I am sure shoppers have heard me laughing over the years as I peruse the aisles of local retailers. It’s one of the perks of the job: Having a chuckle over a fun or silly or ridiculous piece of merchandise that may tempt us to lay down cash or credit card.
On Tuesday, I had to be at The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville for a meeting, so I popped into the gift shop. And what did I see but a bobblehead of Pope Francis? I was momentarily taken by surprise. I know I giggled. Quite a bit. But, there he was, his right hand raised in a blessing and looking very endearing. If you want the Pope nodding in traffic along with you and your latest CD, he’s $21.95. (You can also order him online at www.bobbleheads.com for $24.95 plus shipping.)
Get your own bullhorn
I’m almost positive I wouldn’t want to sit next to a guy at a football game who had his own bullhorn. Still, JC Penney at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights is offering them in silver, royal blue or bright red for $19.99. Made by Wembley, it’s officially called the Tailgate Megaphone, but this makes a lot more noise than just the natural projection of your voice. It includes a speaker and siren with adjustable volume, carrying strap and folding handle. It also requires four C batteries (not included). Look for them on the main floor in an aisle display near the men’s department and register.
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For dog lovers
This find is for my friend Melanie, who is a true dog lover: I had a wide grin when I spied a “How to Sleep With A Dog” nightshirt ($28.99) from Ben’s in downtown Belleville. It’s all cotton, comes in its own drawstring decorated bag and offers eight images of how pooches like to spend their bedtime.
Subtle is the key word for adult Halloween decorating. Perhaps a nice black spider pin or a small pair of pumpkin earrings. Not both together, please.
Schnucks (of all places!) in Swansea has some very colorful and sparkling peel-and-stick body tattoos and nail art for $1.99 a set. Look for them in the Halloween section of the store. I liked the dozen tiny glittery pumpkins or spiders for nails.
Here’s a compromise to wearing a full-on cape this fall: An open-weave knitted one that just covers your shoulders. Perfect for indoors rather than as outerwear, it’s lightweight and can be arranged to drape easily over one or both shoulders. Look for it inside Rachel’s Garden gift shop (and restaurant) in West Belleville for $21.99.
Don’t miss Fezziwig’s 8th Anniversary Sale that began Thursday and runs through Sunday. Enjoy complimentary tastings of gourmet foods, soup, teas, and owner Ellen and Tom’s amazing balsamic vinegars and olive oils. The shop has relocated to downtown O’Fallon, so see the beautiful new digs at 225 W. First St.
Head to Lebanon
It’s for the 43rd annual Fall Festival in downtown Lebanon from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. You’ll find not only the shops open, but more than 100 craft and food vendors, musical entertainment and fun for the kids.
Power of pink
Now through Nov. 15, for each Power of Pink 2015 Brighton bracelet ($50 and $60) you buy at Basket Case in Belleville and downtown Lebanon, the company will donate $5 to support breast cancer research and awareness.