Shopping: Sassy tags make luggage stand out

News-DemocratMay 17, 2013 

It was the end of a long day and I was standing at Lambert Airport watching luggage pop out of a hole and slide onto Carousel 6. Nearly everybody's bags were black and nearly everyone had tried to find some way to make his stand out -- from orange bungee cords to hot pink ribbons on handles.

I have lime green luggage tags, so that helped.

Then I stopped in Rachel's Garden restaurant in west Belleville for lunch this week. On my way through the gift shop (No one can make a straight path to the register, there are too many cute things in there.), I saw something that will make recognizing your bags much easier -- and make you laugh: Luggage tags with bold lettering that offer humorous warnings, such as "NOT for you, it's MINE!", "DON'T MAKE ME CHASE YOU!," "YOU will not look good in MY Clothes!" and more. In vivid orange, green, blue and other colors, these rubberized tags have a compartment for personal info on the back and are $3.99 each.

Just inside the door at the Schnucks on Carlyle Avenue in Belleville is a display of outdoor decor. I like the heavy square glass votive holders, which are each $8. No scorched fingers either because the candles can be lifted in and out of the holder on a little metal frame.

I'm thinking that window marker ($1) would be a pretty incredible fun activity for kids this summer. While I'm used to seeing car windows boasting ink that mentions sporting events, graduation remarks and the price of a vehicle for sale, these washable markers from the Dollar Tree in west Belleville could be used to design artwork on a sliding glass door. I spotted black, gold, green and blue markers over by the graduation party supplies at the front of the store.

Today is the last day of the grand opening of GFS Marketplace in Fairview Heights. The no-membership-fee warehouse-style store is stocked with larger size food items, jumbo packs of goods, paper products, household merchandise and party supplies. For example, opening specials include a 1-pound block of butter for $1.49, while a 6-pound tray of lasagna is $7.99. Look for lots of food demonstrations today to celebrate. The store is located next to Jo-Ann Fabrics and behind White Castle and Archivers.

Starting Monday and running through May 26, buy one square-quart perennial and get one free at Effinger Garden Center in Belleville.

Stop by cj banks at 11 a.m. and christopher & banks at 1 p.m. today for a Shades of Summer Fashion Show. Get 25 percent off everything through Sunday at these side-by-side stores at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights.

You'll have to decide whether this is a Father's Day gift suitable for the dad in your family: Two new Man Candle scents from Yankee Candles at the mall: Movie Night (think fresh-popped popcorn) and Mmm, Bacon! You can buy these scents in a variety of ways, from large lidded glass jar candles ($27.99) to air fresheners to hang in the car ($2.99).

On the other hand, are a pair of St. Louis Cardinals cufflinks worth $60? You decide. Things Remembered at the mall can order them for you for Father's Day, or how about as a groomsmen gift? It takes about a week to get them in the store. The round cufflinks are silver-plated with white enamel for the background and the bird and bat logo (Item No. 705729). Want something he'll wear more often? A Cards tie bar is $35 (Item No. 726591). Both come with a free valet box you can have engraved at an additional cost. Mention the item numbers when in the store or look online at

The little red wagon has been updated. The Mac Sport Folding Wagon (in red, of course) with a steel frame and high-strength polyester body can hold kids, supplies -- just about anything you want up to 150 pounds. Best of all, it folds up for easy storage, taking up no more room than a folding metal chair. Right now, you can buy one on sale at the west Belleville Kmart store for $64.99, regularly $89.99.

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