Shopping in C’ville

I recently got to spend a delightful Saturday with my best friend Janel, who came for a short visit. We spent a leisurely day wandering around the Downtown Mall, which has some of the best shopping anywhere.

Our first stop was the bustling farmer’s market on Water Street , where you can find everything from bee pollen to cut flowers.

The Downtown Mall is dotted with boutiques that have beautifully curated collections. Here are four of our favorites:

At Roxie Daisy on Water Street there are elegant displays in predominantly neutral tones:

We especially loved their collection of cards:

O’Suzannah on 4th Street is organized like a box of watercolors with its monochromatic-themed displays that make you want to linger for hours. This, for example, is the blue section:

The charm of the displays at Caspari on West Main is the gorgeous mix of rich hues:

A stop at ChaCha’s, headquarters for kitsch and neon on East Main, is obligatory.

Someone bought the Barbie chandelier shortly after we popped into the store:

On the way back home we capped off our expedition with a stop at the brand new Pearl Bakery on Main Street:

How to summarize the day?

Soho & Chinatown

New York Adventures continued…


Although we were in NYC to celebrate our sons’ thirteenth birthdays and to do boy-oriented things, I considered it my duty as a friend to introduce Rosita to the joys of Uniqlo. The boys managed to find a way to amuse themselves:

Next we went to Pearl River, a fabulous Asian emporium in Soho and one of my favorite stores of all time. I brought my sister there once and we spent a longish time there, which might explain this text:

My son replied:

But look!

And look!

Yep. Victory is sweet.

Muji, which Rosita refers to as her favorite “anal retentive validation store” was juuuuust down the block, so off we went. Rosita took this photo of the boys looking pretty happy to be there and posted it on Facebook:

I took this photo moments later:

We wandered over to Chinatown in search of lunch, but were waylaid by a chopstick store. Yes, a chopstick store! It’s not like you see one of those every day…

Finally, the boys’ patience was rewarded when we stopped for lunch:

Soooooo…as we were heading back to the subway, we just happened to go past this store:

Obviously, we had to check it out.

So how do you drag two almost thirteen year old boys into a Hello Kitty Emporium? By turning a blind eye to this:

And this:

Hey! You gotta do what you got to do!

Tomorrow: Central Park

*My friend Rosita wrote about our trip to NYC here.
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Top Ten Toys for 2012

Black Friday shopping? Read this first!

1) Plush microbes

We discovered these when we lived in Carrboro. We would make frequent visits to a great store called Chapel Hill Comics. The store had an amazing selection of comic books, but my son Nicholas was magnetically drawn to their display basket of plush microbes. He would lovingly fondle Ebola or E.coli…and then he’d ask me if I would buy Chlamydia for him.


“Why not?”


“Well, can I get Gonno, Goh No…”

“No. No. No. You can’t have Gonorrhea.”

“How about Syphilis?”

“NO! No, Nicholas. Just stop, OK? Here, I’ll get you Salmonella.”

2) Mr. Potato Head, a classic toy with a twist:

3) Canned Unicorn at for your favorite “quirky” little foodie:

4) F.A.O. Schwartz has the Barbie Foosball table for the kid who has everything:

5) My kids got this Racing Grannies set from their own Granny.

Or, if you prefer: Racing Granddads, complete with double-barreled oxygen tanks!

6)The BugZooka

My kids aren’t even allowed to have water guns. But the BugZooka is now our most cherished possession. Lock and load.

7) Bacon flavored toothpaste stocking stuffer:

Is it just me, or is anyone else ready for bacon chic to be over already?!

8) Monster High Venus McFlytrap

No joke: this is listed as one of’s bestselling dolls. I’m not feeling it…

9)Hearthsong has Buddy Bumper Balls for siblings who love/hate each other:

10) A real Dustbuster

Toy companies sell toy vacuums that have very weak suction…Why not get a real dustbuster or vacuum for your kids to “play” with? Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!

To all you parents out there who want to get a head start on their Christmas shopping: you’re welcome!

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