For the Love of Shopping

Isn’t it great to visit a brand new store?


The merchandise is fresh and sparkling, not dog-eared and shopworn. The shelves are organized and there’s plenty of stock, so it’s usually a breeze to find your size, or favorite color, or preferred brand!

Whether it’s a new supermarket, bookshop, or clothing store – there’s something exciting and just plain fun about being among the first shoppers to stroll the aisles.

Now, if the store has items that you are particularly fond of (in my case, craft supplies!), the party factor goes up another notch.


balloonsRecently, a new craft supplies store opened here. (Up until now, Michael’s was our only choice.)

After hearing about the new store, I started to watch the newspapers for an opening day announcement. When it arrived, I clipped a few coupons and off I went to explore. Sir Beads, sweet guy that he is, patiently came along – even though shopping for craft supplies is not very high on his list of fun things to do. He prefers a hardware store. I guess you could say that craft supplies are to Crystal as building supplies/tools are to Sir Beads.


Well, I can report that the new store had an interesting selection, including things I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else! Some of them were on sale that day – so I was a happy camper!

Sir Beads, however, seemed much more excited about the lunch we had afterwards. 😉




I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Click the envelope to leave a comment or to read what the other kids are saying! 😀

Paper and Punches and Bling – Oh My!

Sometimes I think it’s a good thing that I am not wealthy. 😉

If I were – I’d be missing out on the pure joy I feel whenever I find something I love at a *giveaway* price.


Take the other day, for example. I was out doing errands and, to my delight, I kept bumping into bargains at every turn!

Like this rainbow of precut cardstock for half-price – perfect for paper tags!


And then this trio of high quality paper punches at $3.99 each. Be still my heart – they usually retail for as much as $20 each!


And finally, some bling-y embellishments marked 70% off! These are lovely to use on greeting cards, tags, gift wrap, and all kinds of things.


Of course, I had to try out the punches as soon as I got home!


There’s lots of potential for holiday fun with the treasures I gathered and the fact that it didn’t hurt my budget to acquire them is really the icing on the cake.

Finding things you enjoy for a fraction of their regular prices…
It doesn’t get much better than that! 😀


What about you, Kids? Do you love a bargain?
Tell me about a good deal you found!



Books Bargains Bliss

Do you love a bookstore?

I do.

I’ve been known to forget where I am and lose all sense of time in a bookstore. If my family should ever worry that I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth . . . a search party will probably find me contentedly perusing the shelves of a bookstore.

Sadly, several in our area have recently closed and it breaks my heart. Sure, there’s amazon and all the other online venues, but to me that’s not enough. I love the experience of browsing – in person.

Just before the holidays, when the Borders Bookstores around here were in their final weeks, there were “clearance” sales. At first, they were nothing to get excited about – 10% off, some at 25% off. Frankly, those are everyday prices on amazon so I wasn’t too tempted to go on a wild shopping spree. The clerks did say that the prices would drop further as time went by, so I made a point of visiting the store a few weeks later but there seemed to be very little left. I was, however, happy to scoop (at 60% off) a couple of sentimental favorites from my youth.

(These were among the books I borrowed from the library on the very day my mother first allowed me to travel there by bus – solo!)

Anyway, I figured I was lucky to get such a good deal on the “Little House” books, and then promptly put the Borders Bookstore and its closing sale out of my mind for good, or so I thought. As fate would have it, a couple of weeks later, we needed something at the mall. When we strolled past the Borders, we saw huge signs that read: “Last Day!”

I was actually surprised to see the store still open – but obviously it would only be for a few more hours. We went inside. The shelves were incredibly sparse. In fact, most were totally empty. The employees had consolidated all of the stock to the front of the store. The titles, subjects, and categories were in no particular order, but everything was 95% off!!!

Would there be anything in that pile of remainders that was worth taking – even for pennies? Well, you just know I was determined to find out. 😉 It was sort of a treasure hunt with a lot of clunkers in the mix. I persevered and claimed 7 for my own – some of which were unfamiliar but seemed promising during a quick flip-through.

They’re certainly an eclectic mix! (One has been tucked away as a surprise gift for a friend so it’s not in the pile.) Currently, I’m in the middle of the top one, “Waiting” and it’s quite charming. I just love having this little stack waiting for me whenever I’m ready. And the price was so incredibly good! You may be wondering about the grand total spent once the discount was applied???

(click this photo for a slightly larger view)

Can you believe it? I left with an armful of books for $7.76!

I was smiling for the rest of the day. 😀

Don’t you just love a bargain?



The Bus Leaves Any Minute

Happy Wednesday, Kids!!!
It’s been almost a month since the holiday festivities, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a little retail therapy. 😉

Yep, you guessed it – we’re going shopping!!!!

The bus is all warmed-up, the snacks are packed, and guess who’s driving?

Sir Beads has volunteered!!! 😀

He says he’ll make as many stops as we like, and he doesn’t care what time we get back.

So, is everyone here? Well then, All Aboard.

First stop – etsy. . . .


Upcycled Cowl Scarf

Isn’t this fabulous? Can you believe it’s made with recycled t-shirts? So very chic and the silver pin is the perfect finishing touch. From modernshadesofgrey


Teeny Tiny Crocheted Turtle

Oh my goodness! I am a crocheter but this little fella is tiny! It must take incredible talent and patience to create him. Talk about a miniature work of art! From pasubio9


Recycled Paper Beads

These very cool beads are made from a vintage book entitled “Un tribut a la race acadienne” written in 1928 by a Montreal Canadian. Each bead has the beautiful patina of vintage paper. They’d be wonderful mixed with some silver beads in a chunky-style bracelet! How fun to create art and save the earth – all at the same time! From 42things


Baby Ballet Booties

Talk about adorable! These tiny “ballet slippers” are crocheted using 100% organic un-dyed cotton yarn. Available in 4 sizes: Preemie-Newborn up to 9 months. Treat a little ballerina you know! From JennOzkan


Chocolate Cake Made of Felt!

One look at this miniature (6-inch!) cake and I’m feeling hungry. Beautifully created from felt, this playful Chocolate Icing Tea Party Cake has 4 segments – decorated with lots of Strawberries, Wafer Sticks and Creams. Great item for those afternoon tea parties – and no calories! 🙂 From onenonly88

Oh-oh! We’ve been gone for hours. I suppose we should think about heading back to the bus. Did anyone remember to pick up a sandwich for Sir Beads? He’s probably starving by now. Ah, no worries! I see he has a half empty pizza box there, near the driver’s seat. 😉


Hope you had fun! I know I had a ball spending time with all of you!

Be sure to visit the shops of the amazing etsy artists featured here today.



Born to Shop

Did you inherit the shopping gene? I did and I’ve passed it on to my daughters. We love a good bargain . . . but mostly we just love to shop!

Today, I thought I’d list a few of my favorite places for online shopping. I’d be delighted if you’d share yours as well!

(Maybe next week, we can talk about our favorite stores to visit in person!)

OK then, I’ll start! 🙂
(Add yours to the comments below and don’t worry if we have duplicates. It will be fun to see what’s popular!)

Some of my favorite online shopping sites:

Although they also have local stores, I love to shop on their website and send chocolate gifts to friends and family. It’s a luxury that most of my recipients would never buy for themselves and so they are especially delighted to receive it. I end up spending about the same as I would to give them a “dust collector” that they really don’t need! In addition to chocolates, I often send Godiva’s to-die-for cookies and cocoa, too! Orders are always carefully packed to arrive in great condition.

Stonewall Kitchen
Fabulous specialty foods, condiments, jams, syrups, and gifts for home and garden. They carry a full line of the Barefoot Contessa’s products, too.

Everyone’s favorite website for books, music, and video. I will often “shop” for books and DVDs at local stores – and then buy them from amazon because their prices are usually much less!

Vermont Country Store
They call themselves “Purveyors of the Practical & Hard-to-Find” and they sure are. From kitchen gadgets to household helpers, to summer-weight bedspreads, to brand names from the past, it’s a fun place to browse.

For an amazing selection of beautiful handmade gifts, you can’t beat the artists on etsy.

Your turn! 🙂