If you're thinking spring like I am (just 11 days away), you're already scanning the sales fliers and checking the hardware and home improvement stores for new stuff to try in your yard or garden. May I suggest a longtime favorite of mine instead?
Several years ago I won a Garden Weasel in a raffle. This cultivator is one of my sturdiest and most-used garden tools. It has a long rake-like red handle with steel tines on the end that scissor back and forth as they rotate. I use it to work up the soil around plants, bring weeds to the surface, do some simple tilling and get bare batches of lawn ready for reseeding. You'll find the Garden Weasel for $19.99 at Ace Hardware stores (and likely most other competitors).
I still grimace when I recall my great-grandmother chasing me around the house with a hairbrush in her hand. I was making my getaway because I knew pain was on the way! Today, hair conditioner goes a long way to detangle children's long hair on children, but a new type of brush helps as well. Called Tanglefix and made by Goody, it a light-weight handleless brush with super-flexible bristles that have different lengths. The brush fits easily in the palm of small or large hand so you have better control. Look for it at Walmart and Target stores for about $7.99.
Almost as soon as Fashion Bug closed its doors in Swansea, Rainbow opened its. Rainbow is a rock-bottom priced clothing and accessories chain retailer, where dresses cost under $25, many tops under $10 and thong sandals are two for $20. The store carries juniors, kids, plus sizes, shoes and accessories.
Famous Footwear will open it's 26th location in the St. Louis area March 20 with a store in the Collinsville Crossing shopping center at 1130 Collinsville Road.
The Easter Bunny arrives today at St. Clair Square and will be available for visits and photos starting through March 30. His hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am - 9 pm and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm. A variety of photo packages are available, starting at $21.
I always check the clearance table in the housewares department at Macy's at the mall. Tucked away in a corner of the store near the furniture, you'll find 5-quart pressure cookers on clearance for $39.99.
More changes at JCPenney, where an ample section of the first floor has been shrouded so renovations can take place to put several "shops" in place, including Bodum (think French press coffeemakers), Happy Chic by Jonathon Adler (colorful patterns, bedding, furniture and more) and the sleek designs of architect-turned-household goods maker Michael Graves. Signs say it will all be ready by "Spring 2013."
I've been keeping an eye on the progress of building the giant Menard's store on Central Park Drive in O'Fallon. The sign says "Opening Soon," with the exterior work done and lots of people working inside. Stay tuned. I grew up with Menard's in Chicago and think it will make an interesting addition to the home-improvement store landscape in the metro-east.
If you're planning a wedding, make sure you don't miss March Down the Aisle with Dillard's from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights. Register to win more than $1,500 in door prizes and receive a free wedding planner and a gift when you register at the bridal show.