New Dishes & Shopping at Discount Stores

On Sunday afternoon I ran some errands and one thing on my list was trying to find some new dishes.  I set out to find cute, inexpensive items that will spruce up my food photographs.

I mentioned on my Wish List that cute dishes were something I was in search of and not everything I found Sunday may necessarily be considered “cute” but they are functional.  And sometimes being practical trumps cuteness.  Sometimes.

Here’s the loot.

First up, a box for Skylar.  I love her little art projects and artwork that she makes.  But it’s everywhere. Not anymore.  Enter: This Box.


Now all artwork will be contained in this box.  I hate messes and random half scribbled on pieces of paper laying everywhere!  Clutter, no more.

Next up, some napkins/placemats that will make nice backdrops for blog pictures.

70 cents?  Score!

Next up: These pieces would fit the definition of “Cute Dishes” in my book.

A cute bowl with a ribbon threaded through it.  I wonder how this will hold up in the dishwasher?

A cake stand.  You know, for all those cakes I make.  Kidding.

I am more of a Biggie Microwave Banana Cake girl lately but for when I do make that cake, the stand will be perfect.

I wonder how Raw Vegan Almond Butter Cookies would look on the cake stand?   And call it a no-bake cookie stand, instead.

Finally, new plates for me!

I had no intention of buying new plates, but for $2.99 each, I couldn’t pass these up.

My everyday dishes are from Pottery Barn, circa 2005.  They have been washed thousands of times and have been wonderful.  But, they have seen better days.

Not to mention, the beige/pale yellow hue does nothing for food.  Read: it makes food look worse.

I have no idea how I’ve blogged for almost 2 years with these dingy yellow plates, but for $2.99 x 4, I am now in business with crisp, white, square plates.

I didn’t “stage” this lettuce, i.e. I threw it on a plate while I was unwrapping my loot and snapped away.

And the photo was taken at night with zero natural light coming in.

Then I put the new green 70 cent placement underneath.  And another improvement happened, I’d say.

Then,  I put it all away.

And I remembered that I have dishes I don’t use.  But should use.  I did a post on Shopping in my own Kitchen (and Closet) and need to re-read my own post!

From my last post on 6 Words, thanks to everyone who played along with your six word phrases to describe life, happiness, and love.  Some of you came up with some great ones!

Thanks for the compliments on the 6 word phrases I chose.  Honestly, I rattled those off in like two minutes.  That’s how my brain works. That type of stuff is easy for me.  It’s things like physics or calculus that my brain doesn’t do well with.

But let’s not talk about physics or calc. 

Let’s talk snacking: No-Bake Vegan Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

These take about 5 minutes to make.  And I chose this dessert to show how the old yellow plate isn’t “bad”, it’s just the balls aren’t popping off the page or anything.

A white plate would be much better.  But who cares about the plate. Just enjoy the donut holes.


1. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

Scoring at Marshall’s on my new dishes!

2. Are you off from school or work today?

I’m not.  So don’t rub it in.

3. Do you like shopping at places like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, etc. where you can find great deals but the inventory is unpredictable from week to week and while you’re there, you have to be willing to root around and dig for the deals?

I won’t lie, when things are out of order, messy, (i.s. Skylar’s artwork laying everywhere), and I get overwhelmed and want to bail or not shop in places like that.  And in my former life I did.  I never understood how my mother actually liked going to places like that.

Currently, however, for household goods like dishes, kitchen gadgets, bedding; socks, accessories, luggage, purses, those types of stores can be a gold mine and I can hang.  I scored all of my loot in this post for $32 bucks, after tax!

But I still am very overwhelmed by buying clothes there and usually don’t.  I see sports bras packed into racks with workout pants hanging off with a man’s cardigan sweater on the floor with an odd white tennis shoe nearby and I am instantly turned off and can’t even sort through the clothes.  Good deals and all.  Oh well.

What’s your comfort level with the disarray and one-of-a-kind nature of discount stores?

Happy President’s Day to all who are celebrating it.  Enjoy your day off!

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday


  1. new dishes ALWAYS make me happy – And, hungry :) Love the square plates, those are great!

  2. I love the box for S’s art–there was an article in the NY Times recently about moms who are saying “no” to the clutter their kids’ artwork causes!

  3. I am completely obsesses with the home decor goodies at TJ max, Marshalls and Homegoods! In fact when I go to marshalls or Tj maxx I rarely look at clothes or anything else, I go straight to the home decor section. I am all for a good bargain! Those ribbon plates are adorable! I saw those the last time I was at Marshalls and thought how perfect they would be for Easter!

  4. I LOVE tjmaxx, homegoods, and marshalls – I never know what I’m going to find — clothes, dishes, kitchen gadgets, picture frames, or even a globe — it’s such a fun place to poke around in!

    those donut holes look lovely, no matter what color plate they’re on!

  5. Hooray for the new dishes! I’m all for anything with a bow and the white plates are gorgeous. I am not off work- I honestly think less people are off today then usual. Seems like a holiday a lot of jobs have taken back. Enjoy your afternoon

  6. I love shopping anywhere except huge malls. I have been doing a LOT of random dish buying lately. <3 it. :)

  7. Wow Averie, you lucked on those plates, I love them and I like Skylar’s storage box. I never have much luck at TK Max and it’s always mobbed here so I don’t have the patience with the queues and lines in the store. I’m in work today and can’t wait to finish and get home. Had the Caribbean peanut butter chickpea dish for lunch earlier, yummy!

  8. I’m at work today so I feel your pain!

    I love shopping at Homegoods, Pier 1, etc but yes, the clutter and disorganization/stuff in the aisles/all over the place drives me crazy. I can’t go to those stores + other errands – I need to go home and just relax for a while. I used to work for Pier 1 in high school and I would literally spend my entire shift running around cleaning/straightening and yet I would never finish because there was just too much stuff in the store. Period. That is how I feel about discount stores. Too much to look at.

    Those cake plates with the ribbons are so adorable!

  9. This weekend I celebrated my dad’s 60th birthday. It was an amazing time! As a stay at home mom, I am NEVER off of work. ;-)

  10. I am not a good shopper and those sale places make me a little overwhelmed. We NEVER shop on the weekends either. Tony and I will go out during the day to stroll with a cup of coffee and leisurely get things if we need/want anything.

  11. I am definitely not off today… class and work for me!

    I absolutely love your new white plates and that bright stripy napkin! Kudos for badass deals!

  12. My college has a weird schedule, and we never observe one-day holidays :) But I have a new class today, so I don’t mind going!

    I have a Marshalls back home that I love to hit up for clothes, but I’m trying to hold off on buying other stuff I want in there until I actually have a house to decorate. I’m living in a house off campus next year, so my time is almost here!! I’m going to go crazy on kitchenware and placemats!

  13. I love Marshall’s! I buy a lot of plates / kitchen stuff from there, TJ Maxx, Ross, and Target. I love bargains :)

  14. Love the square plates!!! I am horrible at discount stores!! The messes always overwhelm me!

  15. ugh those stores are the BEST! I say “ugh” because they eat my money :) I cannot walk out empty handed! if I dont find clothes, I find kitchen stuff or vice versa, or since I just moved things for my new apt! I love the sale stuff too…I mean its great for single living gals like myself where I could careless if things match! thats usually why they are on sale…just because there is only 2 of the bowls and not a WHOLE big set…well theyre mine!!!

    I did work today! all done now, but it sure was quiet!

  16. I LOVE finding deals!!! I usually get my deals online though, since I’m with my girls 24/7, which also means I’m not off “work” today. It’s a bit hard toting three kids with me to a store. The best thing we did over the weekend was see Disney On Ice, Princesses – we got free suite level tickets from a friend…a great! It was cute…but I can only handle so much skating back and forth.

  17. I have never heard of Marshall’s … is it like Winners?

  18. I love shopping for new, fun blog dishes. I usually head to Target, Ross, Marshall’s.

  19. LOVE the new dishes!! I need some great white ones soon too!! Makes your food pop in photos for sure!

    The cake stand is adorable too, you will have too make a yummy cake soon!!!

    Hope your day is great love!!!

    My blog moved but Im still learning wordpress! xoxo

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  21. I love your new plates and that art box for Skylar!! I can’t wait to see that cute cake stand in use for something, too :)
    I’ve never had luck finding cute dishware at our TJ Maxx here – but I have scored some deals in the clearance section of Bed, Bath and Beyond. I love a good discount – means I have more money to (over)spend on overpriced food :P
    Best thing I ate this past weekend? I loved your pancakes that I made!! Oh, and the banana oat cake I just had along with a chocolate-coconut donut hole wasn’t so bad, either ;)

  22. I have found amazing plates at the thift store! I do wash them like 3 times just in case but usually I can find some in a great condition. I may never go to a real housewears store for dishes again! I’m a dishtowel/napkin addict, go a lot but probably not compared to many bloggers.

  23. I love getting new dishes!! I’ve also found some great, cheap ones at Pier One.
    And I always try to hide my fiances clutter…it sometimes works.

  24. I take it a step further and shop at the Goodwill! I love getting dishes and clothes and just about anything there!… but especially dishes.

    You scored some great deals on the plates!

  25. hey averie!

    score! you did so well at marshall’s! :-)

    best thing this weekend? well, besides it being a three-day weekend, spending time with some friends, attending a sports game, and cleaning (yes, I wrote that).

    today was “Family Day”, so no work for me! it was only instituted as a holiday a few years ago.

    we have Winners and HomeSense here and I like shopping at both. the trick? shop regularly and only look at the end-cap racks (where the new stuff is), shoes, housewares, and accessories. otherwise, going through the racks takes time and patience. another tip: don’t try stuff on at the store. if you’re going regularly, try stuff on at home and then take back anything that doesn’t work for ya.


  26. those stores are a great hunt! if i have a little time i love exploring for random cheap treasures :) i didn’t have off today either and the best thing i did over the wknd was eat at salt! what a fun hip place :)

  27. I LOVE Marshalls they seriously have the CUTEST stuff and best prices, I have almost bought those little cake dishes so many times but was concerned about how to wash them you’ll have to let me know how they work!

  28. Yay for inexpensive dishes!! Love Marshalls, you found some great items!!


  29. LOVE those square plates! I can’t wait to go shopping for new kitchen accessories myself! I was busy all weekend but was off from work today and it was super nice! I got to go for a long trail run in the nice warm weather and some great studying done!

  30. Woo, love the new square plates! I didn’t get the day off either, but that’s okay. I enjoyed yoga and my favorite cereal today, so that made up for it!

  31. I love your new dishes!!! I use my cake plate for serving lots of fun cookies and finger foods to family and guests! They are much more versatile than given credit for!

  32. I love Homegoods!! I go there all the time just trolling the aisles for cute things…lucky for me it is attached to TJ Maxx, so I hit that up as well. Marshalls is my fave for clothes :-)

  33. I can’t do the clothing at those stores either. There’s too much. Iget overwhelmed and it makes me crabby. Same reason I suck at thrift store shopping. I’m an in-and-out kind of girl.

    Yep, I worked today. Same old, same old.

  34. LOVE those new dishes, I am envious and going to keep my out out for a Marshalls! :)

  35. I love your finds! Super cute!

    I’m always turned off by clothes shopping at the discount stores as well – there is so much and no organization it just drives me a little crazy even thinking about looking through it all :)

  36. I rather enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the unknown at places like Marshall’s, TJs, etc.

    On the other hand, I love the “curated” look and feel of places like Anthro.

    Today wasn’t a day off for me, either. In fact, I worked quite a bit, and did my taxes. Yahooo, feeling slightly smug to have actually pulled off the taxes early-ish ;-)

  37. Whoa! Look @ all of that cute loot!! Love the cake stand and the white dishes!! Bright white dishes enhance pictures dramatically. I would use white dishes all the time if I could.

    I LOVE shopping at Home Goods and Marshall’s, etc.!! So many awesome home stuff, I wish I had multiple houses to keep redecorating… and the budget for it! ha :P

    I think I have a little Sandra Lee in me… :oops:

  38. Everything looks great. I feel like shopping now.:)

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  40. Cute box for Skylar’s art and major score on the place mats. The dishes with the ribbon are adorable. And I need to try a microwave cake soon, they look wonderful. The new while plates are very elegant.

    1. Still the massage and Turkish food, though shopping at Ross wasn’t bad either.
    2. Yes and it’s been a lazy day. :-)
    3. Sometimes, I hit Ross and TJ Maxx today looking for clothes with mixed results. My luck can be hit or miss.

  41. I, too, LOVE marshalls!!! i bought a box similar to the box you bought 3 weeks ago. :)
    they have so many cool random stuff there! and i always find something there!! i sometimes buy my agave when i’m in there. that’s ok right? it’s not wf’s or tj’s but hey, it’s cheaper! lol

  42. If I’m shopping for something I NEED, I want predictable inventory. If it’s something I WANT, I go for the totally unpredictable: Ross, Marshall’s, and thrift stores. I don’t mind finding a single plate or bowl I love that doesn’t match anything else!

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  44. WOAH AB cookies!!!!!!!!! and i LOVE your cake stand haha oh and your square plates! i REALLY REALLY want square plates- im sick of round ones!

  45. We have Winner’s here which is like Marshall’s. I love browsing around the place b/c you never know what you’ll find! They can have the coolest stuff in stock.

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  47. Boy do I love Marshalls. You’ve inspired me to make a trip tomorrow after my Yamuna class in the AM!

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