Jack Frost Friday

5th Annual Shops at Skippack Square present
Sponsored by First Niagara Bank

When: Friday, December 4, 9 am – 9 pm
Game Registration: FREE
Parking: FREE
Call 610-584-0797

Play the game for your chance to win a fabulous gift basket valued at more than $500 from 8 participating Skippack merchants! To play, just pick up your game card any time on Friday, December 4th and follow the instructions. No purchase necessary, however, you can increase your chances to win by visiting all 8 shops, including Armario, Floral & Hardy, Head Over Heels, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Copper Partridge, Mira Salon, The Body Serene and Top Shelf Cigar. You may also present your game card at Justin’s Carriage House Restaurant and save 20% off their menu of great eats for lunch or dinner.


This annual event is a shoppers’ delight because it is fun to play the Jack Frost Friday game while you visit some of your favorite Skippack shops, as well as discovering new ones. At each location you will be warmly greeted and treated to some complimentary refreshments including assorted beverages and munchies. Each merchant will have special sale prices in effect just for Jack Frost Friday. Just present your Jack Frost Friday game card at each store you visit on Friday to have it validated and then leave it at the last participating store you visit during the 12 hour event. The winner of the prize basket will be notified to come and collect their winnings once all the game cards have been tallied and the computerized program randomly selects the winner of the game. It’s fun to play and fun to shop and dine in The Square at Skippack Village!

Play the game-JFF Post

Get Your Computer Ready for School: Tom’s Ten Techie Tips

Start the school year with a fresh, fast machine. Nothing is worse than a slow computer when you are finalizing a term paper ten minutes before it is due. Save yourself and your parents the heartache of a school year hampered by computer problems. Here 10 tips to help for a year free of viruses, slow-downs, and crashes.

1.  Make sure your computer’s operating system is up to date

If you have a Windows XP computer, don’t expect to keep it for the school year. Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP; this increases the likelihood a virus will destroy your computer just as you put the final touches on an important project. Most likely, you will need to buy a new computer. If your computer has enough processing power and memory, you may be able to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8; however, in most cases, upgrading is too costly to be worthwhile.

Other operating systems allow for updates. Microsoft issues operating system updates on a consistent basis. Often several updates are contained in a single update called a Service Pack. If you have Vista, make sure you have Service Pack 2 installed. if you have Windows 7, make sure you have Service Pack 1 installed. If you have the dreaded Windows 8, make sure you update to 8.1.

Back to School in Skippack2.  Make sure your virus protection software is up to date

Did you neglect to renew your subscription? Do it now.

3. Free up space on your hard drive

Did you download too many songs, books, or games over the summer? You may run out of hard drive space. Off load some of these files to external hard drives, an online service, CDs, or DVDs. But make sure you have a backup (see next tip).

4.  Have a backup system in place

If you accidentally delete your latest homework assignment or, worse yet, have a hard drive crash, a backup system can save your GPA and your sanity. Several types of backup systems are available, such as external hard drives, flash drives, CD/DVD, and online cloud services.

5.  Clean out dust

Does your computer sound like it is an airplane about to take off? It might be clogged with dust. A distinct revving up sound is a sign that the fans are working overtime to cool the computer. Clean out the dust from the inside out. This requires taking the cover off your computer and blowing the dust out. Be extremely careful, as you can damage your computer with one wrong move. Do not blow dust back into your computer; this could damage components on the inside. Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the dust. Vacuum cleaners create static, which can harm your computer.

6.  Clear your cookies and temporary Internet files

This is especially important if you did a lot of surfing on your computer this summer,

7. Make sure you have a valid Microsoft Office program for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Many people think they have the real Office program, but find out later they just have a trial version. Don’t wait until just before you have an assignment due to find out.

8.  Consider defragging your computer

Does your computer seem a little slow? You may need to defrag it. Over time, your computer places data (files, pictures, etc) all over your hard drive. Defragging optimizes where the data is stored. Most newer computers are set to defrag automatically, but this feature may be turned off on some computers.

How to turn defragging back on varies, depending on the operating system. To turn it back on in Windows Vista or 7, for example, go to the Start button, type “Disk Defragmenter” and hit Enter. In Vista, place a check in the checkbox “Run on schedule” and select a date and time that your computer will be on, but not in use. In Windows 7, instead of a checkbox called “Run on schedule”, you will click on the button labeled “Turn on schedule”. Select a date and time for the defrag to run.

9.  But don’t defrag your computer if you have a solid state hard drive

You may have a solid state hard drive; a hard drive with no moving parts. Think of a flash drive: A flash drive is an example of solid state memory. A solid state hard drive is like a flash drive for your computer. If you have a solid state hard drive, do not defrag it. Defragging will cause the drive to wear out more quickly.

10. If you don’t have a sold state hard drive, consider upgrading

If you want the best performance increase for your computer, and you have not yet upgraded to a solid state hard drive, consider doing so. You will need help from a professional computer repair service to install a new solid state hard drive and transfer all your data from your old hard drive. Costs range from $250 to $500 depending upon how big a drive you want. You’ll be glad if you take this step.

Wishing you a successful school year. May your computer, and the year ahead, be free of troubles.

Written by Tom Merrick, Owner of Tom’s Help Desk in Skippack

Tom Merrick

Skippack Spring in Full Swing

I am writing early in the morning, coming down from the high of a great Skippack weekend, trying to get back to a state where I can return to work calm and level headed. Spring in Skippack is something wonderful to experience, a time of fresh opportunities and beautiful beginnings.

The songs of birds start each morning, flowers poke their heads above the soil, and if one is of the mind to partake in a little romance, this is the season to “just do it.” Time to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, go out the door, and enjoy the village. Take a friend to one of our wonderful outdoor restaurants. Open your eyes to the beauty of Skippack Village.

There many wonderful events this time of year in Skippack. Still to come are: more First Fridays, Summertime Festival, the Summertime Concert Series, new productions at Playcrafters, and our wonderful July 4th Parade. But there are some more new beginnings, equally exciting, of which you may not be aware.

Farmer’s Market of Skippack

Jason manager Skippack Farmer's MarketThe Skippack Farmer’s Market is being revived for 2014 and now takes place each Friday, beginning at 4 pm and continuing until around 8:30 pm. The location is the same as last year, in the Farmer’s Market lot across from the WaWa, next to the mall that includes Chiaro’s Pizzeria, Skippack Pharmacy, and Lim’s Cleaners, near the corner of Route 73 and 113.

My friend Jason Brown, owner of the Love Hot Dog Company, a gourmet mobile food truck which provides weekday lunches in Skippack, is the new manager of our farmer’s market and has been working hard to create a vibrant and diverse market for 2014. He is bringing in exciting new vendors as well as some of the best vendors from last year’s market. Walking from booth to booth and learning from the vendors, and sometimes sampling their products, such as organic produce, natural honey, gelato, green smoothies, baked goods, sausages, fair trade coffee, and much more, is a treat.

Last week, Jason brought in some excellent live entertainment by a talented young musician named Tyler Hunsberger. Tyler sings and plays country music with a warm, down-to-earth feeling that is perfect for a Farmer’s Market. Tyler is planning to return for future farmer’s markets.

With my friend Jason at the helm, the Skippack Farmer’s Market has the leadership it needs. It will emerge as market worthy of Skippack Village, with that special mix of small town genuineness and creative spark that defines our local events.

Little Ducklings Baby Boutique

Little Ducklings Baby BoutiqueThis is also a time of exciting expansion for some of our well-established Skippack shops. The Wooden Duck has opened a new boutique for the youngest members of society: Little Ducklings Baby Boutique. Located inside the existing Wooden Duck Shop, the Little Ducklings Baby Boutique is open for business. It features unique clothing styles for newborns through 12 months, accessories, bedding sets, books, and one of a kind baby items not found in big box stores.

The first months of a child’s life are a magical time for parents and grandparents and the enchanting items available at Little Ducklings will make that time even more special and memorable; gifts worthy of the preciousness of new life.


Blossom new store SkippackSkippack’s landmark gardening shop, Floral & Hardy, has grown enough to spin off a new sister store called Blossom. which opened for business May 31. Blossom is an entirely separate entity housed in the same building as Yarnings, which is located at the bottom of the Floral & Hardy parking lot, at 4007 Skippack Pike S.

“It’s completely different than Floral & Hardy,” explains Lowell Steinberg, who owns both shops, “it offers indoor and outdoor home decor, with a garden theme, but no live plants.”

When you think about serious gardening, think Floral & Hardy. But if you want home decor or gifts with a green or floral flair, think Blossom.

Lowell explains that some gift and home decor items, such as jewelry, have moved from Floral & Hardy to the new shop. Floral & Hardy in turn has room for more items associated with hard-core gardening, such as bird feeders, garden tools, and garden equipment.

Shoppers who visit Blossom may see some familiar faces; Catherine Green, former co-owner of Hearts Desire, a beautiful Skippack shop now closed for business, and Christina from Floral & Hardy will be running the new shop.

Each time I walk to Floral & Hardy, I gain a new appreciation for the loveliness and serenity of the this Skippack landmark. If Blossom is anything like its mother store, it will indeed be beautiful.

Village Wine Cellar

Tara owner Village Wine CellarThis summer, the Village Wine Cellar will expand to become a full restaurant. Owner Tara Shiffert is adding a commercial kitchen and a brand new dining room where a tapas-inspired menu will be served.

“We hired an experienced chef who is very excited to work for us,” explains Tara. “He’s creating the menu himself. He gets an opportunity to use his creativity to the fullest. The kitchen is new so he gets to arrange it himself and work with all new appliances.”

The Village Wine Cellar will be serving lunch, dinner, and late night snacks. The menu will include beef, pork, fish, pasta dishes, and many vegetarian options. And, of course, all dishes pair perfectly with wine.

The Village Wine Cellar is located at 4038 Skippack Pike,in a home-like structure with a beautiful wraparound porch, also home to After5 Gifts, another store owned by Tara. Sitting on the porch and enjoying a light meal with a glass of wine as the evening falls is destined to become one of the great delights of summer in Skippack.

Final Words

Great events, expanding shops and restaurants, Skippack spring is in full swing: the only addition we need is you, your uniqueness, your personality. Come to Skippack this spring and summer and make it more special.

March Daydreams, in Skippack

As I much as I may preach living in the moment, this is a month when I may fail to practice it. During early March 2014 in Skippack, I cannot help looking forward to the season ahead. The sky has been gray for a long time, and many days it retains that color, and the weather may still turn cold.

March in Skippack seems like the quiet that takes place before a surprise birthday party. We transition from the calm of two post-holiday winter months, January and February, to the liveliness of the Skippack Events season which starts up in a few weeks, gathers steam in the spring, and remains in full force through the summer and fall.

Saint Patrick to the Rescue

The first event milestone, from my perspective, is St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on Monday, March 17. After this long winter, I think this holiday is just what the doctor ordered. I’ll celebrate at Justin’s Carriage House or The Still Bar & Grill. Or I may sneak off and see my buddy Gerry Kelly of GK Entertainment Mobile DJ Service entertain around the corner at DaVinci’s Pub in Collegeville. There are so many good places and good people in Skippack, sometimes it’s hard to choose.

Wherever I go, if anyone asks, I will tell them that William Butler Yeats is my favorite poet and that qualifies me as Irish, for the evening at least.

‘I am of Ireland,
And the Holy Land of Ireland,
And time runs on,’ cried she.
‘Come out of charity,
Come dance with me in Ireland.’

First Signs of Skippack Spring

Just three days later, Thursday, March 20, in the first official day of spring. And the next day, March 21, is the first day of Skippack’s Spring Fling, the kickoff event of the 2014 Skippack events season. Participating shops and restaurants offer special savings, refreshments, drawings and events. Keep an eye on this website for more information. And our fine clothing shops, such as the Wooden Duck and Head Over Heels, already have their spring fashions in stock.

With the arrival of St. Paddy, spring fashions, and Spring Fling, come dreams of sun, flowers, warm weather, and good times in the Village of Skippack. Before long, I will be sitting at an outdoor table, walking up and down our beautiful main street, enjoying live music outdoors, and all the special things that make life in Skippack wonderful. There will be auto shows, free outdoor concerts, First Fridays, craft shows, and more. I looking forward to seeing friends in town and the laughter and good times we will share.

But for now it is a reality I can daydream about, but not touch. For now, but not for much longer. And in my head I hear the words to an old song, There’ll Be Another Spring, written and sung by the great Peggy Lee.

Don’t cry, there’ll be another spring
I know our hearts will dance again
And sing again, so wait for me till then
Be glad the bird is on the wing
Another time to love
And laugh with me, just wait and see

Spring Fling Weekend in Skippack, March 21, 22, and 23

Punxsutawney Phil was right; winter weather is here to stay for a few more weeks. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for something to lift my spirits and get me out of the house. The good news is that the Merchants of Skippack (MOS) have that covered with their Spring Fling weekend on March 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. Come to town, shop, and dine in one of our fine restaurants. There are many store-sponsored events and discounts galore on both winter and spring merchandise. Mark your calendars and be part of the fun.

Town-wide Activities During Skippack’s Spring Fling

March 21, 22, 23, 2014 | 10AM to 5PM

The OBROS and The Unusual Suspects will play live on the Victorian Carriage Shops property from 1:00 PM  – 5:00 PM. Hosted by The Southwest Trading Post.

Floral and Hardy Will host a series of workshops on March 22: 10:00 AM Herb Workshop,12:00 Noon All About Roses and 2:00 PM Vegetable Gardening.  Contact 610-584-0709 to RSVP.

Southwest Trading Post (and others on the Victorian Carriage Shops property) are hosting Mad March Savings. Shoppers can Save 10% at any of the participating shops by showing a receipt from these participating shops.

Tom’s Help Desk: Stop in and pick up a $20 off a tune-up coupon (valid until April 30th).

Skippack Animal Hospital will host a Meet & Greet on Saturday March 22nd, 2014 at 3:30pm, at the Skippack Animal. ANGELINA WORMAN of Cornerstone Canine Services will be here to answer questions and give tips for training and behavior modification. She will be taking sign ups for upcoming classes and private sessions. A light snack and beverages will be provided. Bring the kids and your friendly dog!” Contact:  610-584-6300

URBANfusion is having a free PANDORA bracelet event on March 20th through the 23rd. Once you spend $100 or more on PANDORA jewelry, you receive a free sterling silver PANDORA clasp or bangle bracelet ($65 retail value).

Timeless Styles is offering a 25% discount on Art of Cloth apparel and Kirk’s Folly jewelry. 50% off all winter wear.

Wooden Duck:

  • March into the Wooden Duck and save $15 off all purchases over $75
  • Activities:
    • Stop by for a preview of our “Little Ducklings Baby Boutique”
    • Register for a drawing for a $100 Wooden Duck Gift Certificate
    • Complimentary wine and delightful appetizers

Merle Norman Cosmetics: It’s “Red Envelope” days on Friday & Saturday only. Visit our studio and make a purchase or try on a new product and receive your secret RED Envelope with a special deal tucked inside for you!  See store for details.

Artisans Nest: $20 of any purchase of $100 or more. Includes clearance items.


Sponsored By:
Sponsored by First Niagra

Jack Frost Friday

For the third year select shops of Skippack Village offer the shopping and strolling game ‘Jack Frost Friday’ to kick off the holiday season. Since its inception in 2011 hundreds of people have played Jack Frost Friday in search of snowflakes for their game card. This year one lucky winner or team of winners will go home with our over-sized gift basket valued at $880 worth of merchandise from the participating Jack Frost Friday shops.

Jack Frost Gift Basket

To play you simply enter one of the 11 Jack Frost Friday shops and receive your game card and your complimentary snowflake.  All 11 shops will happily reward you with one snowflake just for popping in and saying hello. As you and your friends shop for the holidays you’ll notice your Jack Frost Friday game card begin to fill with snowflakes. Frolic through all participating shops collecting snowflakes and soon your Jack Frost Friday game card will be ready to be turned in to any of the Jack Frost Friday shops.

Park your car in the Floral & Hardy lot and begin your snowflake quest. All 11 shops are within walking distance of each other, so park and leave your car behind. The game can be played anytime on December 6th from 9 am to 9 pm.  Play alone or with friends. The first Jack Frost Friday shop you visit will give you one game card per player or team of players. During the evening hours the Jack Frost Friday shops will also entertain you with holiday refreshments.

Jack Frost Game Board

Increase your chances to win by visiting all 11 shops, including Copper Partridge Uniquities,  Floral & Hardy, Head Over Heels, Heart’s Desire, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Mira Salon, Miss Riddle’s Candy Shop, Piccolo Gourmet, Sharp Unique Gifts For Men, The Body Serene and Tom’s Help Desk. First Niagara, our neighborhood bank, is our corporate sponsor this year. Be sure to thank them during your next visit.

first niagara logoAll that’s needed to play is the Jack Frost Friday game card, holiday shopping spirit, friends and family.

For more information about Jack Frost Friday please call 610-584-0797.