Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Retail Beat: Italian and on a Whim

Back again with another Retail Beat so soon? Well, what can I say, I've always been passionate about food and my intensifying nesting instincts (post on this phenomenon to come) have propelled me toward Target several times lately . . .

Here are some things I have purchased and enjoyed lately that might be of interest to you:

Item: California Pizza Kitchen For One
Source: The Jewel or your own regular grocery store
Price: on sale 4/$10

I have always loved dining in at CPK, despite the fact that they have Diet Pepsi rather than my preferred Diet Coke on tap. I often crave the Barbecue Chicken Chopped Salad and have never sampled a pizza there that I did not enjoy. From time to time, I have purchased the CPK frozen pizzas. Each time, I follow the directions for those who prefer a "crispier crust," forgetting that these directions result in a burnt pizza in my oven. Ah well. I've made no secret of my love for single serving pizzas utilizing special microwave crisping technology. Thus, you can imagine how delighted I was to see that CPK now makes "For One" microwave pizzas. Since I'm in the midst of another Lean Cuisine dry spell, I was even more delighted to see that the pizzas were on sale 4/$10. I purchased several Margherita ones and several Barbecue Chicken ones. Although they have more calories than Lean Cuisine pizzas, these CPK minis are tasty and convenient. I'm not sure I would pay $3.99 or $4.29 for one, but I will continue to stock up when I see them on sale. There is also a Sicilian variety, but I did not buy any of those.

Item: Wyler's Authentic Italian Ices
Source: CVS (Bub's favorite store)
Price: $1.88 for 16

These Italian Ices look like Flavor-Ice popsicles (you know, in the plastic tube) but have the wonderful texture of Italian Ice. The package includes four each of raspberry, orange cream, lemon, and kiwi watermelon. Each flavor is delicious, though raspberry is my favorite (and the Bub's). They are only 50 calories each, and they are quite refreshing. My CVS displays them with the seasonal summer stuff like picnic plates and beach toys and such.

Item: Trader Giotto's Tabula Rasa Whole Grain Pizza Crust
Source: Trader Joe's (my new favorite store)*
Price: $2.99

I've taken to buying these crusts and topping my own pizzas of late, in part to satisfy my incessant cravings for basil. TJ's also sells pizza dough you can roll out and bake, but that is frankly too much work for me. I prefer just to cover the blank slate and pop it in the oven. The crust has a nice texture and is rather filling. There is a white crust also available, but I prefer to feel virtuous and slightly superior while topping the whole grain crust. Even the hubby seemed satisfied with tonight's effort: whole grain pizza crust with pizza sauce (also from TJ's), mushrooms, caramelized onions, sweet basil (told you) sausage, mozzarella, and fresh basil (told you) from my own garden, NTB. The hubby's praise is significant because the last time I made him a pizza (around 1999-2000), he was not as appreciative as he should have been, citing my use of a Boboli crust as "cheating." Cheating whom or what, I don't know.

Item: Bare Minerals Makeup
Source: Siren (the hair salon where I jeopardize Bub's college tuition every 7 weeks in a "vain" attempt to keep my gray hair covered--and it's really gray not just like five strands, just a warning for anyone who ever tries to tell me a "I found my first gray hair" sob story. I found my first gray hair in high school).
Price: around $75 for a starter kit that includes all the basics plus brushes

The hubby bought me this makeup for my birthday (along with that paper shredder I bragged about a couple of months ago) though I was the one who conducted the entire transaction. I have to say I was suspicious of mineral makeup when I used to see it on infomercials in years past, but I have been won over. It is really easy to use. I really appreciate not having to wash my hands during the process as I did when I applied more traditional foundation each day. I would say the $75 is worth it. I'm estimating that this starter kit is going to last me at least six months. NTB, but I have gotten some compliments on my "good skin" lately. Now, these kind remarks may just come from people who don't know what else to say when faced with my low and every-growing baby bulge, but I'll take any compliments I can. A lot of malls now have Bare Minerals make-up stores in them, and I would recommend checking them out. They can make you up and give you lessons if you're interested.

Item: Whim by Cynthia Rowley tableware
Source: Target
Price: ranges depending on the item, but not prohibitive

I saw these items in a Target ad a few weeks ago and, despite having plenty of dishes already, purchased a few pieces. I have to say that the purchase was worth it. These little plates and cups (and the matching tablecloth) have brought a nice touch of spring into my breakfast nook. I feel happy when I look at them. I have been using the plates for almost every meal, and since they are smaller, salad-size plates, I am likely losing weight in the effort (not really, but you know how all the magazine articles tell you that will happen if you use smaller plates). The lighting is poor in the picture beneath, but here's a glimpse:

Item: Thomas the Train helmet

Source: Toys 'R Us
Price: I don't know, the hubby and bubby went to get it.

Actually, I'm not about to extol the virtues of this helmet. As far as I can tell, it is no better or worse than any other toddler helmet. Listing this item is just an excuse to include the following picture of the bub on his tricycle. NTB, but his little legs are now long enough to pedal (though dad still has to steer and push from time to time).

Okay, that's all I have to report. Please believe that my life is not as fueled by consumerism as recent posts suggest.

*I love Trader Joe's and the Bub loves it as well, especially the sample station where there is usually a juice dispenser all set up and the free balloon on the way out. Tough luck this morning though--the juice on offer was "unsweetened iced tea" and he let his red balloon go in the backyard on accident. He was devastated (wailing and wailing and wailing), only to be consoled by half of a Wyler's Authentic Italian Ice.


Actchy said...

Wait. I'm confused by your make-up purchase. I only recently came to terms with the fact that I need something on my face aside from the cover-up I put on my blue under-eye circles. I went to Sephora and purchased mineral powder (admittedly by Bare Essentials, not Bare Minerals), for I was told it was idiot-proof and a good light substitute for foundation. Granted, it didn't include brushes, which do cost a small fortune, but I think the mineral powder itself ran about $18? (NTB). What was in your starter kit? How many brushes?

LAP said...

I'm impressed at the variety of retail establishments you seem to frequent regularly. It would seem to me that Bub 2.0 might be secretly craving pizza in addition to the basil, given what I've read.

Makeup and its accessories baffle me. I recently purchased a sephora brush for $26 because I felt like I needed a nicer one. Was it worth it? I don't know. Feels soft, seems nice, yet I can't vouch for a performance improvement. Not hip to the world of mineral makeup either.

Land of Bean said...

I've been waffling on the mineral make-up for some time now (although I watch the infomercials with rapturous glee) but didn't have any first hand success stories to tip me over the edge and splurge on an iffy product. Hmm, might give it a go.

PITA said...

i am glad to hear that you are having good luck with the mineral make-up. i was suckered into during an infomerical about sheer cover - another brand and i made the purchase. i abandoned use after just a week.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the helmet and the cute little bub wearing it. I am intrigued by the makekup but I have been using my Lancome for so long, it requires no thought. I will say I get no compliments on my skin and I find myself looking particularly old. Could it be my age?m

E... said...

I checked for the CPK singles at Kroger, but alas they were not on sale, and I couldn't justify the 3.79 for one. I do love the Thai version in the larger size, and will even spend the 6 bucks on one, even though it's really basically a single serve, because I eat them when J is gone and figure I'm saving money over a trip to Panera.

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