This is Why We Love to Shop

The Crusty Bastards are probably going to mock us endlessly for this one, like they did when Janaan bought some rather expensive balloons that weren't exactly a necessity. (In her defense, they are really cool balloons and we WILL use them someday!)

When I look back at my life some of my happiest memories are from shopping with Mom and Janaan. Certain trips stand out for either the EPIC hauls (we have pictures from our most amazing days on Canal Street in New York and at the Orange County marketplace) or our EPIC laughs (one time we were at the Container Store in Dallas and Janaan cracked a joke about Mom's arthritis in her hands and we were all laughing so hard that the cashier told us to shut up and calm down...come to think of it, maybe she had arthritis and didn't think we were funny).

ANYHOO, last Thursday night at Big Lots is in my top 5 most EPIC hauls ever. It was a fantastical, fabulous, fun night that for me was amplified by the fact that I had spent the night before gambling in the lovely lovely ARIA Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas and was living on about two hours of sleep. I never thought the words "lovely" and "casino" would work well together, but the ARIA is special. Alas, that is the topic of another post.

So, we hadn't seen each other in a few days and we met up for dinner. After dinner mom suggested that we pop-in to Big Lots. "What the hell? Let's do a pop-in." That's pretty much our motto for life.

So we cruised up and down the aisles of Big Lots for a while, gathering up sock monkeys and gigantic silver Christmas bows and musing about whether or not the pink tinsel Christmas tree would be there when the holiday stuff hit 50% off. We were rounding the corner of our last aisle when I heard Janaan squeal.

Sidebar: If we haven't mentioned it before, Janaan is the absolute QUEEN of spotting things. You never want to go shopping without her. You'll miss everything good. She has a gift, I tell you.

Anyway, Janaan had spied a whole rack of special edition Christian Lacroix Evian bottles. She had just read about them on a blog and there they were for $1 a bottle.

OOHHHH!! They are SSSSOOOO pretty. We each immediately snatched up about 10 bottles and then started toward the check stand. As we walked away I got this little ping of sadness in my heart. How could I leave something so so beautiful at Big Lots?? No offense, but Big Lots is not exactly a beautiful place and these bottles seemed to be tragically caught there by mistake. They were calling to me. Calling to me like a wide-eyed-laborador-retriever-puppy at a Pets Mart Adoption day.

I told Mom and Janaan I wanted all of them. They quickly agreed. We all felt it. We stood there for a minute trying to justify how we would TOTALLY use all of them for all of the fabulous parties we were planning for 2010. We were having balloon flashbacks.

I estimated that there were 100 bottles (Janaan thought there were more like 40) and for a moment I felt ridiculous, then I came to the sudden realization that I had lost $100 at a craps table at the ARIA in about 60 seconds just hours earlier and these bottles of water would bring me oh so much more joy and happiness than gambling ever could. I just wanted to hold them and look at them and line them up and then look at them lined up and maybe have a party just to drink my designer Evian or perhaps open one up whenever I had a bad day and needed to see something beautiful. This water was going to make me even happier than I already am. This water was going to make my life WONDERFUL.

So, Mom and I RAN out the door to move our cars closer (we'd walked across the parking lot from the restaurant because we're totally on a new fitness regime... HA!!). We scrounged around for empty boxes (an exercise in futility) and grabbed 3 more carts.

Long story short, there were 98 bottles (YES! I was so right on my estimate). That's $98 on bottled water. It was still less than I lost at the craps table and I'm still giddy about my water and we have a fun story to tell and laugh about forever. It should be noted that the other shoppers at Big Lots thought we were total freaks and there was one particularly bitchy woman behind me in line at the check stand that was all huffy and moved to another line to avoid my 3 carts of Evian. (For the record I had counted everything before I got to the cashier and I BEAT her out the door.)

All of that was fun enough. But are you ready for the best part??? They retail for $13.95 a bottle!!! So I saved $1,270 bucks. Take that, Vegas!!!

Year of the Monkey

I'm not sure when our obsession with Sock Monkey's started. I think it was at a recent baby shower. In any case, there are a lot of sock monkeys floating around.

We found these "Little Maxx" sock monkeys at Big Lots for $7.

Janaan and I both bought this sock monkey cap. $32 from the Sundance Catalog.

Mom and Janaan found these cuties at Sam's club. $9.86 for both of them!
I'm a little annoyed at the Target website right now...but I digress. Target sells the classic Schylling Sock Monkey pictured above in their specialty classic toys section. It comes in the classic brown and sweet purple, pink and blue too. I just can't find a link to it on their website. I bought one for Louis in brown and Janaan bought one for Baby G in pink.

I literally squealed when I saw this one. We're calling him "Big Maxx". $20 at The Wal-Marts. It's not pictured on their website either. WHAT-EVER WAL-MART and TARGET WEBSITES I JUST WANT TO TELL ALL OF MY FRIENDS ABOUT SOCK MONKEYS!! Geez.

Free Printables

One of my favorite things about the blogging world is all of the creative people who are willing to share their talents. Like when they design something pretty and let all the world print it out for their personal use.

Here are a few that I currently enjoy -

Orange Pillow Box - perfect for jewelry, little gifts or gift cards

Cute pink tags for your sweets found at Creature Comforts

2010 Pocket Calendar. This would be so great hanging on my bulletin board

Have you noticed...

...our lack of stocking stuffer posts?

...our lack of tweets?

....our lack of posts in general?

...our new blog layout?

Well we have been a bit crazy as of late but promise to come back with renewed energy soon. A new blog look has given us the little boost we've needed.

A Little Birdie Told Me...

While perusing Little Birdie Secrets (a fabulously crafty blog that provides lots and lots of inspiration for us not so creative types) we saw this post on an easy bread wrapper.

While the wrapper was adorable, we fell in love with the mini bread loaf pans from Michaels for only $1! We love anything that only costs and buck and rushed to our local Michaels to scoop some up.

Filled with a delicious bread, the white ones will be great to have on hand for hostess gifts, pick-me-up gifts and the like. While the red ones we'll use for Christmas.

Today Only $1 Shipping

At Bath and Body Works when you enter the code SHIP1 at checkout.

So, go ahead and stock up on more Wallflowers. The Coconut Lime Verbena smells oh so good.

Kid's Stocking Stuffer Idea #3

I found this cute little soft toy CPG GNON for my baby grand daughter at a local specialty store and just had to have it right then and there. It's made by the great French company Vulli and is like their famous must have "Sophie the Giraffe" only it's a mushroom. It comes in three colors and is available on for your stocking stuffing pleasure.

"Baby grows up with Vulli ! Unique and special moments, the first months of a baby's life are a time of mutual discovery and happiness shared with its parents. Real specialists in items for babies, Vulli offers you products which will help your child to develop : nursery items and babies' toys suited to each stage of his/her development like Sophie the Giraffe."

Vulli available at for $14.24

More Yummy Holiday Pictures

Seriously, if you haven't called Jodi yet. Do it now.