Friday, January 28, 2011

Dillard's Winter Clearance

Take an extra 30% off already low clearance prices at Dillard's.

Just started yesterday...

  • Check online, but you'll find better deals on Dillard's winter clearance in the store.
  • Dillard's is my favorite department store for clearance sales. You can sometimes find great items for 90% off original price.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Pillow Pet

Remember how I claimed to be a fashion designer and seamstress? For Christmas, I got brave and decided to try something for real. Behold the homemade pillow pet...

My daughters (3 and 5) have been begging me for one ever since they began to watch Qubo, which has a pillow pet commercial about every 5 minutes. The requests crescendo shortly after each commercial, then die off, only to recrescendo after the next commercial. Needless to say, all I hear is, "When can I get a pillow pet?....When can I get a pillow pet?"

My problem was that I couldn't swallow shelling out $20 to $40 for one of these glorified stuffed animals, so I attempted to create my own.

I went to the store to look at the real thing. I took notes and made sketches of what I thought were the components.

When I came home, I grabbed some fabric scraps and made a quick, small prototype from my notes.

Then I took the pieces from the prototype (after a few adjustments) and drew a larger pattern for the pillow pet.

Here they are on Christmas morning!

The whole thing ended up being easier and quicker than I thought it would be. I spent about $5 and one hour on each homemade pillow pet. My girls love the fact that no one else has a pillow pet just like theirs.

Does anyone want to invent a new genus and species for this animal?

  • Use coupons to purchase the fabric in order to keep the price down. I purchased this fabric at Jo-Ann's.
  • Email me at if you want my instructions and pattern.
  • Visit No Big Dill to see a REAL seamstress in action!

Friday, January 21, 2011

J. Crew Factory Winter Clearance

Take an extra 40% off clearance items on J. Crew Factory online.

Lots of good stuff at good prices.

  • Orders over $100 get free shipping.
  • Use code: MUSTSHOP.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LOFT Winter Clearance

Shop the Winter Clearance sale at LOFT.

Store Locator

Check out a few of my favorites:

Basic Turtleneck: 12.50

Colorblock Top: 17.50

Cropped Cargo Pant: 7.50

Classic Boot Cut Jean: $25

Drape Neck Tee: $17.50 ( I just bought this one in gray and love it!)
  • Check online and in the store. Sometimes items online are not in the store, and vice versa.
  • Be willing to pay a little more. I've had a lot of Ann Taylor and LOFT clothing over the years (my sister used to work there). The clothing comes in nice fabrics that wash well and stay looking good for a long time. I have Ann Taylor items in my closet that I bought over 10 years ago that still look great.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Bargain Quests

After the Christmas decorations are put away, the melancholy brought on by the winding down of another holiday season gives way to the excitement of kids going back to school, filing taxes, organizing my house, and a list of new bargains to seek.

Here's my list for 2011:

  1. Airfare to Hawaii for 7--my parents have their Mariott timeshare reserved for spring break for us, so I just need to find a great deal on airfare.

  2. Surfing lessons--see #1.

  3. Mattress set--we've had our current mattress set as long as we've been married, almost 17 years. It's time for a new set.

  4. Deck furniture--to furnish the new deck we're building in the backyard. The deck should be complete in a week or two.

What's on your list?