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Looking for interesting accents in your life?

December 10, 2009

One summer in high school, my friend Sara and I habitually met at a store in a suburban strip mall. When we entered this particular store, we were immediately transported around the world to ethnic markets where we could browse or buy as we please (without being hassled). There were usually exotic tea and coffee samples, and sometimes there were even cookies or crackers.

The store I’m describing is not your typical high school hangout. Think Trader Joe’s meets Pier 1 Imports meets a local market. And we arrive at Cost Plus World Market.

This place has an inviting atmosphere consisting of dark, but warm colors. Although a little overwhelming because of so much variety, the store is understated with painted concrete floor and lacks the somewhat pretentious vibe of Pier 1.

Only recently when I returned to seek out for Christmas gift ideas did I remember how unique and affordable the jewelry, scarves and handbags are. Many are handmade in India, and the selection is constantly changing. This might be a good place to find a holiday gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend.

In fact, during my recent trip, jewelry was on sale: most necklaces for $9.99 and earrings for $4.99. Scarves (priced $9.99-24.99) were buy one, get one free. There also are prints of art, cards, home décor (even furniture) and dish/stemware. All are at a range of prices, but keep an eye out for red sale signs.

One area I can never resist is the food section. After debating whether or not to buy any jewelry or scarves (I stayed strong), I headed toward the back where there are different types of coffees and tea with a sample or two of each. I saw an eggnog coffee and tasted a cinnamon tea. I wish I had tried the eggnog coffee, but it was too late in the day for caffeine. The herbal tea, on the other hand, was decaf, and although I enjoyed the sample, it wasn’t something I’d purchase.

I love browsing through the selection of brands with a variety of ethnic or organic ingredients — some of which you’d find at a regular supermarket, but others are more rare. Oh, and the store also has a wide selection of beer, wine and champagne.

From this trip, I walked away with a 5-serving (so-what-if-I-made-it-2-servings) bag of veggie chips and a Dutch chocolate wine. I’ve had veggie chips before, but I’d never seen chocolate wine. And since chocolate and wine are two of my sinful pleasures, I couldn’t pass on trying the two combined. (In college I even designed B section covers for The Red & Black featuring both chocolate and wine, and I proudly displayed them side-by-side on my refrigerator.) In case you’re wondering, the chocolate wine tastes a bit like Bailey’s Irish Cream. Although I enjoy the taste of it, it’s a bit too strong so far. Maybe I’ll try mixing it with milk.

Either way, if you’re looking for something different but affordable, or even just some new ideas, World Market is a one-stop shop for ethnic touches of fashion, décor and food — all of which will awaken your senses.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Shannon permalink*
    December 10, 2009 10:39 am

    I’m not sure how I’ve never been to this place, but I want to hit it up after Christmas. I need more scarves in my life. Also, I tried that chocolate wine one time (PK bought it, of course) and it wasn’t for me. Maybe it would have been better mixed with coffee.

  2. Kristen permalink*
    December 10, 2009 11:44 am

    glad you reminded me of CPWM. i got several throw pillows for my living room there, placemats, and a laptop case for a friend. so random, and so awesome.

  3. Katy permalink*
    December 16, 2009 1:41 pm

    There is a CPWM right now the street from my apartment (across the way from Target…so happy land). I will be hitting that up when I return from Vegas.

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  1. “Looking good and dressing well is a necessity. Having a purpose in life is not.” « Thrifty Threads

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