Flitting from retailer to retailer Tuesday, I spied many a sign of spring:
Check out Fuego, a funky and fun little store at St. Clair Square upstairs near Macy's. Besides being sidetracked by the plethora of mustache merchandise (Why is that so popular right now?), I was drawn like a bee to the floral headbands. Also enticing was the price: Three for $10.
From the pretty to the silly: At the women's accessories store Claire's at the mall I was greeted at the door by a Valentine's fascinator ($24). (Think back to the wild and tiny headgear worn by guests at Duchess Kate's wedding.) Attached to a thin black headband were three lunch plate-sized black mesh petals. At the center was a large red flower. Black feathery leaves sprouted all around it. Fascinating.
And one last girly shop: At Icing at the mall, fans of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy will enjoy wearing a bracelet with a tiny pair of clasped handcuffs ($8.50). There are also sleep masks, tees and sexy stockings.
I am a bit of a collector of chairs; just single interesting chairs. So, when I stopped in Tuesday Morning (yes, on Tuesday), I was immediately drawn to the Lucite/acrylic "bamboo" ballroom chair. Most Lucite chairs I've seen are very modern looking, but this one has a traditional styling that really sets it apart. I counted eight such chairs that felt very sturdy. Each is $79.99.
Over at Deals in Fairview Heights, I thought about my girlfriends who really enjoy a good martini straight up. It's one of those drinks that can't be sipped from anything other than the glass named after it. I spied three styles of martini glasses back in housewares, each just $1. There were squiggly stems, clear and blue or green from which to choose.
Neighboring Parent/Teacher Tools has a cool indoor/outdoor toy called Zartz ($9.99). The soft 9-inch dart is made of a special sturdy foam, so it flies like the dickens, sticks like crazy but won't hurt anything it lands on. Meant for kids 6 and up, the suction cup and aerodynamic wings make it soar. Look for it at the front of the store. While you're there, test the well-constructed tabletop Foosball game near the counter for $29.99.
Just east down Highway 50 is the new Alpine Shop. Inside, workers were still putting together the dressing rooms, getting ready for a March 20 grand opening. Two items I noticed right away for even the non-outdoorsy types: The line of Superfeet insoles for all kinds of lifestyles, especially the $19.95 half-inserts for women's flats so feet don't ache from lack of support.
Plus, the pink, silk Eagle Creek pouches women can wear under their clothes when they travel to keep money and identification safe. I think the $13.50 Undercover Bra Stash is a great idea -- a tiny pocket big enough for money and credit cards, with a snap closure that allows attachment onto the center or the side of a bra for close-to-body security.
You can't have a Mardi Gras celebration without real Louisiana potato chips: Zapp's come in all kinds of Cajun flavors, $1.99 a bag. You'll find them at World Market in Shiloh.