A few weekends ago I decided it was finally time to venture out on my own to run some errands, sans DH, for the first time in quite a while since becoming pregnant. Obviously doing stuff without DH was never an issue before the pregnancy, but for whatever reason I just didn’t like the idea of being alone while out and about when the nausea or dizziness or sleepiness or whatever hit. But this weekend, I thought maybe I could finally handle it, now that I’m settling comfortably into my second trimester. So in addition to running some boring errands like buying toilet paper and toothpaste, I decided to hit up a few discount stores to see if I could find any inspiration pieces for any of my upcoming home projects–or get anything off my “to find list” which currently includes:
- some kind of mirror for the narrow space in the hallway
- a stainless steel colander (DH really wants one, but I thought I could find better deal than the $$20 one we found at Crate and Barrel)
- storage boxes for the upcoming living room to office conversion
- office/desk organizers
On Saturday I didn’t veer too far from home and just visited he T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s near my home. I actually had pretty good luck at my first stop, and found these amazing capiz-shell mirrors
Here’s a closer-up pic of one of them:
On Sunday, I decided to venture a bit further out and found myself in a bona fide suburb. At first I was hoping to blend in, especially now that we have out new car, Cedric the CR-V. I have always associated these small cross-over vehicles with suburban living, although I know that they also work well in more urban areas because they are still much smaller than some of the monstrosities I see tearing around the outer suburbs. That is, of course, why we got Cedric: more room inside for baby stuff, but still a pretty small car (plus, since our twobedroom doesn’t come with a garage, we have to park on the street, and Ian the Ion just wasn’t cutting it for dislodging ourselves form giant snowbanks). Anyway…
I had high hopes of fitting in, riding comfortably in Cedric on a cloudy but not too cold Sunday, as I pulled into the parking lot of HomeGoods, just as another CR-V pulled in to a spot nearby. However, as soon as I actually entered the store, I regretted my decision to go out in my comfy clothes (yoga pants, t-shirt, hoodie, snow boots). I have to be dressed up most days of the week for work, so sometimes giving my business casual wardrobe a break is a nice. Apparetnly not in this area. Everyone looked freshy showered and coiffed, with plenty of makeup, perfume, dresses/fancy pants etc. I resolved that this should not stop me from finding the inspiring pieces I knew awaited me in this store (luckily I was wearing a coat, so I could more easily hide my less-than-adequate wardrobe).
I started browsing around the store without a cart, which apparently is also abnormal. Every aisle I turned down contained several women, all pushing carts, most of which were empty. I’m not sure why I found this so strange, but I felt like I couldn’t really shop if I had to keep pushing around a cart. How can you really get up close and personal with all the textiles, dishes, furniture, etc. if you’re constantly pushing around an empty cart?
Anyway, after getting through dishes/kitchenwares (no stainless steel colander, sadly), finding a bathroom…yay!, browsing through furniture, and passing by rugs, I spotted the shiny aisles of mirrors! Oh, such mirrors! Although I was at this point not especially appreciative of the infinite reflections of myself, reminding me that I should have at least put on proper pants that day, I was still so excited to see so many choices all lined up and waiting for me to wade through to find the treasures. I couldn’t believe the prices on even the larger mirros (only $40?? For real??). Then I spotted it: a mirror that was pretty much exactly what I had been searching for for my entryway! It was then, and only then, that I regretted not having that cart! I quickly hid the mirror behind another, larger one, walked as fast as my pregnant body would carry me to the front of the store, grabbed a cart, and wheeled my way to the back corner of the store, where my treasure awaited me. Although there was now another couple looking in the same area, they didn’t seem to have yet noticed my buried treasrure, so I quietly rolled the cart behind them, unearthed the hidden mirror, and placed it awkwardly into my now no longer empty cart. I worried momentarily that the couple might try to fight me for it, but luckily, they seemed uninterested in this find. Success!
Here’s the mirror (now mine for only $40)!
I actually had been seriously considering laying down some cash to buy this similar one from Ballard Designs (I had a coupon that would have brought it down in price just a bit):
And had also considered this one from homedecorators.com
But luckily my DH insisted that we measure before buying, and sure enough, the Ballard one was really just to large for the small space. And for the price, the Home Decorators one just didn’t quite excite me enough, so I had stopped looking in earnest for a mirror for the entryway sometime before the holidays last year. I can’t believe how similar my new mirror is to the one I was looking at online at Home Decorators!! This fab HomeGoods find though has so much potential that I’m just tickled. I can certainly leave it as-is, but could also paint it white, or use a silver or gold leaf kit to make it really shine. I can’t decide quite yet, but I DO know this one is a keeper!
After finding the mirror, I mosied over to bathroom secion, browsed briefly through the kids section (where I found a fabulous assortment of polka-dot piggy banks and was tempted but passed), and then turned to the office/desk accessory area. I then spotted these fabulous rainboot shaped bookends that were just too cute to pass up:
I was a little worried that DH would find these tacky, but luckily he just chuckled when I showed them to him. I think we can use them either in the nursery or on our built-in bookcases in the hall (I’ll definitely post about that fun project at some point!). I had been searching for some unobtrusive bookends awhile back and didn’t have much luck, so I am now perfectly happy with these that are both functional and whimsical (though certainly not unobtrusive). My life could use some whimsy these days anyway!
I took a stroll through lighting and lamented that I don’t have a need for any table lamps right now because there were some really beautiful lamps to be had. But I made mental note of the kinds of lamps that were available and vowed to come back as soon as the need for another lamp arose in my 2bedroom. Finally, I strode (carefully with my encumbered cart) through the aisles of (breakable) vases and other decorative items. I found many, many things to tempt me, but I tried to consider the scale of some of the more giant items, and also my lack of need for more vases. My 2bedroom lacks any sizeable amount of horizontal (that is, display) space, so there are not a lot of opportunities for non-functional items to shine. However, I did find this fabulous tall vase near the end of my browsing:
Don’t let the color scare you! I was drawn to its great straight sides and fabulous textured design. I have big plans to paint this beauty. Perhaps a glossy turquoise? Or a matte, modern, white? I haven’t yet decided, but his may replace the woven vase I currently have residing part time in the living room and part time in the entry way. Who knows?? Maybe, once I get my dining room back, it could make a great floor vase. Stay tuned for more adventures in painting the orange vase!