Metro-East Living

Warm or cold, shop for furry throw, a garden bench, Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras ribbon, headbands, tabletop decorations, beads, coins and more are available at Michael’s Crafts in Shiloh.
Mardi Gras ribbon, headbands, tabletop decorations, beads, coins and more are available at Michael’s Crafts in Shiloh.

It was a tossup this week: Should I write more about spring coming, or tell everybody to bundle up because winter is still out there?

I decided to do both. And, it was evident that some retailers are hedging their bets, too.

For example, I stopped in Home Goods in Fairview Heights on Tuesday and, with the temperature around 60, no one was checking out the aisle with all the soft and comfty faux fur throws and pillows. Surely, somebody will need one of these before winter is over! Prices on pillows are $24.99. Throws range from $12.99 to $39.99. (I expect before long, they’ll go on sale if this unpredictable weather continues.)

Sandy’s Back Porch in Belleville was my shot of spring color: Inside one of the greenhouses were rows of cone-shaped baskets filled with tiny green sprouts. Inside the shop, a big renovation is under way. I liked some small wooden plaques that said “Digging in the dirt is my therapy” and “Life is a garden, dig in.” My sentiments exactly. Each is $12.99. Plus, add some vivid color to your mud room, sun room or porch with sturdy, painted wood benches for $39.99. Pick weathered blue, orange or turquoise.

Mardi Gras is officially Feb. 28, so if you’re searching for decorations, stop in at Michael’s Crafts in Shiloh. Take 40 percent off supplies, including big beads (regularly $7.99), coins ($6.99), ribbon ($3.99), masks ($5.99) and more.

I keep wondering how long the fascination with big initials as home decor will go on. Any home goods store seems to have a supply, and Hobby Lobby in Fairview Heights is stocked big-time. Giant white-washed solid wood letters are $20, while black ones are $15 each.

Into coloring books? At Home in Shiloh has one-upped the game with DIY Coloring Wall Art Plaques ($9.99, each about 1-foot square). I spotted four designs on stretched canvas. You can use pencils, markers, gel pens and paint markers. Look for them as you check out.

Plan to attend the Love in Bloom seminar Saturday at Pier 1 Imports in Fairview Heights. From 2 to 4 p.m., see how-tos of floral arrangements for three distinct looks, plus take part in a gift card raffle and sweepstakes and enjoy some refreshments. The event is free. RSVP (though not necessary) by texting RSVP to 88788 or go to If you’re a rewards member, you get double points and one-day-only offers for you and your friends.

Stock up for spring with jewelry and accessories from Icing at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights. Buy three items and get three free (the entire store) through Wednesday.