Bliss Thru Shopping: A Maine adventure


It’s hardly possible. Four years of Bliss and we’ve never “officially” shopped Renys.

We may have unofficially entered once or twice. Like at Christmas. Or when we needed wool socks. Or to partake in a really sweet deal on Electrasol dish tabs. But we’ll say no more.

Renys, therefore, seemed the ideal place to kick off our Farmington road trip. Like wild stallions that can’t be long confined — wild, feminine stallions with flowing locks and amazing handbags — we’d been feeling the itch to temporarily leave L-A and embark on more Places We Don’t Normally Go for a while. Farmington, thankfully, didn’t disappoint. Neither did Renys.

Oh, and a little history: The Farmington Renys is located in the only silent-movie-house-turned-retail space in Maine and it still sports a restored stage, balconies and tin ceilings. See, shopping is educational! Which is why we love it. Or part of why we love it. OK,  it’s really never been a factor at all, but you have to admit, that trivia is kind of cool.

•  6-foot bamboo canes, 10-pack, $2.99

We’ll be honest: Bag Lady and Shopping Siren are not sure what to do with these. They seem vaguely gardenish? So let your pea pods crawl up these sticks or poke an intruder in the eye for cheap. Go with whatever feels right.

• Puddle Toes rain boots, $29.99

Pink leopard or black-and-white zebra — maybe the only way to make a rainy week like we’ve had bearable. And when the sun’s out? Still totally fabulous.

• Hi-Tec Barbados-style sandals, $29.99

Enough to make us want to kick off our heels. In blues and browns with flower detail.

• Camo Crocs, unisex, $39.99

We know we seem fixated on the shoes at Renys, but we really couldn’t leave these out. Because camouflage Crocs? A whole new kind of awesome. Or possibly nightmarish. Either way, we had to tell you about them.

• Sconza dark chocolate toffee almonds, 5 oz., $2.99

Put these in a grownup Easter basket. Wait a polite period of time (5 minutes). Ask if they’re willing to share.

• All-Natural Omega Munchies caramelized flaxseed walnuts, 5 oz., $2.99

For Bag Lady’s mother-in-law’s Easter basket. She’s all about the flaxseed. And, a true joy to be around. No, really.

• Sky Bar, 50 cents

Shopping Siren has such fond memories of this four-in-one candy bar (individual sections filled with caramel, vanilla, peanut butter and fudge) that she squealed with delight when she spotted them and immediately grabbed two — one to keep and one to share with Bag Lady, who looked doubtful that a mere candy bar could really be squeal-worthy. But she’s always willing to give chocolate the benefit of the doubt.

• Gnome on a boot statue, $9.99

Happy gnome wearing a jaunty red hat and sitting adorably on a boot. This little statue has absolutely no creep-factor — a tough thing to pull off in a gnome.

Best find: Amazing sliders, $3.99

Eight little discs that are supposed to make moving furniture and other heavy objects a breeze. In fact, the package shows a man effortlessly pushing a refrigerator across the floor. Shopping Siren is skeptical, but Bag Lady figures $4 is a reasonable risk. Also, she’s still eyeing the armoire from last week.

Think twice: Newman’s Own organic California prunes, 6 oz., $2.59

It’s not so much that we’re anti-prune; we’re just not pro-prune. Plum indifferent, perhaps. At least for Easter basket’s sake, give these a rest.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who think 5 minutes is much, much too long to wait for food) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]