So, I've been meaning to tell you all about the Christmas gifts you didn't even know you got me, but I've I had a headache the last couple days.
A few days before Christmas, I was having a bad day (feeling overwhelmed and getting sick) when I got an email from someone representing TJ Maxx and Marshalls (I guess they're married now) offering me a $25 gift card to each if I would tell you all about shopping there!
So $50 for me, because of us, from them! HOW NICE! Seriously, Christmas was sparse between Mr. Ashley and I this year, and I really didn't end up with any money to spend on myself. It's also been a while since spending guilt free money on myself. (I've spent it, just not guilt free.) So this was SUCH a gift.
I went shopping Wednesday evening, right after getting my hair done. Feeling optimistic, I went to Marshall's first. You all know that I am a bargain shopper, so I am familiar with the TJ Maxx and Marshalls in my area. Generally my impression has been that Marshalls was usually a little less organized, more of a bargain hunt for the good stuff, and TJ Maxx was usually a little more expensive, with better known brand names. It was interesting to actually do the shopping back to back this time for the sake of comparison.
I had to laugh when pulling into the parking lot at Marshalls because there was a Bentley and countless BMWs. I guess the rich folks like bargains too. I saw Europeans filling newly purchased suitcases with their newly purchased designer clothes and artfully stacking them into the back of their already crammed rental SUVs. I actually saw the exact same scene the last time I was at Marshalls, so I think it may be a popular place to score discounted brand names for people visiting from overseas.
Our Marshalls is really big and has just been reorganized, so it was a little overwhelming at first and I wasn't really sure what I was even looking for in the first place. I did decide I should try to stick as close to the $25 as possible, to make it more of a challenge.
I almost immediately spent $17 on awesome red and black high top Converse for Big Kid. They had some great deals on shoes, they even had Robeez for babies. They also had some sexy Jessica Simpson heels that I really, really wanted and even wore all around the shoe section, but at $40 they were over my $25 limit and they were TOTALLY impractical. But sexy.
They had awesome purses too. I'm never paying retail for a purse again, they had some super nice purses with recognizable brand names and really big discounts. I actually got my last purse at Marshalls, it was originally $70 and I got it for $20, and I love it.
I also loved the house stuff, they had a zebra striped bench that you would put at the end of your bed (and then pile high with your laundry) for $80 that looked straight from the pages of Pottery Barn. They had really nice quality sheets and towels for very reasonable prices too, but I decided to spend the money entirely on myself.
I ended up trying on a bunch of stuff, some True Religion and Juicy shirts and a really cute cami/capri pajama set (that would have been a total luxury, and it was only $14) but finally decided on a pair of workout pants, a pair of black, trouser-like pants that fit me perfectly and....wait for it...a pair of ruffled panties.
Remember how I saw the Nutcracker and wanted to be a Sugarplum fairy with the tutu and the ruffled panties? Well, I've got the ruffled panties, thanks to you all.
That ended up right at $24 something.
I spent a lot of time agonizing over what to get though, they had so many really great choices. Without my $25 limit, I may have been in trouble. I still want those shoes...
Then I went on to TJ Maxx. Our TJ Maxx is more nicely decorated and laid out to better display the higher end items. They also had fantastic house stuff and kids' stuff. If you're having a baby, both stores are great to stalk for the high end, cutesy stuff that you couldn't normally spend that much on. They had an itsy bity baby girl Ralph Lauren dress that I almost bought just to have.
I ended up not finding as much at TJ Maxx, probably because I had my heart set on a cute pj set for the impractical luxury factor at that point and this particular store's pj section was smaller. I did end up with a pair of cute pin-striped capris and two pairs of panties that would've been ridiculously expensive otherwise. It also came right to $25.
So, for $50 you bought me all of that and we had fun doing it! Thanks TJ Maxx and Marshalls for making it possible, that was fun!
...And I'll probably go back for those shoes...