Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Top 5 Stores/Shops I Love
As always, go over to Kate's and Tiff's blogs to see their Top 10's (or Top 5) for the week and if you want to join in, just let Kate know. Since Kate is still in the wind, I'm not sure if she'll be posting, but she'll get you on the list for next week for sure!
It's no secret that I am classified as part of the "poor" class by the government and I do pretty much fit the bill...I live in a trailer, scraping by paycheck to paycheck, etc, but I'm also one to spend like there is no tomorrow as evidenced by the Disney merchandise that has consumed every square inch of said trailer. Shopping, at least in my family, is an inherited weakness, I just ended up on the low end of the financial ladder to do it properly like my relatives, but it doesn't mean I don't strive to keep up with them!
Be it Amazon US or Amazon UK, I've gotten so bad at using it, that I even bought socks and underwear for my last Disney trip from Amazon instead of going to the store! Amazon is the perfect place for anti-social people to shop and I feel sorry for the people who refuse to use it on principle (there are several in my office). When I shop the US store, I do use Amazon Smile instead of the regular and, for those that don't know, Smile donates a portion of every purchase to the charity of your choice. My charity is Arkansas Southern Dog Rescue, the angels who brought Bam into my life. I try to donate to them directly every payday, but on the weeks that I can't, at least I know they get something from my shopping addiction.
I buy from Amazon UK for my British DVDs (and I've been known to buy the occasional CD or book as well). Because of country coding on DVDs, it's impossible to get some of my favorite British shows in a US format, so it's nice to know that there is a place for me to get my Brit-fix. All you need is an all-region DVD player (about $30 on Amazon US) and you're in business! For the record, you can also shop at other countries Amazon shops, but there are shipping restrictions, especially when it comes to third-party sellers, so be careful.
#2: DISNEY STORES
Bet you thought this would be #1 and, considering the amount of dough I just dropped in about 50 park stores, I still think I utilize Amazon more. It's hard to pin this down to a specific Disney Store, so I'm not going to, but rather just the highlights (and for those that thought the Disney Store was your only option, prepare to be educated!).
We don't have a local Disney Store in our mall, but a trip to Memphis (1.5 hrs away) finds a couple and then there are Disney Outlets in both Nashville (4hrs away) and Gulfport (7 hrs away) and I'm sure elsewhere.
When in the parks, the possibilities and the stores are endless, so I'm not going to try to name all of them, but my favorites are probably The Emporium on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, Mouse Gear in Epcot, and the Art of Disney Store in Disney Springs (it used to be World of Disney at Disney Springs, but their recent changes make the store borderline sucky...more to come on that when I get around to Disney reviews).
When I'm home, of course there is the online Disney Store, The Disney Movie Club Store (the DVDs cost more, but the exclusive merchandise makes it worth it, especially the pins) and, a relatively newcomer to the Disney shopper (and the best invention since sliced bread), the Shop Disney Parks app. How I've lived without this app is a miracle and I hope to never have to go back to those "dark years" and the park crumbs that the Disney Store gives us. Granted, it still has its limitations (especially when it comes to pins or event merchandise, most of those are "in store purchase only"), but pretty much everything else that can be found in Disney World, Disneyland or any other Disney park can be found on the app and all without the expensive trip to Disney World! I actually used it the first time on a Disney bus and I was instantly obsessed! Ever regret not buying a particular item when in the parks (story of my life) well, NEVER AGAIN!!
#3: CROSS STITCH STORES
Again, I'm going to generalize this too much because there are numerous stores I buy from, but I do have a couple of favorites. I love to browse most of them more than anything. When in need of fabric or thread in a pinch, I will often just head over to 123 Stitch. I've never had any problems with them, their prices are reasonable, and the merchandise arrives pretty quickly compared to other stores. I have also been known to buy fabric from Stoney Creek because I can get what I need in larger sizes, but a lot of people hate their store...I've never had an issue.
Way back in the day, before online stores were a staple and, if you wanted something different, you were stuck scouring eBay for hours, I bought all my kits from Cross Stitch World via eBay. Once they opened their online store, I just kept buying from them. Granted, I rarely buy a kit nowadays unless it's a Disney Dreams kit, but they are still who I order from.
I do travel a bit upon occasion just to hit a cross stitch store but, for the most part, I'm stuck with our local Hobby Lobby for immediate supplies. I HATE HATE HATE going there because of their lack of "hobby" supplies and their politics, but that's a discussion for a different day. There is a cross stitch store in Memphis, but they aren't very nice there (besides being incredibly expensive) and it's usually just more of a novelty visit than a predetermined shopping extravaganza.
#4: WAL-MART NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET
There are several reasons why I haven't been able to go to the SuperCenters for years, none of which are important for this post, but when it came to groceries/household items, I've been relegated to buying groceries at one store and household items at another for as long as I can remember. Then we got two Neighborhood Markets in our town and I haven't looked back since! Granted, I still have to make the occasional trip to Target for certain things (and this would be a different title if we had a Super Target, but alas, we don't), but I can mostly skate by just going to the Market for the weekly stuff. It's small, not too crowded, safe (at least for now), and I'm happy going there (and that's the most important thing of all).
Since this is only a top 5 list, my last choice was a little difficult, but not impossible. I've been spending a TON of time on Etsy lately. I buy cross stitch patterns, needle minders, dog collars, designer Scentsy fragrances (usually Disney related), and pretty much anything else that strikes my fancy (and my fancy is easily struck). There was a time I spend quite a bit of time (and money) on eBay but, since Etsy's come along, I rarely, if ever, buy from eBay anymore.
Given a choice, I would obviously do all my shopping online, hence the online-dominant picks on this list, but since it's not always possible, I like knowing that I still have visitable options (unless they come up with something better online in the future...I'm always on the lookout!).