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August 24, 2007

Tune In to this cool bed

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I recently attended my 20 year high school reunion (Chickasha (OK) High School, class of '87 -- go Chicks!) and while I had a brilliant time hanging with my old pals, I came away thinking there's no way I'd ever want to redo those angst-filled teen years. (Now college, I would do again in a heartbeat.)

However, if I were a teen now, I would so beg my mother for the Tune-In bed from Pottery Barn Teens. Built with "Smart Technology", there are speakers in the headboard and a spot to plug in your iPod. It's $999 for queen -- I'd go for ice blue.

In fact, these days the Barn is chockful of cool Smart Technology furniture. In my never-ending effort of getting organized, I have my eyes on the Daily System Smart ReCharge Station ($129) where you can store and charge everything from cell phones, cameras and mp3 players.

--K.V.W.

POSTED IN: Home Decor (83)

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August 18, 2007

The shrinking Entertainment Book

entbook.gifA co-worker just got the 2008 Entertainment Book for Broward and Palm Beach counties and was quite underwhelmed by its contents. I flipped through it and was as well.

The area where you really save -- the "fine dining" restaurants -- has been shrinking the past few years, and this year it was barely there. And the entire book has been shrinking over the years.

But one thing that hasn't shrunk is the $35 price. Used to be you could make that back with a couple of dinners out. Now you're lucky to break even and that's not the point of these books.

One other logistical problem: Many of the coupons in the Broward-Palm Beach book are for points far north. We're talking Lake Worth and Jensen Beach. Maybe it's time for a Broward-only book.

-- G.G.S.

POSTED IN: Miscellaneous (41)

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August 15, 2007

West Elm rocks


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If you haven't been to the West Elm store, you're missing some great style and great buys.

This place rocks and I'm not talking about just the music in the background. The store knows how to make it easy to decorate -- with cubbyholes of accessories right behind the furniture so you can pull them down to see how they look together.

The key demographic appears to be 18 to 34, but even Baby Boomers can find some great stuff. When we went down there from Delray last Saturday, we found some great buys such as a tortise design bowl ($14), overlapping squares chair in new black ($179) and a new beaded links pillow ($34 for the cover and $13 for the insert).

One caveat: Beware the aggressive sales staff. On our two trips to the store, we were bombarded by at least six sales people per visit. It's located in the Shops of Midtown near the Miami Design District at 3201 N. Miami Ave. Store hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. For information, see www.westelm.com.

C.V.S.

POSTED IN: Home Decor (83)

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August 14, 2007

MG+BW is here!

I wonder what the odds were in Las Vegas for the opening of the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom in the Miami Design District. We waited and waited and waited. More than a year. But now it's finally open with a great mix of MG+BW's upholstery, case goods (that's the wood stuff for those of you who need a definition) and accessories, including great pottery and picture frames. You'll love the pictures in the frames of Lulu, Mitchell and Bob's adorable bulldog, who is wearing everything from a bumble bee outfit to a tiara.
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The staff is friendly. And the loft-like location in the old Buick building displays the furniture with room to spare in about 7,000 square feet. They have fabric swatches to take home so you don't have to write to the company or order them, saving time.

One of the cool things is you can buy some of their discontinued pieces through September at 25 percent off suggested retail. One of my favorites is the Dominque armoire on sale for $1,497.50 (see photo).

And the bonus: Now you can finally find all those photos taken by Tipper Gore that we told you about in the Sun-Sentinel. They aren't cheap ($900-$6,500), but they are fab and capture a slice of history like the one of the historic handshake between Israel's Yitzhak Rabin and the PLO's Yassir Arafat ($1,500) at the Clinton White House.

Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. It's located at 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 101, Miami. Also see mgandbw.com. Make sure to remember to prepay at the parking station so you don't get a ticket.

C.V.S.

POSTED IN: Home Decor (83)

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August 13, 2007

Forget your hangups

No more wire hangers!

Tired of listening to all those organizational gurus who tell you that your closet would be perfect if only you spent a fortune on matching wooden hangers? Me, too. I spent a big bucks on a few quality wooden hangers at the organizational stores and never quite could afford enough of them to finish the job.

Then Costco came to the rescue. I found a box of 50 wooden hangers in solid wood with a cherry finish. They're notched and have a non-slip rail for slacks that really works. Even those slippery travel pants stay on. My closet looked great in just 20 minutes. The price? $22.99.

C.V.S.

POSTED IN: Organization (11)

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August 10, 2007

Bummer, dude

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I drive a Hyundai so I'm totally entitled to wear this T-shirt by Green Label Organic clothing, which I found at the Whole Foods market in Plantation. It's $19.99 and there are other eco-friendly colors and designs. The Green Label Organic shirts are sweat-shop free, made in the USA, use low-impact reactive dye, printed without the use of plastics, preshrunk and 100 percent organic (natch).
-- G.G.S.

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (132)

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August 9, 2007

HSM2 -- Are you ready?

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My daughter's 8-year-old birthday party is coming up, and we're doing an HSM2 viewing party. For those of you who live under a big fat rock, that's High School Musical 2, the highly anticipated sequel that premieres on Aug. 17. Our fete will include movie-like seating, popcorn, dance games, and of course, a sleepover.
Since we don't have to pay for any entertainment (the show's free, thank you Disney Channel!) and since she only invited a few friends, AND since I have banned pinatas and related candy-and-toy-junk we have historically given as party favors, I let her splurge on these cool $10 notebook sets from Lillian Vernon.
We got them personalized for each kid and each comes with three notebooks and 6 personalized pencils. They are sure to be the hot accessory at school the following week. And you gotta admit, they fit in well with the whole HSM (Go Wildcats!) theme.

-- K.V.W.

POSTED IN: Kids (40)

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August 7, 2007

When it comes to accessories, Chicos is chic

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Spotted this adorable bracelet on a well-dressed lady sitting next to me on an airplane recently.

From Chico's, (which, incidentally always has a great selection of jewelry) it's called the So Special bracelet ($28). It's mixed metal (perfect for people like me who mix silver and gold jewelry daily) and etched with words like "hope," "inspire," "dream," "respect." Would make a great gift for someone who's, well, so special.

Tip: The lady on the plane wore three of them, creating a cool stacked bangle look.

-- K.V.W

POSTED IN: Accessories (79)

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Bombay bargains

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My husband Carter and I can't drive by the Outlets at Vero Beach without stopping. The car just steers itself there. I soon learned it's the Bombay Outlet that calls our names.

Many items sold here are made specifically for the outlet, but they don't look chintzy. We have always found great accents at really low prices. Recently we found the bargain of a lifetime -- exquisite decorative tassels that mimic those in design centers that cost $75 and up. Yes, they are 90 percent viscose rayon and not silk, but only a professional could tell the difference. The price? $4.95 each, but we caught them on a sale for $4.21 each.

Some other great buys exclusive to the outlet include king or queen bed in a bag (comforter, bed skirt and two shams, $149.95), large urn garden planter, $59.99 and hanging mosaic tea lights ($14.95 each).

The outlet is open 9 a.m. to -8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Go north on I-95 and get off on exit 147 and go west. Make it a day trip and go into Vero Beach for dinner.

-- C.V.S.

POSTED IN: Home Decor (83)

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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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