Shopping: Clothing swap to help Violence Prevention Center

Put the power of two trendy boutiques in downtown Belleville together and what you get is one very cool event with great intentions.

Circa Boutique and Gifts (128 E. Main St.) and Peace By Piece Co.(132 W. Main St.) are holding their first Give + Take Upscale Clothing Swap on April 30.

It runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at Peace By Piece and here is how it works: By Thursday (April 23), bring your clean, gently used, upscale clothing that you no longer need or want to either store. Then, purchase a ticket, which will grant you access to the private event, where you can “swap” your clothing for other donated clothing items.

All remaining clothing will be donated to the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois.

You must have a ticket to participate in this fun event. Tickets are $10 with a clothing donation or $15 without a donation. Pay by cash or check made out to the Violence Prevention Center. All proceeds will benefit the center. Tickets also will be available at the door during the event for $15.

Check out the Brighton Trunk Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Basket Case in Belleville.

Want to know more about rain gardens? Stop by Wild Birds Unlimited in Swansea at 10 a.m. Saturday for a program given by Ned Siegel, a Master Gardner and a member of the Missouri Botanical Garden Speakers Bureau. Learn more about how you can plan and install one in your landscape as a means not only to capture storm water runoff but also to create a colorful and pleasing garden that attracts butterflies and birds.

A whopper of an annual three-day Plant Sale at Southwestern Illinois College starts April 24 on the Belleville campus. Here’s my best advice from previous experience: Whoever gets there first gets the best pickings of lots of plants and greenery raised by the students in the horticulture program.

The sale runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24-26. It takes place at the SWIC greenhouses, which are in the southeastern corner of the school property. Park in the closest big lot and walk in; cars aren’t allowed. When you get ready to leave, you can pull up your car for pickup.

Don’t miss the annual Spring Open House at Sandy’s Back Porch in Belleville. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll find one-day specials, attendance prizes and refreshments.

Who knew you could get garden hose nozzles in colors? That’s what you’ll find at Menard’s in O’Fallon in the outdoor gardening section. Called the Vibrant Color Series by Yardworks, the pistol-grip metal nozzles come in purple, red or green for $9.99 each.

How about some fun exercise? Walmart in O’Fallon (and other locations) has faux hula hoops for $5. I know they’re not the real thing because they’re not hollow and don’t make that rattly noise. But, the color and pattern choices are awesome. Grab one and show your kids and grandkids how to work it!

Michaels in Shiloh is having a blow-out sale through Saturday that ranges from artist canvases on sale three-for-one and project T-shirts for $1.99 to half off scrapbook paper pads and 30 percent off the entire stock of Crayola products.