Category Archives: Shopping Trip

Shopping Trip: Paying It Forward From TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods

I’m a longtime fan of off price retailers like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Home Goods. I suppose it’s the thrill of the hunt and satisfaction of a bargain. While I adore a perfectly curated selection, as a shopper I also think that scavenging racks and bins is fun. So when a marketing exec from these stores asked if I’d participate in its Holiday Blogger Challenge I said sure.

My mission was to shop for presents (using the gift card they sent me) for people who weren’t necessarily on my holiday list. Friends and acquaintances that need extra lift this season; a pay it forward concept. Yesterday I hit the strip malls with the off price retailers, to see what I could find.

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First stop, Marshalls. The home section had a some really cute mirrored jewelry boxes, but ultimately I went with these fab faux fur throws. There are lots of different styles, some are gift-boxed already, and most are silky soft. I have a friend who just had a medical procedure and is recuperating at home. When I visit, I’m going to bring one to her as an early Christmas-cum-get-well-soon treat.

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Second stop, T.J.Maxx, where I headed to the men’s section to shop for a cousin who just broke up with his girlfriend and is planning a rugged guys adventure. The brightly colored, lightweight nylon toiletry cases caught my eye. To it I added a sports watch (love the yellow), protective iPhone case, and an orange rain poncho, because really, what guy would ever buy a rain poncho?

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Last stop, HomeGoods. I was immediately lured by the enameled, cast-iron French cooking pots, but alas, they were just a bit out of my budget. (I may go back and get a cobalt blue one for my mother-in-law though.) I was shopping for a neighbor who recently lost her husband. I remember she had mentioned she was baking a lot. I’ve definitely heard baking can be therapeutic. I often find fun kitchen tools for myself here so I scanned the shelves and spotted this colorful, nested mixing bowl set. They’re even microwave safe and are cute enough to use on the table. Bingo.

Done, done, and done. If you shop at T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, share your holiday gift finds on social using #bestgiftever. One winner will receive a $100 gift card.

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Shopping Trip: Lou & Grey

Today I’m partnering with Lou & Grey, an offshoot of Ann Taylor LOFT that elevates loungewear by using textural fabrics and on trend silhouettes to create a collection of easy living pieces with a bit of edge. There are nubby oversize popovers, drawstring pants tailored enough to wear outdoors, stripey knit moto jackets, worn denim, a multitude of leggings, and soft drapey tees.

Interspersed with the Lou & Grey clothing, which is done in a palette of grey and oatmeal, with chambray, indigo, and shots of burgundy, is delicate, on-trend jewelry (lots of triangles) by makers that include Zoe Comings from Austin and New Refined Basics from Portland. There are also colorblock canvas pouches by Bittle & Burley and amazing candles in scents of storm, charcoal, and bone in handmade ceramic pots; both makers are out of Brooklyn. In addition, there are organic beauty products, matte ceramic canisters with cork tops, herringbone throws, stacks of Kinfolk magazines, and a carefully edited selection of books. 

The decor is perfect, with white wood plank floors, copper pipe clothes rails, table bases, and pendants, marble slabs, oak shelving, linen fitting room curtains, and leather hooks. It actually looks a lot like a gorgeous South End condo that I wrote about in the Boston Globe Magazine last Sunday. Lou & Grey is pretty much Pinterest come alive.

I visited the new Lou & Grey retail space at the Natick Mall outside Boston. (There’s a store open in Westport, CT too. I’ll definitely stop by when I’m there for Thanksgiving.) Let’s take the tour.

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L O O K S available O N L I N E

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S H O P P I N G
please note that these are affiliate links

1 Treadstripe Moto Jacket + White Signature Tee

2 Specklestripe Popover + Spacedye Maxi Skirt

3 Burgundy Zippy Tunic + Grey Skinny Jean

4 Pebbled Crepe Popover + Chambray Jogger Pant

5 Mixup Tee + Twill Drawstring Pant

Shop l o u n g e y  l o o k s from L O U & G R E Y  >

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Shopping Trip: Serena & Lily East Hampton

Serena & Lily invited me to it “Sign, Sip and See” party at its new “Beach Market” boutique in East Hampton. Domino co-hosted and their were lots of top interior designers on hand to sign their design books. Since I’m no longer a Hamptons-ite, having given it up for the Cape, I sent my friend and colleague, freelance writer/editor Meredith Barnett, her mom, news correspondent Rita Braver, and Meredith’s best friend Cristina Miller, head of North American Dealer Relations at 1st Dibs. (I met Meredith & Cristina through Craigslist when I applied to work for their previous business, Store Adore.)

The Serena & Lily Hamptons boutique, on Montauk Highway in Wainscott, is the company’s second retail store. The other is in San Francisco, and they are planning to open more stores soon. Meredith reports: “It was absolutely beautiful—very beachy and whimsical, but also very sophisticated.”  Lobster-printed beach towels were stacked amidst hand-painted trays, and colorful artwork on the walls. She (half) jokes, “They should have hosted it with a real estate company because being in that store made you want to buy a house in the Hamptons, just so you could fill it with their stuff!”

I’m jealous that they got to go and sip yummy fresh peach vodka cocktails, and thankful they took time out to snap these photos. Let’s take the tour >

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I’ve had my eye on the swirly rattan woven mirrors for a while, not to mention the rattan South Seas bar cart being used here as a side table. Serena & Lily has a ton of aqua bedding, which goes great with that coral Brahams Mount herringbone throw.

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Scandinavian inspired hanging rattan chair works indoors and out on the patio. Handcrafted basketweave wood Bamileke side table from India is modeled after ceremonial stools used by Bamileke tribal chieftains. Peek through the window to see the Riviera bench, made of sustainable rattan and woven plastic.

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Bamboo and nylon Sailing Ship kites are handmade by Balinese artisans. I love the powdercoated steel cobalt blue Avery bed for a boy’s room, and have been coveting those studio task lamps made from oak, with red cords.

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Get creative with fabric by the yard. The store also has items by other designers. Look at the bottom of the photo—Tina Frey resin ice bucket and Champagne bucket with leather handles. J’adore.

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Harbour cane bed has clean lines reminiscent of French antiques. The cheeky sun pillow by Christopher David Ryan  says, “Lovely To See Your Again My Friend.”  The pattern on the dotty pink quilt and shams are made from tiny hearts.

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Throw pillows galore—great for adding a personal touch to a summer rental. The screenprinted cotton canvas leaf pillow covers in coral are my favorite. The coral and blue botanical print pillows up top are Serena & Lily’s palm leaf pillow covers and the neutral geometric print on the bottom right is the diamond pillow cover.

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Cutting boards and trays with colored edges make great hostess gifts.

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As you know, I’m a huge fan of the original artwork curated and sold by Serena & Lily. They’ve got the best dreamy landscapes and cheerful abstracts.

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More abstract artwork.
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Serena & Lily, East Hampton

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Big thanks to Meredith Barnett & Cristina Miller for stopping by!

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Shopping Trip: Follain Beauty Boutique

Follain is a tiny beauty boutique in Boston’s South End that carries over 30 independent brands of healthy, high performance skincare, hair care, and cosmetics, all made in the U.S.A. The shop is owned by the lovely (natural beauty) Tara Foley, who personally vets every offering. 

Foley spent a summer working on an organic lavender farm in France followed by working with a private label skincare manufacturer in Maine. Armed with an MBA from Babson College, Foley opened Follain last summer.

In April she added a second Follain store on Nantucket. Last month the Follain webshop launched. If you can’t make it into the Remodelista-worthy shop (subway tiles, pale wood, farmhouse sink, marble counters, succulents), try the website, which has the same aesthetic and offers the same products as the Follain brick & mortar boutique.

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S H O P   F O L L A I N

 

Natural Organic Beauty Products Skin Care

 

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray

Drunk Elephant Sunscreen

Herbivore Botanicals After Sun Soothing Mist

Skin Can Do Combat-Ready Bug Repellant 

Baudelaire Wash Cloth

Herbivore Botanicals Detox Bath Salts

Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser

Tammy Fender Cleansing Milk

Stewart + Claire Mint Lip Balm

10  Lurk AS01 Fragrance Oil

 

 

 

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Shopping Trip: Brimfield Antiques Market With Abby Ruettgers of Farm & Fable

Back in May 2009, I went to Brimfield for the first time after reading about it for years in Martha Stewart Living. That it took me six years after moving to Boston to get there is kind of ridiculous, but finally, prompted by an assignment for Boston Globe Magazine, I trailed interior designer and shop owner Jill Goldberg of Hudson. You can see Jill Goldberg’s top ten Brimfield vendor picks here.

This year, Boston’s most darling publicist Nicole Kanner suggested I trail Abby Ruettgers, who owns the new South End boutique Farm & Fable, where she sells culinary antiques, vintage cookbooks, and new tabletop items. (She also hosts cooking & drinking classes in the basement and has two enormous friendly dogs.) The Boston Globe’s Food & Dining section editor thought it was a great idea, so I went with Abby and Nicole’s sweet assistant Liz Greene to Brimfield in May.

Today, the article In Brimfield, Hunt is on for Culinary Collectibles appeared in the Boston Globe. Be sure to click through to read it to learn her strategies and tips for successful hunting. Here are my photos from the day.


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Abby Ruettgers of Farm & Fable

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V E N D O R S

For: Wooden crates, lockers, scales, and lanterns.
Shop: Bill Ziobro, Found Again Treasures, Sturtevants North.

For: Jadeite, Fiesta ware, cocktail glasses and shakers.
Shop: Joe Keller and David Ross, Keller & Ross, Quaker Acres, Booth L3.

For: Vintage advertising pamphlets, magazines, and books.
Shop: Joseph Prior, Quaker Acres, Booths 25 and 26.

For: Culinary antiques including Pyrex and kitchen tools.
Shop Nancy and Richard Lucier, The Good Home, Quaker Acres, Booth 82.

For: Wooden bobbins, spools, and such from textile factories.
Shop: Dennis and Judy Perry, The Meadows, Booth 50.

If you’re in Boston, stop by Abby’s boutique Farm & Fable,
located at Shawmut & Milford in the South End.

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All photos by Marni Elyse Katz for StyleCarrot

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