Metro-East Living

Send off Cooper, then shop for patio furniture, Christmas paper

Go to Cooper’s “retirement” party Saturday at Peace by Peace in downtown Belleville.
Go to Cooper’s “retirement” party Saturday at Peace by Peace in downtown Belleville.

Peace by Piece in downtown Belleville is holding a “retirement” party for Cooper, the store mascot. At 12  1/2 , the friendly pooch is ready to kick back at home and end his days of serious napping and greeting at the boutique run by his owners, Christina and Jason Keck. You can visit with Cooper and his trusty humans from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the shop, where a portion of the sales that day will go to the Belleville Area Humane Society.

There are multiple personalities going on just now at Big Lots in the Fairview Heights shopping mall called Crossroads Centre on Lincoln Highway. While I was there Tuesday afternoon, a worker was arranging summer patio furniture in the middle of the store. OK, that might be pushing the seasons a bit forward, but wait: On either side of the furniture were clearance displays for Christmas wrapping paper ($2) and a real bargain — a 7-foot-tall pre-lit slim Christmas tree for $34. But wait, again: Across the aisle was a display for St. Patrick’s Day. Next to that was another for Easter. And don’t forget the rows of plastic picnic supplies. This store has got you covered.

One added note at Big Lots: Check out the single coffee table ($269.99) with a foosball game set inside of it.

While I was over in this ghost town of a shopping area, I stopped in Outlet Max. It’s a small store filled with marked-down merchandise, mostly clothes, with a selection of discounted shoes for men and women. I didn’t see any remarkable bargains: women’s tees and tanks were $9 and a cute pair of perforated yellow sneakers was $11.

Plato’s Closet just moved to Crossroads Centre, taking up space where Jo-Ann Fabrics, then Tuesday Morning (briefly) used to be. If you aren’t familiar with it, Plato’s Closet buys and sells gently used teen and young adult clothing.

At neighboring TJ Maxx, I found some trivets that are almost too pretty to cover up with a dish or a pot. The ceramic trivets ($3.99) are made in India and have a fired glaze pattern. The bottoms are padded.

On the other side of the shopping center, the Dollar Tree store has colorful cardboard Valentine’s Day containers for $1 each. Some look like rural mail boxes, other are shaped like hearts. Very cute for kids’ cards.

I missed Michaels last week when I was writing about storage. You’ll get half off decorative boxes, baskets and craft storage through Saturday.

St. Louis Cardinals spring training begins in full Feb. 25 with a game against the Miami Marlins. (Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14.) I had that in mind when I saw that the new sporting goods store in O’Fallon, Academy Sports+Outdoors is selling (exclusively) Adidas Showrrea baseball cleats for $39.99/$29.99 youth. They’re inspired by MLB American League 2015 Rookie Player of the Year Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros.