As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages
If you haven't already gotten whatever Valentine's Day gift you need to get for whoever you need to get it for, well, you're on your own. I got nothin'. Well, that's not entirely true, but I'll get to that further down.
Instead of trolling for variations on the chocolates-and-flowers theme last week — chocolate tastes good, flowers are pretty, why not stick with what works? — I got showered and dressed at the unpalatable hour of 9 a.m. last Saturday and dropped by Dreamweavers' monthly “Second Saturday” outlet sale. Much more fun, not to mention inclusive: All you need is a room — as opposed to a significant other you're currently on good terms with — to take advantage of what's for sale there.
If you're not familiar, Dreamweavers is a wholesale manufacturer of home decor textiles — rugs, throws, pillows, dishes — based in Little Rock. The company sells to national chains like Home Depot, but once a month has a garage sale of sorts in what appears to be a converted church at 12th and Spring streets. The prices are beyond good: Dreamweavers owner Bobby Wisdom said the rugs, for instance, are usually half of the wholesale price. At this month's sale, that translated into room-sized rugs for $225 and under (mostly under), throw rugs under $20, silk throws for $25, upholstered seating cubes for $100, throw pillows as low as $5. And these aren't boring Wal-Mart dorm room rugs, either. Dreamweavers has lots of fun with textures and colors: Some rugs are made out of little puffs of leather; others are of a shag so deep they look like chic Muppets. The next sale will be from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 8 at 1201 S. Spring St.
• If you're a book-lover, you've probably already heard the news about Lorenzen & Co., the new-and-used bookstore in the Tanglewood Shopping Center. Owner Rod Lorenzen is planning to close the store by the end of March, and has started the final sell-off with 20 percent off everything in the store. As of late last week, the shelves were still plenty full, so stop by and replenish your own. The store will be missed.
• Parents and parents-to-be: The spring Rhea Lana's children's consignment sale will be Feb. 27 through March 1 at the former M.M. Cohn store at McCain Mall (note the change of location from previous sales). If you're interested in consigning, details are at www.rhealana.com. If you've never been to Rhea Lana's (or the behemoth Duck Duck Goose sale — www.duckduckgoosesale.com — scheduled for March 13-15 at the State Fairgrounds), there is no better place to find cheap clothes for your kids (and yourself, especially if you're pregnant), along with toys, cribs, car seats, strollers and pretty much anything else baby-related. Consignors and volunteers get first pick, and whatever's left on Saturday is generally half price. Check the web sites for details. It can be a madhouse, but the bargains — plus the possibility of buying your children's entire spring/summer wardrobe in one trip — definitely outweigh the pain-in-the-butt factor.
• And finally, if you are desperate for a last-minute Valentine's Day gift and can't bear the thought of picking up a box of Russell Stover's at Walgreen's, check out the bulk bins at Fresh Market. Seriously. You can put together a mix-and-match bag of chocolate-covered-just-about-anything for $5 or $6 a pound. Nom nom.