The Best U.S. Cities For Shopping

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From designer handbags and shoes to jaw-dropping diamond encrusted rings and things, it’s no secret that me, Princess Rosebud, LOVES to shop. I mean, shopping’s like a lifelong mission for me; that elusive perfect wedge is a prime example, right?

If you’re interested in shopping as a hobby, then you’re probably aware that it can be paired effectively with summer travel.

Sure, it’s always nice to stroll through local shopping centers with friends window shopping at the same old stores – but a bit of travel can put some adventure into your shopping habit, and give you an excuse to buy a few fun items.

After all, nobody travels to Paris for shopping without making a few unnecessary purchases! So with that in mind, here are a few of the best shopping destinations in the United States, for your summer travel consideration.

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

Aerial view of Fifth Avenue, New York

If there’s a U.S. equivalent to Paris – an undisputed fashion and shopping capital with world class venues – it’s undoubtedly New York City. Sure, the city is massive and crowded, etc., but truth be told it’s fairly easy to navigate, and the shopping is unparalleled in the United States. 5th Avenue is the most famous shopping district, and offers an eclectic mix of everyday style options (like flagship stores for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch) and the best names in style and jewelry. Be sure to check out SoHo and the East Village as well for some more unique shopping options and local art.

You might just think of Las Vegas as a hub for gamblers, or a massive cluster of bright lights and fountain streams. And, for the most part, you’d have the right idea. But there’s a high-end, classy side to Vegas as well, and one aspect of it is truly world class shopping.

Aria - Shops@Crystals

Aria – Shops@Crystals

Each resort has some spectacular options (the Bellagio, in particular, is worth a stop), but the ARIA resort is where you’ll find the Shops At Crystals, an incredible modern pavilion of shops, art displays and restaurants that could make a Parisian drool.

It’s not just close proximity to the famous Mall Of America that makes Chicago an incredible shopping destination. Rather, it’s the Magnificent Mile, the midwest’s answer to 5th Avenue in New York. From Saks to Macy’s and Lord & Taylor, to independent boutiques, this Michigan Avenue shopping strip has something for everybody, making it a perfect stop for traveling shoppers.

If this urban shopping district isn’t your thing, check out Wicker Park for some more unique boutiques, local shops and antique stores. And in addition to all this, Chicago has incredible dining options at every turn, to break up your day of shopping.

This is one shopping mecca that I’m definitely visiting again and again — with my Tugboat Man or a fun girly holiday!

P.S. This was a sponsored post.

A Project-Based Life

peace-sign-flowersNope, this isn’t an inspirational life lesson about blessings or another sanctimonious diatribe about the rules of living harmoniously with peace signs and luv and future conditional acts of kindness that’ll result in good karma (although those are wonderful ideals.)

Nor is this a guide or doctrine or manual advising you about how to live a VALUE-based life or PLANT-based life (although those are great ideas, too)

In a way, you could say I live a PURPOSE-driven life because I’m on a MISSION.

I’m OBSESSED with buying the perfect wedge. That’s my purpose in life for right now.

As Paula Deen so eloquently waxed, “I izz what I izzz”.PaulaDeen

Butter, I mean but, I truly do live a project-based life.

I do a lot of projects. How’s that? Better?

Tee hee.

I mean, what else can I do to wile away the endless days and hours until my tugboat man comes home? And don’t judge me if you haven’t walked a block or two in my Louboutins.

It’s not like I can have a full-time job ‘cos then we’d never get to spend any time together and I haven’t found the right fit in a part-time position that would allow me enough shopping time. Oh, and project time. Cos I live a project-based life, remember?

Here’s my project du jour: Princess Rosebud shoe embellishment

I’ve been obsessively scouring the shops for the perfect wedge.

espadrillesI found these delightful slides but that just whetted my appetite for another pair. I’ve been everywhere in San Diego County. I went to Fashion Valley-nothing. I went to Saks Fifth Avenue-nothing. I stopped at University Towne Center in La Jolla-nothing. DSW, two locations — nothing.

Finally, I found the perfect lightweight wedge at Barneys Outlet in Carlsbad but they didn’t have my size. The sales associate informed me that they could have the right size sent to the store but I’d have to pay an extra $12.00 and the shoes were already a pricey $155.00. I thought that was totally ridiculous—I mean, it’s like I was being penalized for wanting to buy their stupid shoes. I told her to forget it and walked away dejectedly.

Life is SO tough for me.

Sigh.

Never one to admit defeat, I went to Famous Footwear mostly ‘cos I thought I’d get another pair of Nike cross trainers. I didn’t find anything I liked – yes, I’m THAT picky, in case you haven’t figured that out by now….but I did find these espadrilles for only $20.00, originally $50.00.

OK. You might think these are cute just the way they are, but I see a blank canvas that needs some sparkle, a little dressing up, a little beautification. It’s not that I’m never happy with the way things are; I believe almost everything can be made just a bit better with a little creativity and effort. Maybe that IS a life lesson…

espadrilleswhiteI went to Michael’s Crafts with a single shoe in hand, wandering up and down each aisle waiting for the muse to strike. Nothing seemed right until I found these flowery things (on sale). I couldn’t wait to get home and get started on this project.
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I embellished the embellishment, and added a sparkle in the middle.
Glue guns RULE!

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espadrillescloseup

Cute, right? It seems to be the perfect finishing touch for a casual shoe.
Can’t wait to pin these on Pinterest.

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BUT I still NEED that elusive perfect wedge. Maybe these Louboutins?
Now THAT’S such an awesome shoe that doesn’t need me to do a thing do it.
It’s so perfect I could kiss it. MWAH.
Louboutin
Since it appears that I’ll be a single woman for another week or so, I’ll be heading north to the holy grail — the the only place on earth that’ll fulfill my desires —
South Coast Plaza.  If I can’t find the perfect wedge there, I can’t find it anywhere.

And that’ll be my purpose for next week. Now I have to think of another project or two; seashells perhaps?