Ray recently attended a Church Planting workshop in Woodstock, GA and I got to go along! I had lots of free time while he was gone, so what else would I do but shop? (I did also read, walk on the treadmill, and work on my Precepts Bible study lessons!)
Anyway, I googled around a little before we left to see what was in the area, and found lots of good options. I've never been to Atlanta, so I also e-mailed Shelli and she was kind enough to send me some suggestions of where to go.
One afternoon I drove about 30 miles north to the Outlets in Dawsonville. I was so excited about going there because they had a Pottery Barn Outlet, Restoration Hardware, Coach, some of my favorites. I really wanted this horn flatware from PB,
but even at a good price there of $19.99/place setting that was still more than I wanted to fork over for 8 or 12. (ha ha, pun totally intended!) I left without buying ONE thing anywhere. Oh wait, I did buy two little Christmas presents for my daughter and niece at Kirklands, but nothing like I expected to find.
The surprise jackpot was the Ballard Designs Outlet, Ballard Backroom. There were 2 locations in the Atlanta area, and I went to both, but I liked the DeFoor Ave. location better. It just had better specials that week on what I was looking for. Everything I considered had to pass through the filter of "Can I get that home on an airplane?" because they don't offer shipping from the outlet. So, here's what I ended up with:
2 pairs of new pillow covers. Need to find the right size feather inserts for the black check set. I think the green stripe was originally around $45 each and the check about $24 (just for the covers!!). I picked them up for $12 and $4.50 each.
A box of a dozen tin quatrefoil tags. I'd seen these in the catalog and thought they were so cute, so I picked up a box for $4.69 not knowing what I'd use them for. Two of them found a home on these old crates. Funny story on the crates...Last year we spent Fall Break at one of our favorite vacation spots, Red River, NM. I was out on my bike shopping one afternoon and ducked into one of the ski stores. They were totally reorganizing to prepare for ski season and I noticed these crates sitting by the trash can at the front door. On a whim on the way out I asked about them, and they said, "Oh, you can just have those." WHAT? I tried to hook one on each handlebar of my bike but it didn't work. My dad came to the rescue in his van and picked them up. My mom asked her usual "Did you get some for me?" I did not. I was stingy and kept them both. They are my favorite souvenir from the trip.
14 yards of this fabric. I'm not sure what Ballard calls it because they rename all of their fabrics, but it's Waverly's Tucker Resist. I'd been looking for a fun black and white fabric to do some new panels in the living room and I couldn't pass this up. I couldn't resist this mainly because of the...wait for it...$5 A YARD price! I actually still need about 6 more yards and the best deal I've found online is $12 per yard, so I think I got a steal! I unrolled THE WHOLE THING and folded it back and forth until it fit in my suitcase.
And, my prized find...
A HUGE decorative clam shell bowl.
I remember seeing this in their catalog a while back and thinking it was SO COOL but quickly dismissed it after seeing the something like $249 price tag. But, it caught my eye in the outlet tucked away on top of a bookshelf. I carefully pulled it down and almost jumped up and down when I saw the red pen marked through the price that now read $49.99. I DID jump up and down when I realized that the decorative accessories were an extra 40% off, so it would only be $30! (Just kidding, I love bargains but there was no jumping.) I actually measured it and left it there that day to see if by some miracle it would fit in my suitcase. It did not. But, I went back the next day and bought it anyway. I rounded up a box at Dillard's and shipped it home from the UPS store myself. That thing is big. And heavy. Like 22 pounds. It cost more to get it home than it did to purchase it, but it was worth it to me. I'll enjoy this piece for a long time to come.
We wrapped up our trip the evening before we left in a super cool master-planned shopping district called Atlantic Station. We drank more sweet tea than we ever should have that close to bed time...but we just couldn't stop. It was like hummingbird food. Anyway, Atlantic Station had fun stores that we don't have in OKC like West Elm and H&M. Here's my West Elm bargain:
Back in the clearance bin they had 3 bird nests in a bag for $2.97, and they had 4 bags left. I had just seen and cute tablescape idea where they had used a nest at each place and I really wanted all of them but decided to restrain myself and just get 2. When I went to the check out the cashier said, "These will be final sale, they're ringing up at $0.97 each." Again, WHAT??? I quickly asked her to charge me for two more and high-tailed it to the back to get the others. You can't have too many bird nests, right? And, they didn't weigh anything so I could throw them in my big-ol-clamshell-box I was already shipping home.
I completely recommend a visit to Atlanta if you have never been. We enjoyed driving around looking through all old neighborhoods with quaint houses. We also spent a nice afternoon with a picnic lunch at Stone Mountain and drove through downtown to catch sites like Olympic Park, the Olympic Cauldron, and Turner Field. We'd love to go back with the kids some day and visit the Georgia Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum.
What did I miss? Any must-sees in Atlanta if we ever go back?