Archive for December, 2007

Shopping in Downtown Buffalo


This has got to be my most “productive” shopping trip to the U.S. yet! I haven’t been shopping in Downtown Buffalo in about a year (I usually opt for tax tree Pennsylvania), but I didn’t want to drive too far this past Saturday. This time I followed my own advice and didn’t forget my shopping list at home. I planned out all my stops ahead of time (Walden Galleria area) and visited the store’s websites beforehand to check out all the sales.

JCPenny has a great After-Christmas Sale going on: 70% off all gold jewelery. I wish I had a few extra bucks with me or I would’ve bought a pair of white gold hoop earrings on sale for $150 (from $500). I picked up a nice white gold cross pendant with a cubic zirconia for $90 ( reg. price $299.99). Burlington Coat Factory (one of my favourite stores to shop at in the U.S.) had some great deals as well. Scored this amazing Kathy Van Zeeland handbag for $44 (reg. price $89). Best of all I finally found the medium-length wool winter coat I’ve been looking for all season. Guess how much? $49.99! Spending 45 minutes browsing through the wide array of coats on all those racks in Burlington Coat Factory was worth it! It fits me so well, and I copped a scarf for $2.99 to match. On the way out my eye caught this gold-coloured fitted jacket for $15.99 so I snatched that up along with an adorable baby outfit for my mommy-to-be friend of mine . My sister got this cool, reversible JLo winter jacket for $79.99.Border’s Bookstore is another favourite of mine. Got myself a large photo album and a beautiful Bible for $3.00. Payless Shoesource (the only store which carries my size) was good to me this time around. I finally found the pair of black pointy-toe pumps I’ve been looking for for ages! Only $16.99! Steve and Barry’s had everything in the store going for $8.98 (2 for $15), so I picked up two cute t-shirts. Marshall’s had some good deals on clearance clothing. I got several long sleeve T’s and sweaters for under $30.00.  Bath & Body Works had great deals.  Got a bunch of lotions, creams, body sprays and soaps, all for under $25.  They smell soooo good!

So as my brother, sister and I were driving back into Canada I urged them to organize all their receipts, total them up and keep them handy. As I reached customs the female CBSA officer asked me the usual questions: Where we were from in Canada, where we were during the day, how much we spent and what we purchased. We told the truth and were waived through (she didn’t even ask for our I.D.). We didn’t have to pay any taxes or duties on our purchases. We had left Toronto around 8am and got back home by 6pm.

So almost $300 later, I think my trip to the U.S. this time around was definitely worth it!

Wool Jacket Kathy Van Zeeland BagWhite Gold Cross NecklaceBlack Pointy-Toe Shoes

I Love The Smell of Boxing Day Sales in the Morning…


I think this year was the first of many that I didn’t feel my usual drive for Boxing Day shopping. Which is good, because I ended up saving a lot of money.

Usually, I gear up every December 26th and head to a mall like the Eaton Centre, Yorkdale, or Orfus Road, but this year the deals really didn’t get me. I did manage to pick up a few things. Got Super Paper Mario from Zellers for $34 (which I recently found out was actually $10 cheaper, so I may have to go back for a price match). Picked up Wii Play which comes with an extra Wii Remote for $39.99 from Superstore (reg. $59.99). Finally got myself the Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes 4-6) for $28, and picked up a couple sweaters from Winners because they had an extra 25% off all clearance items.

If I had the extra cash (and a larger place) I probably would’ve purchased one of those LCD or Plasma TV’s that were going on sale at Futureshop/Best Buy for up to $1100 off the regular price. I did participate in Future Shop’s online Boxing Week sale though (on December 24th). Got Scarface/Spy Games for $24.99 (Scarface is regularly $60) and a Sandisk 2GB USB Drive for $16 (over $50 off).  The site was so bogged down with visitors that the online check out didn’t work properly until 3 hours after the scheduled start time.

Turns out that I’m making a last minute run to the border tomorrow (actually in 5 hours, I should really get some sleep), because I wanted to see what type of post-Christmas Day deals they have down there. Stores like Macy’s, JCPenny and Burlington Coat Factory have “After Christmas” clearance sales of up to 70% off. So I’m just heading down to Buffalo for 1/2 the day, so I’ll keep you informed about what deals I score! :)

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


I hope the holidays are going well for each and every one of you and that you’re spending it with family and friends. I know you’re probably all geared up for Boxing Day shopping tomorrow, but try to take some time to think about the less fortunate this season and cherish what you have.

I never thought I’d be the one to post pictures of my cat on my blog, but I actually got him to wear a Santa hat for a while:

Merry Christmas

Jazz Legend Oscar Peterson Dead at 82


Oscar Peterson - Courtesy of Universal Music CanadaCanadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson died late Sunday night, just a few days shy of Christmas. The Montreal-born Peterson, 82, died at his Mississauga home of kidney failure and stroke complications. According to Celine Peterson, Oscar’s 16-year-old daughter, he went “peacefully”. My condolences are to his family in their time of need.

Peterson’s illustrious career spans seven decades and has played with jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Nat King Cole. He’s also a multi-award winner including eight Grammy Awards and the Companion of the Order of Canada–Canada’s highest civilian award.

You can visit Oscar Peterson’s official site at

‘Tis The Season For… Organization!


It feels good getting some time off from work. I spent most of my holiday time off cleaning up my place and organizing. Finally put away all my clothes that were laying in my laundry basket. Sorted them and ended up giving one bag as hand-me-downs to my female family members, and another bag for Goodwill. My closet is currently organized by colour and drawers by type of clothing. Now I have lot’s of room for all the clothes I’ll be buying when I go Boxing Day shopping on the 26th and hopefully to the States on the weekend.

I also finally organized all my DVDs (alphabetically, of course). I didn’t realize I had so many. I purchased two Benno CD/DVD Towers from IKEA when they had a sale on them last month, and put those babies together with my handy drill. It wasn’t until I realized that I was running out of space for my boxed sets and TV series DVDs that I knew I needed another tower (or two). I think I have over 200 DVDs (and counting). That doesn’t include the DVD’s I lent to my friends and forgot about. The funny thing is about 25% of them are still in their shrink wrap.

I’ll get around to watching those movies again one of these days… :D
Monique’s DVD Collection 1Monique’s DVD Collection 2