little one and want to just book a Lifestyle Hospital newborn session? Book yours today and take $50 off with a paid deposit.  Special pricing is available until midnight tonight, 12/2/2013. You can always take advantage of our special pricing now and book later!  Email or call Sarah at 317.506.5045 to take advantage of our special pricing!

Jack and Jill’s Children’s Boutique Closing in Carmel and Zionsville

It is always so sad when a local company closes it’s doors.  I was saddened to see that Jack and Jill’s Clothing stores will be closing its doors in the Carmel location and also in the downtown Zionsville location.  Items are on sale and sales are final.  I’ll make sure to stop by one last time to support this local business.  This is the email I received:

To Our Valued Customers:

Jack & Jill Children’s Shoppes will be closing the Carmel and Zionsville locations.  Carmel will be closing the end of September and Zionsville will close the end of October.

All remaining merchandise will be moved to our Frankfort store. 

We will continue operation out of the Frankfort store and on

Most of our inventory is reduced to 50% off and will remain at sale prices.  Due to the liquidation all sales are final.

Fixtures at Carmel and Zionsville will also be available for purchase near the closing date of each store.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of the Carmel and Zionsville communities.  Your support has been greatly appreciated and makes closing very hard.

Please visit our Frankfort location at 5 N. Jackson Street (765-654-4660) where we will be open until further notice.

Closing my business has been a difficult decision.  I have come to know so many wonderful people at each location and hope that our paths cross in the future.


Carol Montgomery, Owner
Jack and Jill Children’s Shoppe      

Support Local: Bad Ass Bee Company-locally grown honey!

I try my best to shop local as often as I can.   I will try to highlight some of my favorite companies local to the central Indianapolis area on this blog.  This article highlights some of the reasons why I love to shop local and support local from web site:   

“Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It Means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”

– Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local.

Choosing greener alternatives is important for sustainability but where you shop in many cases is the most important factor.   Shopping locally is important for environmental sustainability as well as economic sustainability.  When you shop locally you are supporting members of your own community who are also vested in the heath and success of the community.  You are also travelling less and requiring less things to be shipped meaning less carbon, pollution and traffic congestion.


I was psyched when I found this graphic while perusing one of my favorite sites (Elephant Journal), which led me to Local First.  Local First an organization aimed at promoting sustainabile economic devolpment in the greater Grand Rapids, MI area.  There I found a list of 10 resons to shop local.  There are far more than just 10 but the internet likes lists and the number 10 so to start here is a version of their list I tweaked a bit…

1. Local Economic Stimulus.

When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base.

2. Non Profits Receive Greater Support.

Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners.

3. Unique Businesses Create Character & Prosperity

The unique character of your local community is defined in large part by the business that reside there, and that plays a big factor in your overall satisfaction with where you live and the value of you home and property.

4. Environmental Impact Is Reduced.

Small local business usually set up shop in the town/village center, providing a centralized variety that is much friendlier to a community’s walk score than out of town shopping malls.   This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

5. Most New Jobs Are Provided By Local Businesses.

Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally.  Plus the more jobs you have in your local community the less people are going to have to commute which means more time and less traffic and pollution.

6. Customer Service Is Better.

Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.  You are also going to see these people around town and they are less likely to blow you off or be rude becauses they have to face you day after day.

7. Local Business Owners Invest In Community.

Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.

8. Public Benefits Far Outweigh Public Costs.

Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores.

9. Competition And Diversity Leads To More Consumer Choices.

A marketplace of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

10. You Matter More

We talk a lot about exerting influence with your purchasing choices, or “voting with your wallet.”  It’s a fact that business respond to their customers but your values and desires are much more influential to you local community business than the large big box stores.

To read more about going local check out Ecolocalizer, a great site that provides news, ideas and inspiration to “Think globally, act locally.”

via Elephant Journal and Local First

Since last year, I have heard about honey and how local honey can help reduce allergies when you take in a small amount of honey from your area.  I thought it would be worth a shot, and I love having honey when my throat is sore or if my children have a cough I try to sneak it in to their diets somehow (honey should not be given to babies under 1 years of age as babies can get botulism). 

Last year I went to a local Farmer’s Market and bought some honey.   I was thrilled when I heard about bad ass bee company, locally made honey in Carmel, Indiana! 

For more information about the company, feel free to visit the web site:   Or feel free to visit their Facebook page:

The only size available currently is the 1.5 pound size which is $12 or 2 for $20.  Bad Ass Bee Company can ship for $5.  They will be harvesting again in mid to late August and can offer also the 1 pound size for $6 or the mason jar for $22 after they harvest again.   I loved the taste of this locally grown honey and when I told Katie, one of the owners that I was unable to pick up for a couple of weeks she said that her husband could deliver to me!  There is local delivery within a reasonable distance.   Local companies can offer so much more personal service, which is just another great reason to shop local!