Shop-O-Matic: Deals, coupons, freebies, sales, bargains and tips for thrifty shoppers | Sun Sentinel blogs


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April 27, 2007

Mother's Day Shopping -- Idea #3

You can't go wrong with flowers for Mother's Day -- they're always the right size and color and they're calorie-free. And I found a deal on -- two dozen assorted roses with a green glass vase for $29.99, plus tax and shipping.
As for shipping, you'll pay extra for Friday or Saturday delivery, so choose the "flexible" option and it'll get delivered on Thursday or Friday for the $9.99 standard shipping price. (just cross your fingers if you want Friday).
-- G.G.S.

POSTED IN: Mother's Day (32)

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April 26, 2007

Mother's Day Shopping -- Idea #2

Just discovered a great website chockful of Mother's Day ideas: Jacaranda, which features wares from South African artisans. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase goes to a school in South Africa for physically disabled children from around the region.

We love these unique fish servers ($259).


Also like this Rose is a Rose lucite cuff ($148) -- but go to the site and see the vast selection of cool cuffs.



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Natural beauty

Pompano Beach-based skincare company Simply Organic is already a bonafide hit. Ben Stiller and Keanu Reeves reportedly use the line because it's free of harsh chemical ingredients.

Wait until they find out about the $22 Rejuventaing Sealer - Parker Posey and Rachel Dratch are already fans - which uses olive-leaf extract to calm the frizzies and boost the shine. There are oils to help with tangles and honey as a natural moisturizer.

Oh, and the olive-leaf extract also is an anti-bacterial agent and strengthens the hair with proteins, vitamins and minerals. Visit for retail locations.


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April 19, 2007

Mother's Day Shopping -- The hunt begins

Mother's Day is 24 days away -- have you started shopping for dear-old Mom yet?

Beginning today we'll provide plenty of ideas. (And since some of us are Moms, you can bet it will be stuff they (read: we) would love to receive.


Kitchen gadgets are a popular gift -- but sometimes you wonder who it's really for. Because when you get Mom the cool waffle iron, who is it that ends up making those waffles?

We love this 15 " square shape herb wreath from Williams-Sonoma. Bay leaves, sage, mint, chilies, sunflowers -- a combination any cook would love.

Order by May 7 for a Mother's Day delivery.


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Carry a tune


Gents know the fashion challenge of looking like a sharp-dressed man while listening to your iPod. There’s nothing more unwieldy as wearing a blazer with wires hanging out and bulky electronics ruining the line of a good suit.

To the rescue comes Bagir men’s wear and Express stores with the Play List Jacket. The tailored blazer comes with a strategically placed pocket designed for an iPod. Earphone wires are set in place with hidden loops in the inner lapel. There are even soft-touch controls inside the lapel for easy adjustments.

The Play List Jacket retails for $248 (not including the matching trousers) at the Express store in Pembroke Lakes Mall.


POSTED IN: Men's Clothing (25)

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April 12, 2007

Bugs Be Gone


The Ariat "Buzz Off" Zip Top has a special finish that repels insects. No kidding - and for $55 no less. The equestrian line - English and western - sells the shirt through it's website at, but you can also find it later this month at Grif's Western in Davie and A. E. Cohen's in Miami.

Also check out Mumz, the first line of insect-repellent gardening clothing and accessories to be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. The line includes shirts, pants, hats (The Buzz Off sun bucket shown here is $12) and more starting at $10 from


Both brands use Buzz Off, which is a synthetic version of Permethrin, a natural insect repellent found in chrysanthemums. The protection on the clothes ususally lasts for 25 washings and often includes UV sun block.



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April 11, 2007

See Pretty Dress

To be honest there aren't a lot of fashion headlines coming out of Miami Fashion Week, but if you like looking at pretty dresses and glam gowns worn by exotic models, then this is a must-attend event. Since many of the designers are from Latin America, it's rare that these wares make it to U.S. store racks.

Best hope? Friday night Miami showcase at 9:30 p.m. with local talents such as Julian Chang, Ana Maria Guiulfo, Susan Elias, Leo Koel, Nicolas Felizola and Frivole.

The ninth annual four-day event opens on Friday the 13th with shows nightly until Monday night at the Wynwood Pavillion located at 2136 NE 1st Avenue in downtown Miami's new Wynwood Arts District. Tickets for each catwalk show are $20. For more information, reserve tickets and see a schedule go to



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April 10, 2007

Stick it


If you’re looking for cool graphics for your walls, but are commitment phobic, check out The oversize graphics are geometric decals (think stickers for grownups) that allow you to design custom wallcoverings quickly. The peel and stick decals are self- adhesive and removable, so your blank walls have no excuse to be bare. And, if you change your mind, so be it.

Decals are from artists and designers such as Keith Haring, Ian Dei, Charles and Ray Eames and Matthew Haggett. They have tantalizing names like “Radiant Baby,” “Pack of Dogs,” “Dancers,” “Fling,” “Leaves” and “Iron Vines.”

Blik will also work with you to do custom designs. The prototypes will show your place in 3-D, so you will have a better idea of how the finished wall will appear.

Find it: Blik decals, $18 for a single decal to $60 for nine decals, at

— C.V.S.


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Bikini alert!


Save the date! It's a sample sale! Check out local bikini guru Red Carter's Bikini Blowout at his Miami Beach warehouse Saturday April 14th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Some styles will be up to 60 percent off. (And there is stuff for guys, too.) The warehouse is at 1819 West Avenue #6, Miami Beach, FL 33139. For more info, call (305) 532-3467.



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April 8, 2007

That hits the spot!

I know, this isn't a brand-new product, but I just got a Bissell SpotBot and I luuuurve it. HSN offered it as a daily special (it's still available at for $115.
It deftly scrubbed away the large dark blobs in our home-office carpet and removed the soymilk from my son's tipped over cereal bowl in the living room (this kid eats everywhere but at a table).
Here's the cool part: it cleans up on its own. You place the SpotBot over the stain, hit a button (either surface stain or set-in stain) and in either 3 or 6 minutes the spot is sprayed, scrubbed and sucked up. There's also a hose for manual stain removal.
-- G.G.S.


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April 6, 2007

Asia major

Stone Buddha Relief 1.JPG

Every home furnishings store seems to have a dash of Asian style these days, but Angsana Imports is the place to go to find original, unusual and handmade pieces from Lipkowitz’s travels to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. You’ll love Angsana’s new location just south of Swinton Avenue in a house, which shows off the furnishings well.

Some things we loved: A 5-foot-by-6 foot wall with a Buddha face from Thailand that can be converted into a water feature ($2,500) and two bronze women with pots on their heads from Thailand, which can be used as planters or used with tiki torches for parties ($3,500 for the pair). The teak four-poster bed is a dream ($3,600 for a king $3,200 for a queen). Monks lighting candles from the “Light of Faith” Thailand series are a conversation starter ($1,000-$3,000).

Ever see the small offering containers that monks in Southeast Asia use to bring their offering to temples? You can find them for $145. And a small oxcart wheel on a stand from Cambodia is $195.

The store is named after the Angsana tree, a symbol for living life fully and within the moment. Its flowers develop in clusters, then burst into bloom for only one day. The next day, the fragrant yellow flowers rain down on forest floors or city streets. So live for today, baby.

ANGSANA IMPORTS, 20 S. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach; 561 330-6676;; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 12 to 5 Sundays.



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April 5, 2007

You glow, girl!


Looking for that perfect afterglow in South Florida leaves glamazons with two choices: you can either get it naturally with healthy exercise outdoors or you can buy it.

Smashbox has a new blush, O-GLOW, that comes out of the tube custom-made. You squeeze out clear goo that once on your skin turns into the best hue for you on your cheeks.

The secret is Goji Berry-C Complex, a natural extract that mimics micro-circulation (the rush of blood to the head). The chamelon cosmetic is $26 at and Sephora stores until May 15th and then will be at Nordstroms.


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April 4, 2007

Tree for two


Shopping for a wedding gift sure is easy when you stick to the couple’s registry.

Easy, but boooring.

We think any couple would dig the genealogy tree from Red Envelope.

Using red and orange maple leaves, they can plot their respective family trees in one of the two tree picture frames in the set. Once done, hang the espresso-stained frames – each is 12 inches by 19 inches by 1 1/2 inches – side by side for a great conversation piece.

Find it: Couple’s Genealogy Tree, $120, at For a catalog, call 877-733-3683.

-- K.V.W.


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April 3, 2007

You missed a spot


I was at a party recently where some guys were talking about a recent fishing trip. One dude got totally sunburned because his buddies wouldn't rub sunscreen on his back. They had some homophobic excuse, which was so pathetic I don't even recall.

But the whole conversation got me and a friend talking and joking about the next great invention: A device that would spread sunscreen on your back for you.

So imagine my surprise when I heard about the Body Buddy, a non-absorbent lotion applicator band. Created by a mother and grandmother of four, who named her company Useful Products, Inc., the Body Buddy debuted with a sell-out on QVC's Decade of Discoveries. Get it for $24.95 at

I will let the fishing buddies know about it. (But they really need to get over themselves.)



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Back in action


The hiatus is over and Shop-o-matic is back. (We know you're so pleased.)

And just in time, for there is much much shopping to be done in the coming months -- think Mother's Day, spring and summer fashions and beauty products, Father's Day, and so on and so on.

Tune in daily for the dish, deals and divine finds on this blog and on the Shop-o-matic page in the Sun-Sentinel's new Sunday Lifestyle section, which debuts April 8.



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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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