Category Archives: Shopping

A Little Flakey on the Decor

With Winter Wonderland as our wedding theme, and our wedding scheduled for January 3rd, we made things easy (and inexpensive) on ourselves with respect to decor and accessories. Planning the wedding during the Advent season meant both online and bricks and mortar retailers were all flaked out, and willing to discount, for the season.

The ridiculous popularity of the Disney movie Frozen contributed even more snowflake-themed products to the marketplace, both a boon and a bear. Sure, there were  more flakes available in September and October, but the aqua and purple hues didn’t quite  complement our wedding palette of midnight blue, silver, and grey, nor did the ubiquitous character visages. “I do and Olaf does, too,” just didn’t seem romantic…or age-appropriate. Talk about the need to let it go.

A word about snowflakes. The snowflake seemed the perfect symbol for our wedding. Each one is special, with its own design and its own purpose. One snowflake by itself is nothing much but when it joins with another snowflake its power and purpose are multiplied. Like the snowflake, we are stronger together than we are on our own, yet we retain our unique purpose and design within the relationship. We are snowflakes and even when it gets warm and we might melt, we simply change shape and flow on. It’s an imperfect simile but it worked better for us than guns and grosgrain. Continue reading A Little Flakey on the Decor


Ten Lessons Sans Carols: #5 Sprouts Saves

Since the untimely demise of the local gluten free food emporium, Return to Eden, I’ve depended on Publix to make my gluten free food shopping a pleasure. Publix has stepped up to the plate, expanding the roster of gluten free (GF) brands it carries and mainstreaming them with their gluten laden (GL) counterparts. I no longer have to go the little GF section at the back of the store, although it’s still there. I can sashay up and down the aisles and find Pamela’s GF baked goods mixes beside Betty Crocker’s GF and GL mixes. On the next aisle, I can stock up on Barilla GF pasta, although I could grab DeBoles below it, and a jar or three of Classico or Organicville pasta sauces a few steps away. Udi’s and Rudi’s GF baked goods are sandwiched between the Tombstone pizzas and Lean Cuisine entrees in the frozen food cases. This expansion isn’t because R2E went under; it has more to do with growing demand for GF fare plus increasing competition among retailers to meet that demand. Continue reading Ten Lessons Sans Carols: #5 Sprouts Saves

Holiday Cheer and Jeer

holiday owls“People don’t know the meaning of the holiday anymore,” declared a woman who sounded very much like she hails from the place my mother fondly and proudly called the Armpit of the Nation, the state where we all were born and raised: New Jersey.

I was browsing the wares of a wonderful little gift shop, feeling mostly buoyant about the start of the Christmas season.

Ms. Jersey was shopping for a Christmas ornament to bring to a holiday party. The saleslady cheerfully pointed out every ornament in the store: a cupcake with feet and rosy cheeks, birds of all feather, snowmen, snowladies, angels, stars, dogs, cats, spheres, trees, Santas, a carrot shaped like a bunny, and even a shoe-shaped elf with a classy wedge. I peeked at them myself, and noticed that the Christmas ornaments hung over a jewelry case full of exquisite pendants: the Star of David, Hebrew letters, dreidels, scrolls, and Trees of Life.  One case over held a dozen or more necklaces bearing brightly adorned crosses.

I made my way around the store and as much as I didn’t want to listen to their conversation, I had to. It was loud. Continue reading Holiday Cheer and Jeer

On the Imminent Death of a Gluten Free Friend

This is a painful post to write. It hurts because it’s about the imminent death of an Atlanta institution, a vanguard in organic, natural, and gluten free groceries. Return to Eden is closing…for good.

Return to EdenOpened in 1993 in an iconic small retail complex on Cheshire Bridge Road (anchored by the indy movie temple, Tara Theater), Return to Eden innovated by offering natural food grocery shopping on a larger scale than anything Atlanta previously had seen. Rainbow was older but Return to Eden was bigger, and it pre-dated Whole Foods’ first foray into the Atlanta market by several years. Ownership has changed a few times and it’s bounced back from near-death more than once, but this time, Return to Eden is not returning. Continue reading On the Imminent Death of a Gluten Free Friend