Hot Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Palette Over 30% Off!

Get a Super Sunday Stocking Stuffer Deal at Ulta® with Smashbox On The Rocks Photo Op Eye Shadow Luxe Palette, reg. $42, now $29.00.

This doesn’t qualify for extra coupon reduction, but on other items, take an extra 20% off  entire purchase.  20% off online with promo:  200493 or instore coupon. Free Shipping when you spend $50.

This palette has a 4.6 star rating out of 5.  Includes 28  party colors and nudes.  A $250 value.  Plus earn extra points for future purchases on your Ulta Rewards Card!

MarkdownMom Says Give One and Buy One For Yourself!


If You Go To San Francisco, Be Sure To Wear~A Jacket!

As most of the nation lies sweltering in heat, MarkdownMom’s trip to San Francisco was a refreshing reminder of the ocean breeze of the Pacific that comes in the early evening to cool things down.

Another “cool” place this year is St.Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Last winter the polar vortex was raising havoc, but this summer with its’ return, spells nothing short of comfortable.  Visitors to the All Star Game from California and Florida really enjoyed the temperature change.  And if you want to experience traditional San Francisco weather, head 135 miles north to Duluth, Minnesota to experience the Northland’s San Francisco on the great inland sea, Lake Superior.  But don’t forget to wear your jacket; last night it was in the 40’s there!

End of Summer Fun! Hmong International Market of St. Paul

Frog Town in St. Paul, Minnesota has one of the largest immigrant Hmong populations in the United States.   MDM’s new FIND is the Hmong International Market, hidden across from Scheffer Playground on Como Avenue.

Hmong International Market offers traditional foods from Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and other Asian countries in their West Building.  MDM’s recommendations are the traditional Hmong sausage (slightly spicy, but delicious!),  bubble tea (various flavors), and jelly drink (Nab Vam).  Other indoor buildings and outside tents you will find clothing (modern and traditional), shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, arts and crafts, plants and herbs, traditional medicines, music, and more!  Vendors and patrons are extremely friendly.  Your senses will definitely be on overload with all the wonderful sights, smells, and sounds!

Location:  Slideshow
217 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55103 (map)

FYI: Take it easy in the parking lot!  Potholes galore!


A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

THINKING ABOUT FINALLY GETTING ORGANIZED THIS FALL? Need ideas for creating a new and improved bedroom closet, office space, laundry room, kitchen pantry, living room entertainment center, mud room, or garage?  Check out THE CONTAINER STORE for your one-stop service.  Let The Container Store team help you design a custom-made closet for as little as $300-Just bring in your measurements, a photo of the space, a description of items you have and store in your space and any obstacles such as doors or small hallways.  Associates will also show you how to assemble their products in-store or you can have someone install them in your home for 30% of the total cost of your closet system.

Their ELFA CLOSET SYSTEMS come in white or chrome metal, oak or dark wood.  Linen, plastic, cardboard, cloth, or weave boxes are also available to organize your clothes, shoes, hats, and other accessories.  You’ll find space-saving belt, scarf, purse, jewelry hooks and hangers as well as PVC-free plastic and cloth containers to stowe linens, sweaters, blankets and pillows under your bed.  Long dress/gown, coat, and blazer covers help to keep dry-clean only clothes fresh.  Scented sashes and cedar planks help to keep stored clothing and bedding smelling fresh while keeping items dry and preventing moths from wreaking havoc.


The Container Store

3825 Gallagher Drive

Edina, MN 55435

(Click Here for Other Locations)

P.S.  Looking for markdowns, check left side of store in the back, most have flaws or missing an item, but usually 50% off.

Authentic Chinese Meals for Under $10

United Noodles Oriental Foods is the largest Chinese market in Minnesota.  This market is excellent for the novice as well as the expert in      Chinese cuisine.  Inside you’ll find an array of cookware, tea sets, decor, rice (white, brown, black, and sweet rice), noodles (rice, pho, etc…), sauces and spices, produce, fresh seafood, frozen goods, beverages, candy, and more!  Also unique is an aisle dedicated to Hawaiian goodies such as sweet potato chips, pink sea salt, coconut and tropical drinks.  There is an indoor restaurant that serves delicious hot meals such as beef noodle soup, teriyaki beef, chicken curry, BBQ ribs and Pho for $7.  Tea is free!


2015 East 24th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55404


Directions: Heading east on Franklin Avenue, make a left at Minnehaha. Drive straight until you see the Coastal Seafood store on East 24th Street and make a right. On the left side, look for the Snelling District sign and make a left into the alley.

Some Like It Hot–Really Hot!

Many restaurants offering Asian fare include szechuan dishes suggesting a tangy, hot pepper experience from the Sichuan Province of China.  However, very few are authentic cuisine from this region and not all spices or peppers are created equal.  In 2007, Little Szechuan open its’ door offering 200 dishes prepared by chefs from Sichuan. 

 MarkdownMom enjoyed one of the restaurant’s popular dishes Kung Pao Chicken and to entice the sweeter palate an appetizer of honey shrimp.  Delicious!  Get enough friends so that you can try at least 3 dishes with a heaping bowl of rice and tea–you won’t be disappointed!  Moderately priced and served by a friendly staff. 

An Authentice Chinese Dining Experience In The Twin Cities!

Great Twin Cities Gifts!

Northland Visions is one of MDMs favorite Twin Cities stores to purchase unique and artistic gifts.  They feature works from local and regional American Indian artists and Native-Inspired products such as Growing Blue Flower soaps, lotions, and salves; Pendleton vests, blankets, and jackets with Native designs; beaded earrings, hair pennants, and bracelets; and sterling silver and turquoise rings, necklaces and more.

Also in-store, you can purchase bead design books; beads, sinew, leather straps, and jingles to make your own jewelry; sweet grass, sage, and smudge shells for clensing and prayer; and Minnesota-grown and produced wild rice, jellies, maple syrup, tea, and fry bread and soup mixes.  They also carry large gift baskets with Northland Minnesota-Grown goodies.   

Northland Visions-Native Art & Gifts of the Northlands

1113 East Franklin Avenue

Minneapolis, MN 55404

Phone: 612-872-0390


Store Hours

Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm

A Fantastic Fit for February

Did you know that over 85% of all American women are wearing the wrong bra size?  Well, Oprah and the girls (Trinny and Susannah) from What Not To Wear do!  Last summer they staged a Bra Intervention and had Susan Nethero, an expert bra fitter, help all the women in Oprah’s audience find the right bra size.  Wearing the correct bra size can be very uplifting, no pun intended.  Your clothes will fit better, you will instantly look slimmer and feel great, no surgery needed!  However, if you weren’t in Oprah’s audience and missed the show, how do you know what bra to look for?   No worries!  Fashion Bug is having a free in-store bra fitting event.  All bras are buy one, get one 50% off.   But you need to hurry with this one as it is only this Saturday (Feb 9th) 10AM-6PM!  While you are at Fashion Bug, check out their wide selection of 40% off jeans and 80% off clearance items!   If you are unable to attend the Fashion Bug bra event, be sure to visit the Fashion Bug website to learn how to measure yourself for the right bra fit. 


Save the Date:

Fashion Bug Bra Fitting Event

Saturday, February 9, 2008


Putting On The Ritz

Having the look of a consignment shop, but the selection of a designer outlet is a genre of bargain stores that are in a class by themselves.  MDM has come across a number of these entreprenueral  enterprises, and when that occurs her initial reaction is to savor the moment and buy, buy, buy!   These shops are the back wall clearance racks where all those great bargains are found. 

Markdown Mom found one of these gems in South Minneapolis.  Located at  4320 Excelsior Boulevard (952-922-2435), Opitz Outlet carries upscale overstocks that even the celebs would salivate over. Originally one of the first Twin Cities consignment stores, Opitz carries upscale consignments, but also designer overstocks.  With discounts of 70% to 80% off msrp, bargain hunting fashionistas have a large inventory to choose from.  Apparel, shoes, and accessories from top designers and now a fledgling housewares department make this a “must.” 

If designers Charles David Anne Klein, Lauren, DKNY, Steve Madden, Prada, Kathy Vreeland, Minx at 70% off doesn’t get your bargain heart pumping, then you will have to step next door at the Opitz Annex where you will find blowout flat prices like dresses and name brand handbags for $5, and next week $15 women’s boots. 

MDM recommends to take the time and  look over these items for any small flaws, however, at 90%off+you can afford to take a chance at less than perfect.

MDM gives this place two thumbs up for bargain hunters!  Your pocket book and closet will cry with joy!

More to Swedes Than Blondes

Clean lines, contemporary looks, a bit of wimsy, and great bargains greeted MDM at the huge IKEA store across from the Mall of America.   Divided into two levels, the size of the store has proven somewhat daunting for first time visitors.  MDM recommends making your first visit to the store during the weekdays and off-peak hours since weekends tend to be crowded; otherwise, you may have to leave a trail of crumbs to find your way out. 

The top level of the store is the Showroom where you can see a full set-up by room.  On this level is a restaurant & café.  This is the level to jot down the numbers of the individual pieces you wish to purchase and pick-up on the 1st level below.  If you are purchasing items, MDM recommends parking on the upper level, which places the customer at the entry of the 1st level. 

IKEA  is open daily from 10am-9pm, and the restaurant  café from 9:30am-8:00pm.  You can get breakfast for 99¢ until 11 a.m.  Ikea provides instructions how to shop its’ stores online, so be sure to take a look before your first visit because it will avoid a lot of confusion.  IKEA provides wheelchairs, superior to the Mall of America, and has had electric carts, too for its’ customers–although at this writing they were not available. Strollers are also provided, and Ikea has storage lockers to place packages from other stores or coats for a 25¢ fee that is refundable.  Bags and shopping carts for keeping track of merchandise are provided, too.   All products are written in swedish, but the pricing code will tell you if you can pick-up the item or will have to special order it, additionally each item list its’ dimensions and other valuable information to assist in your decision. 

MDM especially liked the 1st level Marketplace that contained throw rugs for $1.99, prints, designer accent lighting, housewares and so much more.  A sample of items you can find include stainless kitchenware, lighted shelving, bamboo plants, designer rugs,etc.  MDM did not fail in her mission to locate the clearance section.  In the left corner of the Marketplace as you are entering, you will find an "As Is" and "50% off" sections that include furniture and other items.  Take your time and you can find some real bargains and be sure to ask about shipping and delivery if you are unable to take it with you.  

The Swedish Food Market had some great chocolate filled cookies and MDM was able to find a stainless steel cheese slicer/shaver–can be used to shave chocolate as well–for $4.99

You could spend the entire day at IKEA if you have to, but MDM recommends that if you have the time, take IKEA in stages to appreciate all that it has to offer.  Bring your own bag(s) to take your goodies home or pay a nominal for each.  Worthy of several visits especially if you like finding all those neat design accents and materials that you see on your favorite decorating shows, at bargain prices.  Hats off to the Swedes for combining utility and style.