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As I mentioned earlier this week, I have been doing some back-to-school cleaning which has involved getting rid of clutter in my house. While engaging in this purging process, I also realized I was ready for a new look in our living room. So, I have been doing some re-decorating as well. My quest for a fresh new look has turned into a little bit of an obsession which has included multiple trips to Pottery Barn, Cost Plus, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and Ross.
What I've come to realize, is that this obsession has gone beyond re-decorating...it a displacement behavior to avoid the looming responsibilities that come with students returning back to school. I'm happy to say that I've gotten the shopping out of my system, and I have happily settled in to the fast-paced routine of having students on campus again. And, I get to come home to my "new" living room.
Shopping can be a very cathartic experience. Whether buying or just browsing, it's fun to see what's new, sample the latest and greatest, and find a few material things worth having in life. The little boutique shops, the giant department stores, and the megamalls all have their own unique capitalist charms. So where are the best shoes, the funkiest fashions, the kookiest housewares, grooviest music, and the best home decor?
1. Salvation Army/Goodwill/Achievement House. I am fortunate to have a pretty good thrift store a few blocks from my house, and I have found great stuff there. They are a non-profit and have several employees with disabilities, and I always feel good supporting their business. It's also cheap retail therapy.
2. Curio. I just discovered a cool new used clothing store in The Creamery in San Luis Obispo. It is a tiny store but they must have a great buyer because I recently found tons of cute stuff. And, their prices are reasonable - dresses and tops from $8-$12.
3. Gap. I have several favorite clothing stores, but Gap is probably where I buy most of my clothes. I also love their line of children's clothing. Other favorites are Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Express, and Old Navy.
4. Bed, Bath & Beyond. I receive tons of 20% off coupons in the mail for Bed, Bath & Beyond and almost always find what I'm looking for when I shop there. Plus, I have had excellent customer service. I registered with Bed, Bath & Beyond for our wedding, and they were a pleasure to work with. They always accept my returns without any questions, and often without a receipt.
5. Cost Plus Old World Market. I love the furniture, jewelry, and cards at Cost Plus World Market. I especially like to look and feel all their products. They have stuff with great colors and textures. They also have great prices and pretty good sales.
6. Pier 1. It was a sad day for San Luis Obispo (well, for me at least) when Pier 1 closed its doors. Luckily, we still have one in Paso Robles. Since I hardly ever get up there to shop, I don't get to Pier 1 very often any more. But, I still check out their styles online every so often. I bought my first piece of furniture (a little love seat for my first apartment) from Pier 1.
7. Pottery Barn. I'm a little bit of a Pottery Barn junky. I love the way they decorate and often will buy into the complete look of the spaces in their showrooms since decorating is not necessarily my strongest skill.
8. Target. I only visit Target about twice a year, but I have to admit that they have everything. That is probably why I hardly ever shop there. But, during my recent redecorating episode I found lots of great inexpensive items - including clothes, throw pillows, and a wide selection of infant and toddler wares. To ease my guilt, I tried to look for items made in the USA.
9. Ross. This is another store that just has everything under the sun and has great deals if you are willing to dig a little. I frequently shop at Ross for baby clothes, home decor (they have great picture frames, cutlery, and more), shoes (before I broke my foot!), and gifts.
10. Online. When all else fails, or when the baby is asleep and I need a little "me" time, I head to the online shopping sites. My favorites include iTunes (for music), Amazon (for books and just about anything else), Cooking.com (for housewares and kitchen items), Title Nine (for casual clothing and athletic wear), and my new favorite online shopping site is myShape (for business and casual clothing). When I shop online I always look for the items with free shipping or do a quick search for any promotional coupons.
Where do you like to shop?
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
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