The day before finding out I was going to be participating in the BlogHer/HomeGoods gift card program, I had a happy shopping trip at HomeGoods. I'd already taken the photos and written a shopping post ANYWAY, so that makes a nice intro to this now-partially-sponsored-via-gift-card-contribution post:
This set of wall stickers was marked down to $3. I copied the branch arrangement exactly as shown on the package, but I did the birds and the falling leaves differently. My sister-in-law did some bird wall stickers in my niece's room, and she put one of the birdies way over on top of a window, and I loved that idea so I put one of my birds on the little round mirror. Another bird was shown on the package coming in for a landing, and I just put him/her higher up in the air.
I don't put cream in a creamer, so this was a little bit of a silly purchase. But I plan to use this little pitcher decoratively, on a little shelf with other bird knick-knacks---AND, then if I ever DO have people over for coffee, I can call it into service! $4.
Cute magnetic turtle clips! (My dad: "Are those turtles, or are they green ladybugs?") I have a lot of stuff from this Animal House line, and I would have had these a lot sooner if I'd realized they existed. I use our fridge as an extension of my brain: I put up notices I have to remember to act on, or spelling words I have to remember to practice with one of the kids, or whatever. Clips are better than regular magnets for this, for a variety of dull reasons. $5.
Set of eight cards. I LOVE these. And I almost didn't get them, because the sunflower (my least favorite) was the top card and I assumed they were all the same. But then I was looking at a different set more closely, and saw THAT one had an assortment, so I went back and checked these and LOVED them. Clearance $3.
Ladybug paper assortment: one lined pad, one unlined pad, one square sticky note pad, two rectangular sticky-note pads. Clearance $3.
So I came home with a big bag of fun stuff to put all over the house, all for $18, and took photos to show you.
Then I got the gift card. The assignment was to buy one or two gifts, worth a total of $25, for anyone we wanted: teachers, mail carriers, family, friends. I went to Home Goods and looked around, and I decided it would be most fun to choose a present for one of YOU.
My first idea was to go back and buy all the things I had just bought for myself and give THOSE away---but when I went back the next day, everything was gone except the bird pitcher. So I looked a bit more, but I was getting overwhelmed by all the possibilities, so I went home to regroup and plan.
I made a list of possible gifts. I wanted it to be something that wouldn't be heavy or fragile, because of shipping it. I also wanted it to be something I thought a lot of people would want (as opposed to, say, a decorative item, which I might LOVE but maybe I'd be the only one), and something kind of FUN and interesting, and ideally something that the winner could keep OR might be able to give as a gift to someone on their own list, if things were tight for them this year. AND I wanted it to be something fun to buy. So you can see this was a Shopping Challenge.
I considered doing kitchen linens: oven mitts, dishtowels, hot pads---maybe holiday-themed. Or an assortment of stationery, maybe with a journal. Or a set of wrapping paper and ribbons and gift tags. Or a bunch of holiday paper plates and napkins. Or cloth napkins and napkin rings. Or whimsical kitchen things. Or a brownie pan plus oven mitts, or a muffin tin plus silicone muffin cups. Or a coffee/chocolate assortment. Or a throw blanket and throw pillow (MUST we throw them?). Or mixing bowls and measuring cups. Or a photo album and a frame. Or Spode serving utensils with Christmas trees on them. ....Are you beginning to sympathize with my mother, who was dragged along on this trip and subjected to many happy ditherings by someone in no hurry to make up her mind?
This is what we chose:
(I used my HomeGoods dark turquoise leather chair as the backdrop!)
My mom and I have been admiring that pink salt cube with grater, but it is THIRTEEN DOLLARS, which we're sure is totally worth it, but we are more accustomed to the 49-cent cylinder of Morton's salt, so this wouldn't be something we'd buy for ourselves---but we'd be delighted to get it as a gift so we could TRY IT! Furthermore, you would not believe how special and awesome this salt claims to be: "purest salt on earth," "primordial Himalayan sea salt," "unique, subtle flavors of HimalaSalt's essential minerals, created 250 million years ago during a time of pristine environmental integrity." PRISTINE ENVIRONMENTAL INTEGRITY. It goes on, too, with more praises of this salt.
I also got the refill container of more pink salt ("Ethically sourced. Artisan made."), which was $8. That left $4, so I bought a container of Aleppo Chile Finishing Salt that was on clearance down from $6 or $7.
All this fancy salt can be yours (er, as long as you want me to ship it to a U.S. or Canadian address), a holiday gift from me to you (or to a recipient of your choice: I can ship it directly, and in fact, heck, I will wrap it and stick on a gift tag if you like), and I will barely even taste it first, only if a little salt breaks off and falls out of the package!
To enter, leave a comment on this post by December 6, 2010. It doesn't have to be any particular comment, but if you need inspiration you can tell me if you normally spring for Morton's salt or if you save a dime and get the store brand, or if you have tried fancy salts before, or whether you would keep it yourself or give it as a gift. Pitiful-situation stories accepted, but will not increase odds of winning, which will be random.
FURTHERMORE, BlogHer is giving away a $100 HomeGoods gift card and twenty $25 HomeGoods gift cards, so even if you don't win the salt, you might win a card and can go buy your own thing. To get to the card giveaways, go to the BlogHer page. (But leave a comment HERE first if you want to win the salt.)