Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The One With The Smart Shopping

via Dystopos on Flickr

First - we're getting there with the blog changing, I fixed some of the coloring already so hopefully it's easier to read and tonight I'll be switching up the header, hopefully! Sorry...I can't promise anything.

Second - I added a button on the side of the blog for The 3/50 Project. You should all check it out. And because I am in Birmingham, home of ├╝ber cute shops...I'll give you a few suggestions for places to spend your next $50.

If you're in the villages (Mountain Brook, Crestline, English)....

Amano - This precious store (in Mountain Brook Village) has everything for gift giving. They carry a lot of wonderful handmade pottery (my future place settings), and beautiful vases. After Carly passed away my sister bought me a really beautiful clay cross that sits on my dresser now. It's definitely a good place to find little "happys" for friends, and gifts for graduations, housewarmings, hostesses, birthdays, even new babies.

Susan G Matthews - This shop carries clothing, jewelry, shoes and bags. They can be a little pricey but the clothing is always beautiful. Right in the heart of Mountain Brook Village, it's a good place to look for anything from a pretty party dress to a casual t-shirt.

Once Upon A Time - The most precious baby gifts that ever graced this planet. Such sweet items and such a sweet shop in general. The store is in Crestline Village on Country Club Park, and is definitely worth stopping in.

Continental Bakery and Chez LuLu - The most delicious bagels ever. This bakery is right up the street from Joe Muggs in English Village and right around the corner from Mountain Brook Village and it houses some of the best baked goods I have ever tasted. It would definitely be a fun pit stop on a walk through Mountain Brook.

Little Hardware - The end all be all for hardware. It's more expensive the Lowe's or Home Depot but they are certainly more helpful. It has a definite small town feel, with lots of things to peruse.

Leaf n Petal - This store has three locations, out by the Summit, in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and in Mountain Brook Village but the Botanical Gardens store is my favorite. They have great ornaments at Christmas and beautiful accessories for the home. In their other locations they also function as a plant shop.

Oak Street Garden Shop - Leaf n Petal might have great accessories, and carry plants, but my favorite plant shop is and always will be Oak Street Garden Shop in Crestline Village. Oak Street also owns a sweet farmer's market type area now too - you should definitely check that out.

Olexa's - The all-time best cake. This is pretty high on my fictional to-do after engagement list...right after register at Williams-Sonoma for a baby blue mixer, and book the world's most amazing photographer. This place is TO DIE FOR. This is where we get my sister's birthday cake every year (her's is over Thanksgiving...mine is not, bummer). You should go try a piece, right now (or go to any recent wedding in Birmingham).

Marguerite's Conciets - The best place for girly gifts. Lotions, bath goodies, picture frames, bath robes, pj's. This is where you should be if you're looking to buy your best friend a gift. They also have beautiful bedding which I tried to convince my mom to spend loads of money on for my twin DORM ROOM bedding...I got shot down.

Marella - Located in Mountain Brook Village, after leaving it's original home in Homewood, this store has a little bit of everything. My favorites in Marella are always the jeans (they have a HUGE selection for such a tiny store) and the accessories. They have great jewelry, bags and belts.

Gilchrist - Best grilled cheese in town. Order a limeade to go with it and pick up a baggie of sour powers at the counter when you pay. This little restaurant is in Mountain Brook Village so if you opt to go on a parent-teacher conference afternoon you'll be fighting with 10-year-olds for the very few tables...don't worry, it's worth it.

This idea really is incredible. Imagine how much we could do for our little city (and Birmingham too) if we shopped locally more often. I'm not saying I don't LOVE the Summit, but really - we could steer clear of it every once in awhile. It wouldn't be a HUGE deal to make the effort to buy things that benefit our community more. Because this post is obviously insanely long...I'll be adding to it in the next couple of days, after all - Mountain Brook isn't the only area of Birmingham with awesome shopping.

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