I’m a shopper….and I love it. I love looking at pretty things, even ones I can’t afford, from cars to jewelry to shoes. I love the stores, the lights, the clearance racks, finding a great bargain, checking out a new place and being pleasantly surprised. I love the sense of many possibilities I get when I walk in to a store. Is that PERFECT pair of jeans or handbag or sweater waiting for me in here? I shop secondhand a lot too, which I think justifies the occasional retail purchase. Right? (Wink!)
I ran across this blog on D Magazine’s website, full of tips on what’s happening for the “shop till you drop” crowd. Suffice to say, I know where I’ll be Friday night….mapping out my must-see shopping destinations for the weekend!
I’m on the internet a LOT and I’ve found some pretty cool sites along the way. Here’s a list of a few that I think are neat-o (in no particular order, other than this was the order I thought of them in, LOL!) Have fun!
1. The Secret Door – takes you to random Google Street View places when you click on it. Fascinating!
2. Pinterest – I can spend HOURS here, no joke. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m on a DIY kick right now, and Pinterest is DIY heaven. Also a GREAT place to find cool design, gorgeous photography, beautiful art, and style galore! Lately, I’ve been kind of aggravated about it being taken over by supposed “blogs” (which are really just link repositories masquerading as blogs) pinning and repinning the same things. It’s getting harder to find genuine, original things to repin, so I’m making a concentrated effort to pin cool things from the blogs and websites I visit, instead of just repinning content that’s already on Pinterest. It takes a little more effort, but I think it adds WAY more value to the community.
3. Facebook – I know, I know. But I love it so! (Heh!)
4. Amazon – I’m a bargain shopper, and you can’t beat the GREAT deals at Amazon. I love to comparison shop, and probably 7 times out of 10, Amazon has the best price, PLUS it gets shipped straight to my door, yayyyy, no gas money!
5. HGTV – LOVE the cool home decorating and design tips. I’m addicted to watching that channel, too!
6. AllRecipes – I have this app on my phone, too, and it’s a godsend! I’ve never had a problem finding a cool recipe to try and while I haven’t LOVED every single thing, at least they were something different and fun!
7. Swagbucks Coupons – I use Swagbucks a lot to search and win points for free gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks and more. One of my absolute FAVORITE ways to earn points is to print coupons from the Swagbucks site! Not only do a get to save a few cents, but I get points for it, too!
10. The Graphics Fairy – Karen posts an amazing variety of FREE graphics, mostly vintage stuff she finds in old books. She also posts reader submissions of projects using graphics from the site and I’m continually amazed at the creativity!
12. Re Create Design Co – Michael is an expat living in Sweden. She used to blog at the wonderful Blue Velvet Chair which was a DIY, home decor, repurposed design blog. She’s moved on to Re Create Design for more of the same. ALWAYS fascinating! Follow Michael on Facebook, too!
And there you have a small sampling of my favorite blogs and websites. I could go on and on, but I have to stop somewhere. Twelve seems like a nice number, doesn’t it? More than ten, but just short of the dreaded 13. 😉
My small town, Princeton, TX, held it’s 1st annual Fall Festival over this past weekend. You may remember last year’s post on the Grand Opening of Historic Downtown Princeton. Downtown merchants are looking to have a yearly Fall event, highlighting area crafters, artists and business owners and the Fall Festival is it! If you haven’t visited Princeton and strolled our tiny (but growing!) downtown area, be sure to stop by. We have a lot to offer everyone in the family, you’re sure to love it! It was a fun-filled event, and here are some of the highlights:
The Vault, Princeton’s downtown night spot, features karaoke, live music, and local beers and wines. Stop by for some refreshments and a sing-along! Good Look, Inc. offers the finest in antique home decor and personal items. I SWOON every time I go in there! Like them on Facebook for the specials and the GORGEOUS pics of new arrivals in the shop! When it’s time for a bite to eat, stop by The Kitchen Table. I can personally tell you that the Shrimp Quesadillas are to DIE for, they’re SO good. Everything is fresh and flavorful, you won’t be disappointed. Downtown Princeton’s revival also includes an ice cream shop, a clothing and accessories boutique, and a 24-hour fitness spot!
I met several local business owners, crafters and artists, the first of whom was a lovely lady who is your friendly neighborhood Mary Kay representative! She gave me a sample lip treatment that made me want to run home and smooch up the hubby (soft…baby soft lips!), ha! Give her a ring, here’s her website: Tiffany with Mary Kay.
There were several vendors who make soap, lotions, sugar scrubs, lip balms and other goodies. This gentlemen had soaps for sale, and I can tell you, they were AWESOME! I have a weakness for bath and body items, especially handmade. I was glad I didn’t take any cash with me, or I would have come home broke…..but I’d have smelled FANTASTIC and had skin like velvet! I can recommend Emotions Scents Eucalyptus soap. I know eucalyptus isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but seriously it smelled SO good!
If you’re a foodie, there were a few vendors selling VERY tasty items, including BBQ sauces, honey from their own bees, and more! This sauce was wonderful I can tell you, I’ll be picking up a bottle or two of it very soon. From Sadie B Foods, Jamaican Jerk sauce and spice rubs, BBQ sauce (I tried both the regular sauce and the sweet and spicy and both were SO delicious!), and even recipes!
TLC Baskets offers gift baskets FULL of gourmet food items, including apple butter, bread and butter pickles (my FAVORITE!), green pepper jelly, and blackberry preserves. All of the items are handmade and looked absolutely heavenly! You can find them on Facebook, too!
Do you have a sweet tooth like me? Fear not, our next vendor has you covered! Texas Wildflower Honey comes straight from his very own bees. Honey is great for you, too, it’s antibacterial and a skin protectant. I’ve been extolling the virtues of honey forever, and our beekeeper agrees. This ancient remedy is the one medicine that’s good for you AND tastes great! (Texas Wildflower Honey, 972-752-5598, Blue Ridge, TX)
I didn’t manage to get a picture of my next vendor, but I can tell you that Sugar Plum Essentials makes the most awesome bath and body items I’ve seen in a while. As I said previously, I’m a huge sucker for bath and body items, especially handmade stuff. Sugar Plum Essentials had my number right from the start! She had a sample of Whipped Shea Body Butter to try and it made my hands SO soft, and they stayed that way all day, even though I was out in the cold for most of the evening. The scent was Vanilla Lavender, very nice. Lavender is one of my favorite scents anyway, so I’m kinda partial. She also makes the solid lotion bars that I love and they’re HUGE. A real bargain for only $10, they last SO much longer than a bottle of liquid lotion. You can’t beat natural skin care, either!
We’re in NO way done with all there was to see, smell, touch and taste at the Fall Festival! Next I have a group of AMAZING artists to show off! Home decor, handmade jewelry, stained glass….OH MY!
Dirt Road Treasures had an amazing collection of handmade goodness to show off, including jewelry and baby items. I gave her kudos for the cute business name, too! Check them out:
Baby Booties by Chris had an ADORABLE collection of handmade baby booties (just like the name!), every color you could think of, and even in different sizes. Very cute stuff, so if you have a new baby in the family, drop her a line!
Madhouse Decor offered ALL kinds of adorable home decor items! They had some VERY cute snowmen I just loved, and just in time to spruce up your decor for the coming cold season and holidays!
Five Four Oh and Ooh! A Sparkly!! offered some beautifully handsewn items including wine bottle bags, gift bags and CUTE pillows, and gorgeous jewelry. I just loved her booth, everything was beautiful. She has two Etsy shops, so be sure to check them out!
Vicki Quillan is an amazing stained glass artist! She had many beautiful samples of her work, my favorite of which is pictured below. We talked a while about stained glass, I took a class a couple years ago and it was really fun, so we bonded over the joys of working with stained glass. I’ll never be the artist she is, though!
Suzy Hayes offers handmade candles and she had a gorgeous hurricane lamp made from wax and those decorative glass drops used for filling vases, etc. It was SO pretty! I can just imagine what it would look like with a tea light glowing inside of it. She also makes palm wax candles and can get any scent you like.
Another booth I failed to get a picture of was Angela Moore’s of i -heart- crochet. She offered crocheted jewelry and scarves and they were just BEAUTIFUL work. I wish I had taken a picture to show you! Check her out on Facebook for more info!
Toodle Bug Design offers home decor items, including customized canvas signs and subway art, hair accessories and more! Check out her shop!
All in all, every booth was special and they offered something for everyone. Small businesses are the backbone of America, and supporting your local small businesses helps families make ends meet, send Susie to camp and Johnny to Little League, buys groceries and more. Shop handmade and your local businesses as much as you can, it’s the key to economic recovery!
Business owners: if I’ve left something out, made a mistake, or didn’t take a picture and you’d like to have one posted, please accept my apologies! Feel free to email me (there’s a contact form under the “Reach Out and Touch Me” link) and I will make the changes!