FRESH COMO MEAT: Porn & Groceries

Not to be confused with dead basil.Commodities are one of those things that most people just use in a cliched phrase. A “hot commodity” is usually attributed to the latest in an endless series useless bullshit that is about to sell out at your local widget seller or retailer. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t one to also get in on the latest/greatest techy things but, generally speaking, I prefer the used variety of “things”. Under capitalism, everything is commodified to sell on the open market. Everything is judged on its monetary value. If you’re one of those 99 percenters (which, judging by the “readership” here, I’m going to venture to say that you are!) then you’re probably selling your labor to someone in exchange for some kind of compensation that you use to sustain yourself. Usually that’s money. You are worth X amount to your employer. Its kind of disturbing to consider. From the most essential things needed to survive (Food, Clothing, Shelter) to the banal (how many toasters do we need?) to the most private (Sex, Sexuality). Speaking of porn, this city has an disproportionately high amount of porn shops. Sure, its close to many colleges but I’ve lived in college towns before and there is a ton here. Does anyone else find that weird? I mean, I’m not morally opposed to porn shops-the industry, commodification, and exploitation of sex workers, I am.

Back to the matter at hand: Everything can be used to make profit (see: stealing). Some see a beauty in being able to buy anything but I think its a product a really crummy world. Color me Danny Downer all you want, I embrace it with open arms or in the words of the famous dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (no relation) “I AMMA MERCILESS REALIST AND ITS NOT DEFEATIST”. Maybe its just me, but destroying food so that food commodity prices stay profitable to agri-corporations while close to a billion go hungry is one of the greatest crimes in history.

While we all are being forced to buy commodities, and you can’t buy used food, I thought I’d put together a little list of place I like to get our supplies from here in COMO. There are your usual sort of big box chains that are convenient (Hy-Vee, Gerbes) and there are smaller chains (Schnucks, Patricia’s), I like to get the most bang for the buck, reasonably speaking of course. I’ve been hitting up Moser’s for things like staple items and it’s been pretty great and cheap. You’re not under the watchful eye of some security guard or have to rent a cart like Aldi’s. Moser’s has sweet all-plastic carts too that don’t feel like I’m pushing a sled when packed with The Dude and week’s worth of food. The produce is just as fresh as the others and I found that it’s about 20-30% cheaper than the bigger chains too. If you got some extra cheddar to throw down on some all-natural organic foods, there’s also some great things you can get from places like Clover’s, The amazing Peace Nook, and The Root Cellar. There’s also couple specialty stores like World MarketChong’s Oriental Market and the new Campus Eastern Foods at 4th and Broadway (which has fresh organic lamb!). THE TEAM likes to mix it up between these depending on what’s on our weekly menu or if we’re hosting a bonanza at the CoMo Bungalow.

Of course when the season hits, you simply must get as much as you can from the Columbia Farmer’s Market. Now, with the wonders of indoor buildings and greenhouses, you can go every Saturday 9am to Noon at the Parkade Center, 601 W. Business Loop for the INDOOR Winter Farmers Market!

SALE SALE SALE! BUY BUY BUY!

CoMo Events: Farmers and Artisans Market

There is a new market in town that serves more than one purpose. It’s the new Farmers and Artisans Market in the North Village Arts District. Such a great concept for Columbia! The community loves its artists and farmers and really care about buying locally. It is on Sundays until November 13th and goes from 9am to 2pm.

I’ve gone the past two weeks and it almost doubled in size over that time! I think there is a great mix of farm stands with awesome looking produce, and art booths with wonderful handmade items. And I appreciate that it is on Sunday and not Saturday. Saturdays are usually busier and makes it harder to get to the farmers market. It’s nice to have a choice now!

While I was there I had to pick up some new potatoes from the community garden, a bar of handmade soap, and an adorable little handmade pot. Next time I will plan my grocery shopping better so I can pick up some more fresh produce. The art is an added little bonus to the trip! It will be great to pick out handmade gifts for upcoming birthdays and holidays.

You should definitely stop by and check out the new Farmers and Artisans Market. It is located at the Wabash Bus Station at 126 North 10th Street. Just grab a smoothie or coffee up the street at Kaldi’s or Main Squeeze and do some shopping! Visit http://farmandart.com for more information.

CoMo Event: with heart handmade market

This Saturday is the first ever with heart handmade market in downtown Columbia. This is an event you won’t want to miss! There is quite a line-up of talented vendors and I want to introduce you them.

Pale Horse Studios

 

WoolenWonders    

 

c. jane create    

 

Along for the Ride    

 

the shirt off his back     

 

Adore by Leslie    

 

1canoe2   

 

caddywhompus   

 

Little Bird’s Stolen Press 

 

Curley Fish Crafts  

 

brittney’s buttons  

 

Mama Roots   

 

whimsy vintage 

 

Just a short introduction – I want you to visit and meet everyone in person. Everyone will be out there rain or shine – so make sure you stop by and get yourself some goodies! Think about upcoming birthdays or other things you might need gifts for! 🙂

Yes, that’s me {c. jane create} up there… I’m participating, too!

The market is at 9th Street and Elm near Shakespeare’s from 9am to noon. Hope to see you there – if you visit, make sure to tell me that you read my CoMo Collective post, I might have a special deal for you!

 

CoMo Shopping: Artichoke Annie’s Antique Mall

In North Texas, where I spent the latter part of my childhood – you know, the part you can actually remember – there were tons of antique stores in our little downtown square. My parents are collectors, in a small fashion, so antiquing grew on me too. Then, in 2005, I found myself in a new place without a car and a desire to hunt for treasue. I had to wait until I returned home to go antiquing. Until 2007 when I offically became a Missouri resident and had my own mode of transportation. I started asking around and googling antique stores. The first one I decided to visit was Artichoke Annie’s Antique Mall, so I paid them a visit.

Artichoke Annie’s is H-U-G-E. That is both good and bad. Good because if you are looking for something specific, you are likely to find it. Bad because you can’t just run in and out, I am always there for at least an hour. Bad because the prices match the size of the building… they, too, are big. You can find good deals, but furniture is always priced pretty high. Like that adorable teal/aqua dresser? Almost $700. For me that’s about the same as a rent payment, I don’t think I’m going to drop that kind of money on an old dresser. Even if I did pretty much fall in love with it.

Kitchen and dining items are usually a good price. I’ve gotten several Pyrex dishes there and a couple of other odds and ends. They do a great job of grouping like items together so you don’t have to search every booth for your grandmother’s prized gravy boat that your cousin stole before you had a chance to ask for it. {No, that didn’t actually happen to me, I made up the scenario.}

The people who work there are super nice and very helpful. They will hold your finds at the front of the store until you are ready to check-out and will load larger items into your car for you. They don’t allow purses into the store, but do have lockers for you to keep your things. I usually leave my purse in the car and go back out for it when I’m ready to pay.

Shopping at Artichoke Annie’s is not the same as walking my hometown square and visiting all the little shops, but it does satisfy my antique craving. As a bonus, they are open every day from 8am to 8pm so I don’t have to worry about scheduling my weekend around their hours. They do accept credit and debit cards, but some sellers are open to negotiations, so come prepared with cash to help your offer.

They are hosting a Spring Flea Market on Saturday, May 28th starting at 8am. Many outside vendors come to this market and the prices are usually better than inside the store. They will also have a concession booth with food and drinks. Make sure you have cash for this event, you pay each seller individually.

Artichoke Annie’s is located at 1781 Lindberg Dr Columbia, MO 65201-1718

Grand Reopening: ALDI

Aldi sign

We are lucky to have a number of great full-service grocery stores in Columbia. We’re also lucky to have a brand new discount grocery store in town. ALDI recently moved from their old location on the Business Loop down the street to a brand new building at the corner of Business Loop and I-70.

Aldi storefront

I was curious about the store, since we’re constantly looking for ways to save money, so I checked it out a couple of weeks ago. When I pulled up to the store, I noticed the parking lot was very well-designed for ease of getting in and out. The building is pretty standard from the outside, but they added some signage and architectural details to make it look clean and modern.

When I walked in, I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice the store looked. It was big and bright with fresh-looking marketing signs around the store.

The aisles were huge! I dare say they’re bigger than any other grocery store in town, though I can’t prove that fact.

When you go to an ALDI store, you learn pretty quickly that nearly everything in there is generic (or private label, as stores are calling it these days). According to their website, ALDI partners with many of the same suppliers that produce national brand foods, so you can be sure you’re getting high-quality food.

I’ve sampled many of their products and can confirm that the food is just as good as (if not better than) private label/generic products you find at other grocery stores. And I’m pretty picky when it comes to food taste. (Tip: their chocolate is excellent.)

Plus, something that I just discovered, if you’re not happy with something you purchased there, they’ll refund your money AND give you a replacement product. That’s a pretty impressive guarantee.

It cracks me up how much they try to get the packaging to match the national brand equivalent. I had to look twice at this package of cereal before I realized it was generic!

The other thing that surprised me at the new ALDI is that they carry a very reasonably priced wine selection. I really wanted to try some, but they didn’t carry the particular type of girly-wine that I tend to like most.


If you’ve never been to an ALDI store, there are some things you need to know ahead of time.

#1 – You have to pay for your cart

Well, actually, it’s more like a deposit. It’s ingenious, actually. Instead of paying for people to go retrieve carts from the parking lot, it leaves the work up to their customers. The carts are hooked together right outside the front door. You deposit a quarter in a little slot on your cart, which releases it from the cart corral. When you return the cart, you get your quarter back.

#2 – You need to bring your own bags

As eco-friendly grocery bags have become more popular in recent years, this isn’t that big of a deal. But trust me when I tell you it was a big ordeal trying to find suitable bags to bring to the grocery store when my mom & I frequented the store back in the day.

If you forget your bags, you can snag empty boxes as you shop. You can also purchase paper bags at the checkout counter.

By the way, you are also responsible for bagging your own groceries, which is actually kind of fun, once you get the hang of it.

#3 – They only accept cash, PIN-based debit cards and food stamps/EBT cards

While it may seem a little inconvenient that they don’t accept credit cards or checks, there are two very good reasons why they don’t. First, they don’t have to pay processing fees that the credit card companies charge, which helps keep their prices low. Second, checks and credit cards are the two slowest forms of transactions, so it speeds up the checkout line when they don’t accept them. I call that a win-win!

#4 – You may not be able to get all of your grocery shopping done there

While I’m a fan of ALDI stores, this is one of the major drawbacks of shopping there. They may or may not have everything on your list. It’s kind of a crap shoot, especially with the frozen items. They carry many items that are regularly stocked, but if you’re looking for something special for a specific recipe, such as a particular spice or something “fancy” like Canadian bacon, you’re probably going to be out of luck.

I also find that I personally do some impulse buying while I’m there because I’m never sure if they’re going to carry it again (or if it’s just a really good deal). This is something to watch out for if you’re trying to stick to a list and remain in budget.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Columbia’s newest grocery store. They offer good food at great prices and the new building makes for a great shopping experience. For more tips on how to navigate the store before your first visit, check out their website.

If you’ve been to the new store, let me know what your experience was. And make sure to report back if you end up trying the wine! I’m so curious!

CoMo Art: events tomorrow!

There are a couple of awesome events happening tomorrow (May 5th)!

The first is the craft sale at the Craft Studio on Mizzou’s campus. You can’t really find much info online, but I know it runs from 10am to 1pm in the basement of Memorial Union. I went last year and bought a bunch of fantastic handmade clay bowls of various sizes. They had the most beautiful glazes! I gave a couple as holiday gifts and kept a few of them for myself. They are priced wonderfully, so I hope to grab a few more to have on hand for gifts. They also had some knit and crocheted scarves and some sewn goodies. There is always a variety, so if you have time over your lunch break stop by and check it out!

The Museum of Art and Archaeology is also hosting an event tomorrow from 4 to 8pm called Slow Art Day. It is actually an annual global event. The idea is that you’ll slow down and enjoy a few select pieces of artwork instead of running through the museum trying to everything at once. It is free and open to public and they’ll be serving some snacks and wine. You can learn a little bit more on their website.

I also want to mention one event going on this weekend in St. Louis. I know it’s not in Columbia, but a lot of people might be traveling for Mother’s Day this weekend! The 24th annual Art Fair will be running Friday through Sunday at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Oh! And don’t forget to stop by the Columbia Art Leauge to see the Red Show. I stopped by the other day – there are some amazing pieces. I specifically enjoyed the drawings of the pomegranate and the Tootsie Roll Pop wrapper.

Enjoy!

-christa jane

Shopping Columbia @ Blackberry Exchange

I am facing my fears of vintage stores once again with my shopping trip to Blackberry Exchange. Although, to be fair, Blackberry Exchange is so much more than just vintage clothing. They feature “reclaimed” items specially designed and reworked by locals to fit into your modern wardrobe. They take vintage clothing and design them for 2011. If you’re just testing the waters of vintage clothing like I am, then this should be your first stop! You can stick to their reclaimed section or venture into the vintage clothing. Either way, you’re sure to find a treasure to be the next perfect addition to your wardrobe!

Outfit 1
Ideal for a Mizzou baseball game
or even lounging around campus between summer classes

Blackberry1

Mizzou Dress by Blackberry Exchnage $52
For more information about custom apparel, click here.

 

Outfit 2
Ideal for attending the many upcoming performances at Stephens

Blackberry3

Reclaimed Vintage (vamped-up designs) $44
For more information about Reclaimed clothing, click here.
Vintage hat $6.95
Hollister Belt $ 16.95
Monterey Bay shoes $7.50
Wrangler Jacket $13.95

 

Outfit 3
Ideal for Artrageous Fridays

Blackberry2

Custom one-of-a-kind Mullet Dress $44
For more information about reclaimed fashions, click here.
BCBG Shoes $10.95
Straw Bag $13.95
Headband $10.95

For more information on Blackberry Exchange, visit their website here.

If you would like your local shop featured on Shopping Columbia, email Ashley at ashley.hasty@gmail.com.

Shopping Columbia @ Along for the Ride

Local Columbia resident, Laura, founded her Etsy shop, Along for the Ride, almost a year ago. Since then, the colorful and delicate look of her necklaces, hairpins, and earrings have won over many happy customers. Myself included. Her handmade items even found a home in Maude Vintage where their success is almost too much for Laura to keep up. Almost. Laura is dedicated to providing her customers with quality products “made with love and care.”

Recently, Laura added a new product to her shop: The Limited Edition- Pink and Pearl Double Rosette Hair Pin/Brooch. 100% of the proceeds of this item will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Laura’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and this is Laura’s heartfelt way of supporting the cause.

According to the Susan G. Komen website, “As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, [Susan G. Komen for the Cure is] working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.”

The limited edition pink and pearl double rosette hair pin/brooch features two delicate carnation pink rosettes attached to both a hair clip and a pin back. Rosettes are backed with felt for comfort and durability. Three pearls are hand sewn between the two rosettes.

I placed my order for this hairpin last week.

On Laura’s etsy site she says, “My motto is ‘keep it simple.’ That’s how I approach my work as well. I create jewelry and accessories that are simply delicate, whimsical, and beautiful.” Perhaps that is why I’m such a big fan of her bias tape earrings. They really do embody her motto and how she describes her products. The earrings are truly simply, delicate, whimsical, and beautiful. I try not to wear my pair every day, it is good to change things up a little. But these earrings are so comfortable and versatile, that they have quickly become my go-to accessory!

For more information about Laura and Along for the Ride:
Visit her Etsy shop here.
Visit her Facebook page here.

If you would like your local shop featured on Shopping Columbia, email Ashley at ashley.hasty@gmail.com.

Shopping Columbia @ MU Bookstore

I bet you didn’t realize the University of Missouri Bookstore has some great clothing, and it isn’t all black and gold! Of course they have the perfect clothing for Mizzou fans but they also have really trendy accessories at great deals! They have the perfect clothing for dealing with April showers, perusing the farmer’s market, and cheering on Mizzou sports teams! So the next time you’re on campus or looking for a new casual look, be sure to check out the MU Bookstore!

Outfit 1
Ideal for April showers in Columbia, MO!

MUOutfit1

Tiger paw sequin headband- $15.99
Black tiered Mizzou skirt- $24.99
Gold bangle set- $6.99
Textured gold cuff- $6.99
Mizzou printed rain boots- $50.00

Outfit2
Ideal for shopping the Columbia Farmers Market Saturday mornings
(P.S. the Columbia Farmers Market opened March 26th!)

MUOutfit2

Zebra print reefs- $28.00
Sequined bow headband- $13.99
Purple zebra print scarf- $9.99
Faded mizzou tank- $42.99

Outfit 3
Ideal for cheering on the MU Baseball team!

MUOutfit3

floral scarf- $18.99
Nude snakeskin reefs- $28.00
White rubber watch w/crystals- $22.99
Neon yellow v-neck – $19.99

For more information about the MU Bookstore, visit their website here.

If you would like your local shop featured on Shopping Columbia, email Ashley at ashley.hasty@gmail.com.

Shopping Columbia @ Maude Vintage

I have to admit, when it comes to shopping in vintage stores I get really overwhelmed and often shy away. So when I agreed to shop Maude Vintage for this post I had a little anxiety. I arrived at the store early and began browsing around. I quickly found 4 or 5 pieces that I just loved and I thought would fit into my wardrobe perfectly (with a few minor adjustments to make them more modern.)

But then Sabrina began pulling outfits for me to wear for this post and I was blown away. Here she was choosing pieces that I had overlooked, pieces I hadn’t even given a second glance and she was making very modern and ultra cool outfits out of them! Suddenly the world of vintage clothing was open to a million possibilities!

And don’t for a second believe that I got special treatment for writing this post, oh no. Sabrina and her staff were helping several of their customers at the same time putting together fabulous outfits for them as well. It was a Sunday afternoon and her store was swarming with customers. Clearly I had been missing out on this Columbia treasure for far too long!

So for all of you who are a little vintage shy like I was, a great starting point is Maude Vintage. They’ll help you ease into the world of vintage clothing and you’ll be a pro in no time!

Maude1Outfit 1
Ideal for a movie night at Ragtag

1980s Cougar Cuff Bracelet, $7.00
1960s Fiber Optic Bead Necklace, $7.00
Vintage Golden Coro Cuff Bracelet, $8.00
Resin Flower Pendant, $9.00
Loo Whoos Vintage Button Hair Pin (local artist) $3.00
Black and Gold Dress by Pac Rat (local artist) $30.00
Circa 1969 Sude Go-Go Boots, $35.00

Maude2Outfit 2
Ideal for the Stephens College Fashion Show

1980s White Pencil Skirt, $12.50
1970s Red Mesh Tank, $8.00
Circa 1988 Red Leather Ankle Pumps, $21.00
Red Sunglasses, $10.00
Wood and Shell Necklace, $9.00
Resin Red Ring, $7.00
1960s Red and White Belt, $4.00

Maude3Outfit 3
Ideal for perusing local art galleries

1960s Wool Floppy Hat, $21.00
Heather Oxford Shoes, $12.00
1970s Copper Necklace, $12.00
1990s Cheetah Vest, $5.50
1960s White Tank Top, $4.00
1980s Gaucho Slacks, $8.00s

For more information about Maude Vintage, visit their website here.

If you would like your local shop featured on Shopping Columbia, email Ashley at ashley.hasty@gmail.com.