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On the cheap


Not all great things have to cost a mint

Jenny Coon Peterson April 6th, 2011

Guys, let’s talk. This is a serious subject. See? I’m sitting backward in my chair and loosened my tie so we can “get real.” That’s how serious I am. It’s like a 1996 “ABC Afterschool Special” here at ShopGirl headquarters.

We’re not all rich. We can’t all afford socks woven of golden unicorn hair. So what’s out there for those on an actual human budget? Lots. Great finds are available at fabulous prices.

In its small, bright shop, Tulips and Truffles (5633 N. Penn; 840-5633) stocks both of its namesake products.

If you’re there for the fresh flowers, pick from the lovely stems and opt to get them wrapped instead of in a vase. In the truffle case, Sweet Shop USA truffles are $2.50 each and are not only large, but gorgeous. Check out flavors like espresso, peanut butter or a cool “funfetti” truffle dipped in milk and dark chocolate, drizzled in white chocolate, then topped with sprinkles and a jelly bean.

I also liked the summer iced teas by Tea Forte. In flavor combos like white ginger pear or lavender citrus, the $10 tea makes five pitchers.

Tulips and Truffles manager Rachel Ziemba holds a pair of truffles.

In the Paseo, Craig’s Emporium (3004 Paseo; 524-9447) is chock-ablock-full of great finds. Check out the paper masks (think costume ball in Venice) for $4.90 each or iconographystyle necklaces featuring rosaries and charms from $14.90 to $26.90.

In Norman, Impulse (209 E. Main; 701-5426) carries a wide selection of reasonably priced clothes for men and women, plus some great accessories.

Look for flowy, summery tops by Blue Bird that range from $32.95 to $39.95 (like a sleeveless top with crochet details against a pattern of faded floral) or stacks of bangles by Funky Flax. The bangles — a set is $24.95 — go way beyond the standard metal to include thin bands that a beaded, etched or covered in fabric. Very cool.

Nearby at The Tulip Tree (360 24th Ave. N.W.; 329-1060), the first thing you’ll notice walking in is the smell of cupcakes, made in the store.

The Tulip Tree is divided pretty evenly between gifts and baby stuff. On the baby side, there’s a lot in the way of clothing and accessories, but one thing stood out: the Pee-pee Teepee by Beba Bean. It’s exactly what you think it is. The washable cloth “cones” for minding the overspray come in cute, baby boy patterns like monkeys or baseball bats for $9.95.

Not all great finds are necessarily cheap. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get your money’s worth. At Green Bambino (5113 N. Shartel; 848-2330), look for the Ergobaby, a baby carrier that can be worn three ways, and is actually comfy for parents. At $115, the Ergobaby can haul a kid up to around 40 pounds (sumo baby!) and will hold up for the next babies, too.

For the more budget-conscious, Green Bambino also carries reusable swim diapers from Imse Vimse for $13.95 that are super-cute (like one in blue polka dots with a ruffle — squee!). Finally, this great shop just got in some durable, heirloom-quality wooden toys ($8 to $50) from Maple Landmark.

See? It’s easy-peasy. Crunch some numbers and get out there. Good talk.

 
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