This past Saturday my friend Emily and I loaded up into her Tahoe and trekked up to Charlotte, NC for a day of shopping in the magical wonderland stores that we do not have in Columbia. Our itinerary included Mary Jo’s  Cloth Store in Gastonia, which was overwhelming with fabric. We both stopped in our tracks at the door and gaped, but not for long, because I tore through the rows and rows and rows of fabric for the bathroom after the hour and a half drive up. Emily quilts and was looking to see what kind of fabrics they had for some custom order quilts she is going to make soon. My favorite aisle was the vegetable, fruits and snacks aisle. There were FOUR DIFFERENT typed of onion print fabric. Garlic, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, and curly fry fabric which is pictured below. Who would need curly fry print fabric? What would you make with this? I want Emily to make me a vegetable soup quilt, but she politely told me to forget it.

Then it was on to Ikea, which I have no pictures of, but I do have pictures of some of my finds farther down. Ikea wasn’t terribly crowded for a Saturday, which was pleasant. We made it through it about an hour, believe it or not. By then we were hungry, so we loaded up and went to Amelie’s French Bakery. I found this place by Googling for a bakery in Charlotte because I wanted to go somewhere that had macarons. I have always wanted to try one (or ten), and Amelie’s had those and more. These are pictures I took of the dessert case while we were in line:

This was my dessert of choice. It is not what it appears to be, trust me. It actually is thick chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate cup, all the way through. The savior of this dessert is the lightness of the chocolate covered strawberry. I am sad to say I was not able to finish this because it was So Rich. But So Good. Oh. My God.

I finally got my macarons! These are the two that survived the trip home. The purple one had grape jam in the middle, and the pink one had either raspberry or strawberry jam. A not pictured one had fig preserves in the middle. Mmm! They were divine. Not pictured is the quiche we ate. Emily had the version with prosciutto (or some sort of fancy ham), which I had the vegetarian version. Let’s just say I am pretty sure our table mates thought we were experiencing another kind of pleasure altogether while we were eating these. I hope they have this again when we go next month.

Next was Trader Joe’s, where I bought a case and a half of Three Buck Chuck, dark chocolate covered almonds, some soyrizo, Chipolte hummus, “beef” striplets, Italian “sausage” and this Swiss Beer Fondue, which I thought would be a perfect Valentine’s dinner for me and Husband tonight.

After stowing all the fridge items in the cooler, we trucked it down to Gardenridge in Pineville and messed around with some of the weird stuff they had there. I found me some new boots, but I don’t think I’ll be able to walk too far in them, so I didn’t purchase.

These are my most exciting Ikea finds, hard at work in the house. It’s just a magnetic knife strip, but its so much easier to use the knives this way! The plain board that we have up in this part of the kitchen is doing a fine job modeling this strong, magnetic beauty.

This. This chair. The website said that the Charlotte store had none of these in stock so I almost peed with excitement when I saw them. I got only one this time to make sure it was comfortable and looked good in the space, which it does. I mean, it doesn’t look amazing in the current space, but it will look gorgeous in my future kitchen. I am going to get the other three ($99 apiece) next month when we go back. In the meantime, I am going to start looking at thrift stores for a tulip table to complement these clear babies.

And that’s how April and Emily do Charlotte! Any recommendations on places to visit next time?