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March 31, 2008

"Extra" expenses

The life of an extra can be expensive if you let it.

When I found out I was going to be an "extra" in Marley & Me, a movie that was shot in the Sun-Sentinel newsroom last week, I had to hit the stores. After all, I was going to be "working" with Owen Wilson, Alan Arkin and Eric Dane ("McSteamy" on TV's Grey's Anatomy.)

I'm a reporter but I had nothing to wear to look like a reporter-- at least one in the 1990s when the movie takes place.

To catch up, this movie is based on a book by my friend and former colleague John Grogan, who was the Sun-Sentinel's Palm Beach County columnist in the '90s. I HAD to be in the movie.

The wardrobe folks wanted the extras in pastels and muted colors. I went through my closet and found little that qualified, so I picked up a light gray Calvin Klein suit and pair of gray pants for $99 (Ross Stores). Then I needed accessories to match: another $50 (Bijou Brigette). Black heels also were a must and, amazingly, I had none: $30 (DSW).

Of course, I needed to get my hair and nails done -- $120 with tips and buying a "miracle" defrizzer that turned out to just make my hair sticky.

And when the bright lights came on in the newsroom, wardrobe had me in mostly different outfits, anyway.

I did get paid for the gig, $100 a day. After four days and more than $300 in clothes and other expenses, I made a grand $100. Maybe Hollywood is not for me. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

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March 30, 2008

Johnny Weir shops for jeans

Just love this video of figure skating champ Johnny Weir shopping for jeans with holes in the knees. Check him out showing us how they fit in the dressing room.

Only wish it was a longer video.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Celeb shopping (21)

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March 26, 2008

Angsana Going Out of Business Sale

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Angsana, a wonderful place to buy Asian and Indonesian imports, is going out of the retail business.

This is sad news for those of us who wanted to find designer-quality goods without hiring a professional. The store, located at 20 S. Swinton Ave. in Delray Beach always offered unusual furniture and a great collection of accessories that range from baskets to buddhas.

"This sale has been initiated only after careful consideration, as I have decided to focus Angsana exclusively in the area of design consultation," owner Michael Lipkowitz wrote in a letter to his best customers.

Most of the items are 20 percent off, but this weekend they will be reduced to 40 percent off. Different deals will be offered until May. Call ahead at 561 330-6676 to see what they are. Also see angsanaimports.com.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (79), Furniture (27), Home Decor (83), Shopping Advice (122)

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March 24, 2008

Kohl's is almost here with Vera Wang and Chaps

I have been waiting for the news as much as some of you shop-o-holics out there. Kohl's is set to open its first South Florida store April 9.
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The store is located at 1901 N. Congress Ave. That's the southwest corner of Congress Avenue and Gateway Boulevard, where the old Target store used to be.


The location is ironic because Kohl's and Target have a lot in common. They both give great style for a reasonable price, or so it seems in Kohl's ads. Kohl's sells exclusive brands such as Simply Vera Wang, Elle, Chaps and Food Network. (Check out this Vera Wang ruched nylon tote on sale for $62.30 at kohls.com for a preview.)

Does anyone out there have an expereince with Kohl's? Are they really as good as they seem?

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

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March 21, 2008

Kate Moennig shops in LA


This is a cool shopping video. Check out Kate Moennig of TV's The L Word shopping on West Sunset in Los Angeles.

Her great ideas:

She buys men's clothing in small sizes and has it altered because she doesn't like what designers do to women's clothes.

If she likes the fabric but not the shirt, she wears it inside out.

XOXO--- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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March 19, 2008

Britney Spears shoe shopping

You thought shoe shopping was a hassle. Check out Britney Spears trying to shop at Off Broadway Shoes Warehouse in Hollywood.

By the way, with her bucks, why is she shopping discount with the budget-minded folks? Maybe she would get rock star treatment if she stuck with shopping for Jimmy Choos or Manolas If anyone knows how to pick a venue, it should be Britt..

Come on, Britt. Was this another publicity stunt?

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Appearances (9)

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March 17, 2008

No deal

What's going on with retailers and their return policies?

Barnes & Noble recently changed theirs to 14 days. I bought a sweater from Forever 21 (I know, I'm fooling myself) and was told I could only return it for exchange -- no cash back or credit back to my card.

I know we're in a credit crunch in this economy, but these policies are getting downright unreasonable. What I bought at Barnes & Noble recently was a gift and I have no control over whether it gets returned in 14 days -- guess I should have noted that on the birthday card!

Like the NBC-TV show I say "no deal."

If I'm unsure of whether I'm going to keep a book or CD from Barnes & Noble, I won't buy it there.

Have you had the same un-customer-friendly retail experiences? I want to hear about them. -- Marcia Heroux Pounds

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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Pottery Barn cool lamp

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I've always had a thing about lamps. The ones I typically fall for cost way too much. Even when Carter and I find one at a discount, it's still pricey. (Yes, I still do love that brass bamboo-looking lamp with the Asian shade that set us back $500.) I better still love it eight years later.

Anyhow, it's amazing how cool the milk-glass table lamp bases are from Pottery Barn. They come in green, marigold, espresso, orange and white. The lamps are a reasonable $90. The natural fiber tapered drum shades range from $11 to $59. See potterybarn.com.

A man who used to own a lamp shade store in Boca Raton gave me the best advice about shades. He liked to say, "Buying a shade without the lamp is like buying a hat without your head." It's best to either buy them at the same time to make sure they look right. Or bring your lamp in when you buy the shade.

If you have any bright ideas, let me know.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (79)

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March 14, 2008

Shopping in Aruba

If you're like me, shopping is a big part of your vacation plans. One of the coolest ways to make a vacation last is to look around your house and see the items you bought that bring back the memories of some faraway place.

Going to Aruba on a cruise on by plane? Check out this video. You will find a shopper's dream -- with everything from skin care products made from aloe to gold and designer fashions. It's also a good place to find native crafts and paintings.

Yes, it is by the tourism folks, but it is still a great preview of what you can find. And it has great advice -- such as many shops are closed from noon to 2 p.m.

XOXO--- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Destinations (119)

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March 11, 2008

Maryjane baby socks


How cute is this? The Maryjane baby socks from Gracious Home really rock!

Can't you just see your baby wearing these?
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They are packaged six pairs per set for $24.50 and fit babies up to 12 months old. They are practical as well as pretty -- the rubber bottom is non-skid. They ar 80 percent cotton, 17 percent nylon and 3 percent spandex.

Check it out at gracioushome.com.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Baby gear (12), Kids (40)

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Green for a day

I’ve been shopping for an outfit for an annual St. Patrick’s Day party and I’m never ever able to find quite the right green. Kelly green seems most St. Pat’s-day-like, but it doesn’t flatter me. I look better in blue-green, but that’s like I'm not trying hard enough.
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Another problem is I never know whether people are going to dress up or go casual for this March 17 celebration. One year it was outside and my green T-shirt was fine. The next year, the party was inside and women were wearing green cocktail dresses. I was back in my green T-shirt.

So I was determined to do better this year. I've looked at so much green apparel I'm dreaming in green.

I’ve settled on this “blade green” – is that like grass? – sundress from Ann Taylor Loft -- an in-between dress in a shade of in-between green. ($39, at right) After all, I’m only part Irish.

What are you wearing for St. Paddie's Day? Have you found anything fun out there?

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (132)

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March 10, 2008

Tipper Gore at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Psst! We've got the dish.
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Tipper Gore, wife of Al (almost president) Gore, is going to be the guest of honor at a cocktail party at the new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store Thursday (March 13) in the Miami Design District.

Mitchell and Bob have been friends with the Gores for years. And Tipper will be at the store to chat with folks about her photo reprints on archival paper that range from nature shots to portraits of Nelson Mandela and Maya Angelou. One of the most dramatic is the historic handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn. Prices are $900 to $6,500. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Climate Project, a nonprofit organization the Gores established to educate people about global warming and what they can do about it.

I interviewed Tipper, by the way, at the High Point Market a few years ago. She was a delight, has beautiful skin and looked about a decade younger than her years. It was like chatting like an old friend....

Sorry, this event is by invitation only. If you're curious about her work, check out the photographs later at the store, 3841 NE 2nd Ave., Suite 101, Miami, 305-572-1123. For more, see mgandbw.com.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

P.S. That's Tipper with Mitchell, left, and Bob.


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March 7, 2008

Sexy swimwear


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If you have the bod, these folks have the swimwear.

OK, I know you may risk looking like a Playbioy Bunny or even a hooker, but you could always wear this stuff in the boudoir. Your man (as they say in Cosmo) will love it.

Check beachbunnyswimwear.com for a selection of really sexy stuff that looks like it is for those who never go into the water.

The line is designed by swimsuit model Angela Chittenden. If your honey recognizes the suits, don't panic. They have been featured in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue and on E!

The suit at right may be small, but it's not cheap. The top is $119 and the bottom is $119. Happy man hunting, babes.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Sexy clothing (22)

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Ethan Allen Warehouse Event

If you're a fan of Ethan Allen furniture but can't afford the typical prices, get ready this weekend to head to their warehouse.
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A postcard came in the mail this week to me and other former customers announcing the event. The "Customer Appreciation" sale is 4-8 p.m. tonight (March 7). The public is allowed to come 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (March 8) and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (March 9).

The sale takes place at the chain's Margate warehouse only --- at 1800 Banks Road. To get there, take I-95 to West Copans Road exit west and Turn left onto Banks Road.

The postcard claims that you can save 20 to 75 percent. One caveat here: It's a good idea to know what the product sold for in the store. Retailers typically mark up their products 2 to 3 times the price they pay and that's the suggested retail price. Typically, the discount comes off that mythical price.

Enjoy, but do your homework to know if you are really getting a bargain.

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

P.S. We're not sure what will be in the sale, but at right is typical Ethan Allen furniture.

POSTED IN: Furniture (27)

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March 4, 2008

Trista's new addition: Diaper bags

TristaBabyTrista Sutter, former Miami Heat dancer and lucky in love on ABC's The Bachelorette, has a new line of diaper bags being sold on eBags.com.

The Trista Baby line (well, only two bags right now) are made with eco-friendly materials, organic hemp fabric and manufactured in the USA. And in the grand tradition of celebrity-designed stuff, they retail for $145 (why, why?).

But for the next three days, they're 20 percent off at eBags. Check here.

POSTED IN: Baby gear (12), Eco shopping (18)

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March 2, 2008

Target's Global Bazaar

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Target's Global Bazaar, the store's limited edition program that featured exotic stuff with a global feel, is going more mainstream, according to HFN, a trade newspaper I read religiously.


You used to find it organized by country of origin, such as India or China. Now it is organized by color.

But the best news for shoppers like us: The prices have come down. I always liked the offerings but felt some of them were a little pricey.

There are great bargains at www.target.com with even cheaper prices.
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Check out the Yellow Bamboo vase that was $24.99 for $12.99 and the Dynasty Accent Tables that was $79.99 for $39.99

I don't care how they display it as long as the styles are cool and the prices are right.
How about you?

XOXO-Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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Get it free at Publix

My stylist was chatting away this weekend when she brought up the ever escalating food prices.

Here's something I just have to share. She was going on about buying cookies for her husband at Publix and said she noticed the price was 6 cents higher than marked on the shelf so she complained to the clerk. To make a long story short, they verified that she was right and gave her the item for FREE.

This is an old policy of Publix that dates back more than 20 years when the store first switched to scanners. I didn't know it was still being followed.

So, next time you go to Publix, make sure you jot down or remember prices and you too could get the item for free.

Let me know if you have any other ways to save money these days.

X0XO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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March 1, 2008

A social experiment: Comedian moves into an Ikea

Here's the first installment of filmmaker/comedian Mark Malkoff's video diary of actually moving into an Ikea store while his New York apartment was being fumigated. Obviously, he got the OK of the Swedish retail giant -- he has his own page there.

Malkoff is also the same guy who visited and made purchases at 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in one day.

POSTED IN: Furniture (27), Home Decor (83), Miscellaneous (41)

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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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