Our First Warehouse Sale is a Success! You won’t believe what happened!

Dane Wilkerson Shop72.com Warehouse Sale
That’s Dane from eCommerce

Our warehouse sale has been a long discussed affair that we originally thought wouldn’t even happen. But, with a little luck, a little ingenuity, and a bunch of extraordinary people, we  got it done! From memorial day onwards, shop72.com has catered to the area, offering discounts, free gifts and more, all to better serve our loyal customers and make connections with the people in our community. And it’s not over yet, our sale is still going on, so come on down to our warehouse if you’re in the Belleville area for blowout sales and killer smiles.

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Our warehouse is looking spiffy!

The much anticipated sale kicked off officially on the first of June after months of painstaking planning and setting up our humble warehouse to look its best. It’s a handsome gentleman that we had to transform in order to appeal to the masses and, after worrying about it til we were all stressed out and above the legal blood/coffee limit, we whipped it into shape. Dane, our resident eCommerce manager and Linda, our Customer Service rep, took care to arrange everything, stocking racks and shelves with products and making sure everything was price tagged and ready to go. It was a hassle for them, working all day in the hot warehouse, but never once did they complain.

The first of June rolled around a lot sooner than we anticipated though, but we were

Warehouse sale in Belleville
Things are still selling quickly.

finally able to open our doors to the masses. We posted on Facebook and Twitter, handed out flyers and discount codes in expectation for our customers arrival but, to our complete and utter surprise, people started showing up early! We couldn’t stand to turn them away, so our sale actually started a few days ahead of schedule. Customer after customer came pouring in until we really didn’t know how to accommodate them. We were so surprised—and still are! People love our housewares, chocolate fountains and shammy’s, but more than anything they’ve been all over our clothing items like our dresses, camisoles, leggings, shoes, cardigans and more. Except, instead of ordering online and waiting for it to be delivered, they took it home straight away. One woman even decided to wear a pair of our heels home, straight out of the box. This has been more than a success, we’re so excited to have our loyal customers–and friends!–showing up to hangout with us.This sale has been an extraordinary success and we can’t wait to promote bigger and better events for our customers in the future.

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You’ll Never Guess Where Camisoles Came From!

Just like the great legging debate I brought up earlier in the week, tank tops vs camisoles will ultimately come down to personal standards, taste and etiquette, but for those of you caught in the middle of said debate, like I am, allow me to break it down and lay out the details as best I can. So, without further ado, let’s get this thing started.

Camis Are Not Tank Tops!

For those who don’t know and would probably never even bother to ask, camisoles didn’t  start out as a kind of shirt, top or any kind of garment meant ab-basiccami-8460-nvyto see the light of day. In reality, the camisole evolved from another former powerhouse of women’s fashion: the corset and, more specifically, the corset cover. Back in the Sixteenth  Century when the steel boned torture devices were at the hight of fashion, proper ladies used the bulky corset covers, which were made of varying fabrics, not only to cover their corsets but to add an extra layer of protection beneath their oversized dresses. Unlike the typical daily drudgery common in the 16th Century, the corset cover and all its evolutions thereafter has actually withstood the test of time and, as of today, hails as one of women’s favorite undergarments aside from actual underwear.

Tank Tops Were Once Men’s Underwear?!

Yes, you read it correctly. The first tank tops, ironically just like the first high heels, were originally worn by men. Popularized in the early 1930’s by American cinema, the iconic tank tp we know today as a “wife beater” or racerback tank, was once a cinematic device for screenwriters and directors to portray the young man, often Italian-American, in an intimate way. In the post War years especially, working class men owned maybe one or two good shirts, which  they saved for work or special occasions, therefore a man appearing in a scene wearing a tank top was a man with his guard down, at ease in his private life. It was often a za-tntop-t-1159-brightbluetime for the negative aspects of their character to come to the fore, think Robert De Niro in Raging Bull or Marlon Brando in A Street Car Named Desire. Men, especially Italian men existed in a dichotomy of the persona they presented to the public and that which they kept behind closed doors (via. swide.com). To put this in perspective, a man walking about in his tank top was equal to a woman strutting around in a terry cloth robe, ripped sweats and slippers, not at all how any respectable person would want to be portrayed in public at that time. Across the water in Italy and it was seen in a different way, free of the emasculating problems that affect an immigrant community, the tank top was seen simply as a symbol of masculine sex appeal. Dino Risi’s ‘Poveri ma belli’ (1957) saw Renato Salvatori sport the look as a Roman lifeguard, out in the public, bearing shoulders to the sun. The tank top’s evolution from hidden undergarment, through symbol of male brutishness, cinematic device, to iconic look and eventually to the catwalk mirrors the evolution of fashion itself: what we view as a trend often eventually evolves into the mainstream. Whether that’s good or bad is solely up to you, the consumer.

Ah, But Where Do The Differences Come Into Play?

Right…about…now. Ideal by themselves in hot weather or layered under warmer tops in cooler temps, camisoles and tank tops serve many of the same purposes — but they’re not quite the same thing. Tank tops come in a variety of styles and with different size straps, while camisoles have a more uniform look with skinny, usually adjustable, bra-style straps and even bra-like inserts that most women like to pretend don’t exist. Seriously, those things provide zero support and just as little coverage, why do camisole makers like to pretend they help anything at all…ever?

1: Camisole Characteristics

Because the camisole evolved from corset covers, the camisole tends to look a bit like lingerie; and, in many cases, it’s meant only to be worn as an undergarment. You can layer a cami under a cardigan, dress, top, sweater or just about anything you require extra coverage orza-tanktop-st-3000-bblu control in. Camis are usually fitted and made from a cotton blend or from stretchy material, such as rayon or spandex. Some camis have  lace trim, making them perfect to add modesty to low-cut dresses and tops.

2: Tank Top Types

With styles ranging from satin-crushed to casual, ribbed, A-line cuts, tank tops are more loosely defined. All tank tops are sleeveless and expose the shoulders. The straps vary as well — racerbacks crisscross in the back, halter tops tie behind the neck and spaghetti straps are thin and may or may not adjust like bra straps. You find tank tops with collars, deep V-necks or simple scoop necklines. Tanks tops may be fitted or flow loosely (via. synonym.com).

The bottom Line.

As I say with pretty much any fashion post, at the end of the day, the choice is yours. Whether you like going balls to the wall with leggings and camisoles and not much else, that’s perfectly fine. The point is comfort and how you feel about yourself at the end of it all. Never let anyone talk you into–or out of!–wearing what makes you happy with yourself. Who do you have to please other than yourself?

Are You Wearing Leggings the Right or Wrong Way?

In other words, when fashion and comfort collide!

Leggings. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the ocean for the past two or three years you’re well aware of leggings as a trend, and the timeless debate of “are they pants or not?”. Needless to say, it’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you how to wear your clothes. If you like them beneath dresses, that’s cool, if you prefer them on their own with a T-shirt or baggy sweater, that’s cool too! The point is, your comfortable and you’re stylish, and with those key points down, nothing else matters! I’m coming to you today from the midst of the debate, hoping to sway both sides to a differing point of view by talking about–yep, you guessed it–the versatility of leggings!

The Long History of Leggings and How They Came to Be

Leggings are typically ankle-length, and some are stirrupped or encase the feet. Some are shorter. Leggings are worn to keep a person’s legs warm, as protection from chafing during an activity such as exercise, or as a decorative or fashion garment. Leggings are worn by both men and women during exercise but usually only by women at other times. In contemporary usage, leggings refers to tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles. In the United States, they are sometimes referred to as tights. However, the two words are not synonymous as the word tights refers to opaque pantyhose.

Leggings were originally called hose, and were first found in the Renaissance era.  They were worn by bothfcf119a723180e79866e78a0c8b1f93d men and women, and were actually one-legged, using different colors and prints for each leg.  They were used to show status: most were made from wool, while others were made from silk for the noblemen/noblewomen. Men also wore trunkhose, which were the puffy garments that were worn from their waist to their knees. From the blog Encouraged Life, I found even more insightful information on the history of leggings: Leggings hit their height in the 1980s during the time of cheesy pop, exercise videos, and crazy fashion.  I not only did some research on how leggings were worn, but talked to my mom about this trend in the 80s.  She said leggings in 80s were nothing like they are today. She said they were really thick, and were always paired with a skirt, dress, or oversized top that covered the rear end. She said they wore leggings “as pants” when they were doing exercise videos. Throughout my research, I found the same information. I thought I would share this photo of the 80s queen, Madonna, performing at a concert. The 90s started the era of wearing leggings as pants, which were generally  patterned or part of an outfit. I thought I would share a picture from the fashionable diva group, The Spice Girls (great blast from the past, right?).  Leggings were still worn a lot for exercise as well. Leggings have made a huge comeback recently, and are a trend of today.  Many pair up sweatshirts and tops with leggings and wear them as pants.  They range anywhere from black to patterned and colorful. 

In a nutshell, leggings have come a long way from their humble beginnings as just undergarments of the wealthy and the fashionable in the Victoria era. Women of all shapes, sizes and social-economic backgrounds wear the versatile garment, whether they consider them pants or not.

Types of Leggings – Yes, There Are Different Types You Legging Nazis

Leggings come in may different styles, patterns, colors, fabrics and lengths. From ankle length leggings (depicted above), to leggings with stirrups, capri or “calf length” and even footed leggings, they truly take the cake for how you can wear them. I believe the biggest factor in the pants debate is the common misconception that regular, nylon, semi see through tights and leggings are one in the same. Tights commonly have feet, but have variations that don’t them. They’re meant to be worn beneath dresses as hosiery, not on their own as leggings typically are. True leggings that are meant for on their own wear are  typically made from cotton, wool, and thicker blends. The best leggings, in my opinion, are made from cotton and are fleece lined, making them extra heavy, durable, and perfect for wearing during trendy-100-nylon-sheer-rib-tights-blk-216057the winter months. Rule of thumb: if you can see through them or make out skin tone through the fabric, then they’re obviously meant to be worn beneath something. It’s common sense. If they’re 90% Nylon…pass on them unless you specifically want to wear them underneath your favorite dress.

Pro tip: Black, footless tights make a bold statement underneath sweater dresses and oversized tops, especially when worn with chunky belts, chunky heels and sexy stilettos of the same color.

Leggings, Cute Trend or Fashion Faux Pas? 

As with every post, the choice is ultimately up to you, but in my opinion, I genuinely believe leggings are the way to go if you want to dabble in high fashion and still be comfortable. Denim and other fabrics are nice, wearing skirts are easy and breezy, but nothing beats the simplicity of leggings or how stylish one feels when you step out the door in them. Shop72.com has a wide range of leggings in both regular and plus sizes. From crazy, wacky patterns to solid colors, and even the infamous footless tights, we have it all. And, the best part about our leggings is that they’re inexpensive! I recently saw a pair of black, cotton leggings on Polyvore.com from some obscure French fashion label that were on SALE for four hundred dollars. This was a SALE item! That’s completely and utterly ridiculous! But, I guess if you have money to blow, four hundred dollars is most definitely the way to go. What else would you spend it on? Charity? Hooplah.

Barbecue Season is Upon Us – How to Make Your Next Backyard Shindig a Success!

Recipes, products and DIY’s for your summer time cook-outs

Backyard barbecues are a staple of any American summer. Whether you’re getting ready for Memorial, Independence or Labor day, there’s always an excuse to bust out the grill and barbecue sauce. This holiday season, I’ll make sure you’re prepared to face all the challenges and hiccups that are bound to crop up while you’re getting your party on. From recipes to decorating tips and even a printable shopping list you can take with you on your path to barbecue success.

DECORATING

We all know that decorating for a barbecue is no easy feat. From gusty winds that blow everything off our tables to soggy drink containers and a mess of condiments. Here are a few ways to keep your party looking neat without breaking the bank.

1. Use Water Balloons as Ice Cubes

Grab those water balloons your kids are waiting to destroy each other with, fill them about half way with water and pop them into the freezer. After a couple hours you can fill a cooler 2af06bda9b22b72ae01bdfdc065d6900or small bin with these delightful makeshift ice cubes and skip having to empty out a tub of warm water at the end of the night. Its perfect for adding juice boxes and other drink containers you don’t want to get wet. And the best part, after they’ve finished cooling your drinks and melting, you can throw them at each other!

2. Mason Jars as Candle Holders

Everyone loves mason jars. They’re all the rage recently and can be found on just about any d86abc9d0416763cb5b47cf7cd3b9ffcstore shelf nation wide. Tie a bit of string or twine around the rim of the glass and fill it with water or  some other non flammable liquid. Gently float your favorite tea light candles in the liquid, light, and bask in the golden ambience of the candle flames. This is a great addition to any table centerpiece and adds a bit of sparkle and country styling to your party. Take it a step even further by sinking a few stones or jewels at the bottom of the glass. The little rocks you buy for fishtanks would work great for this as would anything generally heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the jar and stay put. If you’re on a tighter budget, grab a few rocks from a riverbed or your neighbors flower bed (shhhh, I wont tell) and enjoy the all natural effect of your new table centerpiece. Add a wreath of flowers around the jars on the table to make your party the envy of all your friends and bossy relatives.

3. Muffin Tins or Mason Jars as Condiment Dispensers

We all know the mess of trying to safely and neatly distribute condiments at a cookout. Who knows whats in those packets we steal from our neighboring McDonalds (I know you’ve done6361c59bbe05660ecf55a6ca12f5e0c4 it! We all have!) and setting out the bottles results in ketchup fights and a slippery mustard mess. Try filling mason jars or your old muffin tin with your favorite condiments and even veggies for a neat dispensary that will not only look good on your table but will cut your clean up and put away time in half. Tomatoes, pickles, onions, heck even your grandmothers cole slaw recipe; if it can fit in a jar or a tin it has a perfect place at your table. Equip the jars tin with disposable spoons to make it easy to grab whatever your burger needs. Just be sure to remind your guests that double dipping is strictly not allowed!

4. String up Your Old Christmas Lights and Bring Out the Bed Sheets

Want to turn your next cook-out into a party your guests will never forget? Simple additions like blankets instead of chairs and old Christmas lights strung from poles or the side of the house will help make your night one of the best your guests have ever had. Urge people to 03d856339f08c73abbb008bb2f5712d4take off their shoes and socks and climb into the intimate setting you’ve provided, they’ll love you for it, especially if they’re the skittish type who’s not so keen on social gatherings. Removing the exacting need to mingle by setting them between their favorite people in a comfortable atmosphere will have them chatting up a storm in no time–willingly! Don’t forget the candles on the table, the good food and the excellent conversation either!

5. Take a Favorite Childhood Game to the Next Level

Can you say water balloon, outdoor twister? Break out the non-toxic spray paint and create a 6×4 grid of circles in the grass with the infamous twister colors and let it dry. Once you’re sure it won’t stain your toes or clothing, break out your old twister board and start spinning. 1563ba61b4e6d367443047acf9d50d7aFor every missed color or slip and fall–bean them with a water balloon! You’ll be slipping, sliding and covered in grass in no time. And we all know, there can be no real summer fun without grass stains and someone complaining about water in their eyes. Make it even more exciting for the adults with a friendly wager, how far you decide to take it is completely up to you!

RECIPES

What’s better than summer fun? Summer food! I’ve complied a small list of recipes that will have your guests salivating and demanding details before you shove them out the door.  Just remember, what happens between us stays between us, if you want to tell your friends it’s your great aunts recipe from the 1950’s, be my guest!

1. Sweet and Sour Meatball Skewers

This one comes from the folks over at www.tasteandtellblog.com.  Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.31.52 PM

Prep time:

15 mins

Cook time:

10 mins

Total time:

25 mins

Serves: 4

These easy meatball skewers are made with frozen meatballs and sweet peppers and then basted with a simple sweet and sour sauce for a fast weeknight meal.

Ingredients

•32 frozen fully cooked 1-inch meatballs, thawed (1 lb.)

•1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

•1 green pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

•¼ cup apricot jam

•¼ cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

1.Heat a grill to medium-high. Thread the peppers and meatballs alternately onto 8 skewers.

2.Microwave the jam in a small bowl for 15 seconds. Add the barbecue sauce and stir to combine.

3.Place the meatball skewers on the grill and brush with the sauce. Grill for 8-10 minutes, turning and basting with the sauce occasionally.

4.Serve warm.

2. BBQ Glazed Pineapple Bacon Shrimp

From the good ole’ folks at thedomesticgeekblog.comScreen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.31.44 PM

Prep time: 

15 mins

Cook time: 

15 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Serves: 

8

Ingredients

•1 Lb bacon

•1 Lb de-veined raw shrimp

•1 fresh pineapple

•1 C. Barbecue sauce

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.Prepare the shrimp for cooking by peeling them and cutting of the tails.

3.Put the prepared shrimp in a bowl and drizzle some pineapple juice over them, add some sea salt and toss to coat all the shrimp.

4.Fold bacon around each shrimp and then cut bacon, depending on how big the shrimp are you should be able to wrap a few shrimp with one piece of bacon.

5.Use a toothpick to skewer a piece of pineapple then poke it through the bacon and shrimp to secure it.

6.Place shrimp on a cookie sheet lined with foil, brush on barbecue sauce (we used Uncle Dougies Sneaky Spicy Barbecue Sauce)

7.Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 min or until bacon and shrimp are cooked through, enjoy!

3. Bobby Flay’s Sliders with Chipotle Mayonnaise

From people.com and master chef Bobby Flay himself comes a wonderful recipe that’ll add a little south-western flavor to your party.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 4.31.36 PM

Sliders are the perfect party food, and these mini burgers from the host of Barbecue Addiction steal the show, especially when topped with chipotle-lime mayonnaise.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mayonnaise

2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce
Juice of ½ lime

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef, 80% lean, 20% fat

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cheese slices, your choice

Mini burger buns

INSTRUCTIONS

.1 For mayonnaise: Puree the first 3 ingredients in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

.2 Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Form meat into 8 tightly packed portions. Season with salt and pepper.

.3 Place sliders on the grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. When the sliders are almost done, top with cheese. Close grill (or cover) to allow cheese to melt. Place on bun, top with mayonnaise and serve.

SHOPPING

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Everyone has trouble remembering what they should and shouldn’t pick up at the story. Grocery list aside as, the best part about a backyard barbecue is that you get to set your own menu, but I’ve included a list of things you’re likely to forget if you’re wrestling the kids in and out of a van and can’t find a moment to think. First and foremost, your grilling kit! This beautiful 18-piece barbecue set comes in an aluminum case with dual latches for secure storage. It includes fork, tongs, knife, grill-cleaning brush, basting brush, 4 steak knives, and 8 corn holders and everything you need to get your grilling done right! With this set at your side, the everything else will be a breeze.

psl