I may be late in coming to this realization, but the gift shop inside any Cracker Barrel restaurant is just jammed with fun stuff. I am immediately drawn to the nostalgic candy and toys. (I know what that says about me.) And, being a good marketer, the company has several of its toys up and running so you will be further enticed to take something home. It's difficult not to be a bit hypnotized by the little pink Flying Pig. He's pretty cute, wings fluttering as he moves in a circle, hanging by a string off a shelf. You can take him home for $9.99.
If you're looking to stock up on licensed St. Louis Cardinals gear, Target in Shiloh has a good supply of T-shirts for the family, ranging in price from $17.99 to $24.99. You'll find other doodads, such as a pair of logo pacifiers for $7.99 and adjustable dog collars for $9.99.
Have some fun making pancakes with the Tovolo Pancake Pen ($9.99) at World Market in Shiloh. You can create custom pancake designs, draw any shape you like or fill your favorite pancake mold. The cap and bottle have measurement markings, so you can pour ingredients in and shake to mix. (Holds 3 cups.) The silicone nozzle is heat resistant to 600 degrees, so you can put it directly on the griddle or pan. You also can use the Pancake Pen to fill muffin pans or cupcake liners. It's dishwasher safe.
Got old toss pillows you don't use anymore because the covers are worn, dirty or the pattern isn't what you want? If you're like me, you can't bring yourself to throw them out because, darn it, someday I'm going to make new covers for them. Right. When pigs fly. Anyway, if sewing is not your thing, you can buy covers for 20-by-20 pillows at Bed Bath & Beyond in Fairview Heights. I spied a variety of patterns and the cost isn't bad: $14.99. Of course, if don't have any pillows to recover, you also can purchase down inserts for $14.99.
Kmart in Belleville has 12-piece sets of solar path lights on sale for $24.99.
Sale ends today at Michael's Crafts in Shiloh. Look for a 10-drawer rolling cart, perfect for crafts and scrapbooking, for $29.99, as well as other deals.
Need last-minute Easter basket fillers that aren't edible? Try these:
Toys R Us in Fairview Heights has 5-inch plush Angry Bird toys for $4.99 and My Little Pony sets for $2.99.
Target stores have $6 Barbies in a couple styles and $7 Iron Man and other action figures.
Walgreens has $1 specials: seven spring pencils, three mini sticker books or three glitter putty eggs.
And in case you get a yen to shop Sunday, St. Clair Square is closed for Easter, as are many other stand-alone retailers.