Shopping: Impatiently waiting for spring

News-DemocratFebruary 28, 2014 

I've started looking for excuses to go outside with a broom and sweep the porch or pick dead leaves from planters. It's way too cold and too early to be doing any of this (considering threatening snow storms), but March is finally here and I just want be somewhere other than under my Snuggie by the fireplace reading gardening books.

So, when I was wandering through the giant Old Time Pottery in Fairview Heights on Tuesday, I headed straight to the outdoor area, where colorful patio umbrellas already are in bloom, shelves are lined with tropical-pattern lounge cushions and ceramic pots are waiting to be filled. That's when I spied the portable fold-up stool for $7.99. It's lightweight with sturdy metal legs and seat has a built-in handle. It would be a good thing to carry around as I work outdoors, once this arctic weather passes.

Dillard's at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights is waiting for you to walk down the aisle. The retailer is holding its annual March Down the Aisle bridal show from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Talk to a variety of wedding experts to help you plan that big day, make your preferences known by creating a bridal gift registry and not only receive a free wedding planner, but Dillard's will give you a $25 gift card for signing up, as well as the chance to win $1,500 in door prizes.

Do your kids like to read? Then be at Barnes & Noble at 11 a.m. Sunday to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday at the Read Across America Storytime event. There will be a reading of "Green Eggs and Ham" and fun games to play.

Happy Hour takes on a new meaning for shoppers at Charlotte Russe at the mall: Today from 3 to 6 p.m. only, all long denim is buy one, get one for $8.

Will wonder never cease? Forever 21 at the mall now carries plus-size clothing in sizes 12-20 and XL-3X. So look for trendy, low-cost, normal-woman choices in dresses, tops, pants and more.

I wasn't expecting to find doggie fashion in Old Navy, but there they were, a trio of summery "shirts." If you are someone who enjoys dressing up your pooch, this is your everday wear, not special occasion (think pumpkin for Halloween). Male or female, your Yorkie or dachie can strut its stuff in a pink and white stripe polo, nautical navy and white stripe polo with red trim, or a navy plaid shirt with a red bow tie. You'll find all the appropriate Velcro fasteners and openings. Each is $7.94 in sizes extra-small to large. Check the tags for weight and measurement to find the right fashion statement fit.

Anyone contemplating a vacation should take a good look at his luggage. Sturdy, lightweight pieces that are easy to maneuver through an airport are key if you're flying. I spied an excellent collection of Samsonite matching pieces at Marshall's in Fairview Heights. These are all durable, soft-side spinners in sets of three, but sold separately. Colors included black, gray, navy, tan and royal blue. Sizes were 21-, 25- and 29-inch cases with telscoping handles and four 360-degree turning wheels. Prices were $69.99, $79.99 and $99.99, respectively. Samsonite suitcases typically come with a 10-year warranty and can last decades. We're just now thinking of replacing ours, which we've had since 1996.

For those of us who shop the dollar stores, I'm glad to see Dollar Tree open on the east end, on Carlyle Avenue (where Fashion Bug used to be). It's an excellent place to pick up everything from good-quality, zip-lock food bags for a buck a bag to $1 spray containers of window cleaner.

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