The Shopping Scout in Kansas City


Friday, September 30, 2011

Great Shopping for a great cause

Believe it or not, we are only 12 weeks away from Christmas. I always say I am going to start my holiday shopping early, but this year I am truly going to make it happen. A great way to do so is at the Junior League of Kansas City's annual Holiday Mart.

This year the Holiday Mart will be held downtown at Bartle Hall October 20th-23rd. Each year the Junior League organizes this event which brings in over 200 vendors selling everything from home decor, health and beauty products, specialty foods and clothing and accessories for Men, Women and Children.

The best part is, the money you spend shopping will go back to a fabulous cause. The Junior League of K.C. gives back approximately .85 cents to every dollar raised  to support the League's missions, programs and community impact projects; which is currently focusing on Children's fitness and nutrition. Last year they raised over $660,000!

This year, the Junior League of K.C. is partnering with multiple agencies to provide volunteers or funding:
  • Children's Mercy Hospital
  • Kansas City Academy
  • KU Medical Center
  • The Shadow Buddies Foundation
  • Young Survival Coalition Kansas City
  • Girls on the Run of Johnson County
  • Kansas City Community Gardens
  • Operation Breakthrough
  • Variety Children's Charity of Greater Kansas City
Tickets are on sale now. It is $10 for a one day ticket and $20 for a multi day general admission ticket. The hours are as follows

  • Thursday, October 20 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • To purchase tickets for Holiday Mart, click HERE

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    "Rack" N Roll...

    Shopping in Kansas City is getting better by the day, and today is no exception. The state of Kansas' first  Nordstrom Rack is finally opening its doors to the public and you better believe it's going to be quite a grand opening.

    If you are not familiar, the Nordstrom Rack is the off-price division of Nordstrom Inc which offers on-trend clearance from Nordstrom stores as well as items purchased specifically for the Rack. The best part is, you will find 30-70% savings on all of your favorite name brands.

    I had a chance to get a sneak peek before today's grand opening and I can't wait to share with you all of my favorite things about the Rack.

    The coat department is jam packed with fantastic styles and amazing prices. There were Michael Kors leathers from $139-$189 and DKNY wool coats from $119-$129. And, as you can see from the photo, they were very on trend with fur jackets and vests.

    They had quite an assortment of accessories. I was drawn to the cold weather items like hats and gloves. They have great gift sets just in time for the holidays.

    I got totally distracted in the handbag department. They have Kate Spade bags from $129-$279

    And my favorite was their selection of Halston Heritage bags which range from $119-$279. This one was calling my name! ($198)

    And it wouldn't be a Nordstrom without SHOES. This Nordstrom Rack has over 25,000 pairs of Men's, Women's and Kids shoes. The assortment is astounding; I was completely in awe of everything to choose from. Just to give you an idea, here is the kids shoe section...

    They have Men's, Women's and Kids apparel. There is such a wide selection, that you would be hard pressed not to find something for someone in your life.

    In the women's department there are racks and racks full of designer merchandise like Lafayette 148, Tahari, Rebecca Taylor, Tory Burch, Vince, Splendid, James name it, they have got it!

    They have one of the best premium denim departments I have seen in a discount store. Over 2,000 pairs for Men and Women, to be exact. In Women's they have J.Brand for $59.97-$79.97, Joes for $59.97-$79.97 and 7 For All Mankind for $69.97-$99.97.

    And for the guys I saw everything from hip button down shirts by Taylorbird to beautiful wool suits. I was drawn to the ties which were a crazy good deal. They have Robert Talbott ties for $34.97! They also have on site tailoring which is a huge plus.

    So for all of you early birds reading this, opening day festivities start at 7AM! They will have a drawing for a 90 second, $2,000 shopping spree. The winner will be drawn at 8:45 right before the doors open at 9. They will be giving out a cool reusable tote for the first 1,000 customers as well as complimentary refreshments for the early shoppers.

    The Nordstrom Rack is located at 9540 Quivira Road in the Orachard Corners shopping center. Hours will be 9:30-9 Monday thru Saturday and 11-6 on Sunday.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Get the J.Lo look for less...

    Jennifer Lopez is like a great bottle of red wine, she just seems to get better with age. I definitely think her fashion sense has evolved over the years. In the past she was criticized for her style and now every woman wants to look like her. So, when I heard about her line for Kohl's, I knew I just had to check it out.

    Ladies, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by some of her pieces. You can tell that she really put her touch on the collection, because about 90% of it looked really good. There is a white dress similar to what she is wearing that is adorable. It retails for $70 (on sale right now for $52)

    This 3/4 sleeve sequin top is fabulous in person. It is by no means "inexpensive" at $84 but right now it is on sale for $63 which seems a little more attainable. And don't parties are right around the corner, this would be perfect!

    The tops were definitely my favorite pieces. Like this one shoulder, drapey number. $54 on sale for $40.50

    I am not a huge fan of an entire blouse in a cheetah print, but this was great on! The back is open, but it comes with a black cami for coverage. $54 on sale for $40.50

    If you need a good black pant, I really loved her high waisted, wide leg black pants. They are slimming and very flattering. $60 on sale for $45

    Trend Spotting Fall 2011

    Now that the weather is showing optimistic signs of fall, we can finally start to think about fall clothing! On Sunday I did a news segment on Fox 4 highlighting some of my favorite trends of the season.

    All of the looks were pulled from the Legends Outlets Kansas City, which continue to just blow me away with their amazing fashion at discounted prices. Here is a rundown of the models outfits and prices.

    On Michelle:
    Leopard Jacket $99 from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
    Red cutout sleeve top $59.99 Banana Republic Factory Store
    Vivienne Tam wide leg black pants $49.99 from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
    Saks Fifth Avenue brand Italian made leather booties $279 (originally $425!)

    On Jeanne:
    all items from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
    Purple dress by Calvin Klein $99.99
    Necklace $79.99
    Handbag by Big Buddha $49.99
    Peep Toe pumps by Via Spiga $139.99

    On Thabatha:
    Camel Coat from Banana Republic Factory Store $149.99
    necklace from Banana Republic Factory Store $39.99
    Matty M Sequin top $59.99 from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
    Seven For All Mankind jeans $125.99 from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
    Leopard Platforms by 5/48 $129.99 from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    A shoe for all occasions

    Source: via Melanie on Pinterest
    I am sure all of us would love a massive closet filled with shoes to go with every outfit. But since we know that most likely won't happen, it's time to get real. When it comes to shoes, it's nice to find something that can be worn multiple ways. I believe I found a pretty spectacular bootie that will take you from work to the weekend and will look great with everything from skirts to pants.

    The bootie that I found is by Mix No 6 at DSW and is $54.95. It comes in the beautiful tan color as well as black. Both would be fantastic neutrals to have in your shoe wardrobe.

    Here is some outfit inspiration for you. I love a bootie paired with a longer skirt and dark opaque tights for work...

    Source: via Melanie on Pinterest

    Socialite Olivia Palermo is such a muse. Here she is sporting black tights with a leopard coat and printed booties that tie. Perfectly styled, as usual...

    And I absolutely love how celebrity Keri Russell styled her booties with boyfriend jeans a white tee and a black blazer. This look is so simple and chic.

    I am going to throw this out to all of you love booties or would you rather stick with a classic high heeled shoe?

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Start your holiday shopping early at the Learning Tree Warehouse sale!

    It's never too early to start thinking about gifts for the holidays...especially when you can get them at discounted prices!

    The Learning Tree is having their annual warehouse sale this Friday and Saturday from 10-5 at their Corinth location.

    You will find great deals on items that were overbought or have shopworn packaging. Most discounts start at 50% off - some are much higher...up to 75% off!

    All sales are final. No gift wrapping, coupons or Treewards stamps on sale items.

    Friday September 23 & Saturday September 24 - Corinth Store Only which is located at: Corinth Square 4004 West 83rd Street, Prairie Village, KS 66208

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Hermes knock off's at Target

    Somehow in the midst of the craziness that was Missoni for Target, I happened upon some pretty fabulous bracelets. Right away I spotted a knock off of the Hermes Collier de Chien which normally starts at $1,000 and can go on up to $2,000 for the crocodile version.

    The Target version can be yours for only $16.99. At my Target they had Navy Blue and White...

    They also had a knock off of the Hermes Kelly Double Tour Bracelet

    And here is the Target version that retails for $16.99

    Regardless if they were Hermes knock-offs, I think they are great classic pieces. What are your thoughts? Would you splurge or go for the steal?

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Custom sweet treats by MB Cake Designs

    The centerpiece to any fabulous fete is of course, the cake. A cake can be the inspiration or set the theme for your entire party. So, if you are looking for an extraordinary cake to serve at your next party look no further than MB Cake Designs.

    Megan Blacklidge is a certified Interior Designer who works for an architecture firm in Kansas City, but was looking for a creative hobby to do on the side. After taking multiple courses from the Cake Pan in Blue Springs and the Culinary Center of Kansas City, she is now fulfilling her sweet dreams of making fabulous cakes.

     What I love about Megan is that she can really customize the cake to your needs. We just used her to do a cake for our son's birthday, which was a monster truck theme. I sent her a picture I had seen on the internet and she was able to duplicate it and interpret the design in her own creative way. Everyone was oohing and aahing over how adorbale it was. The cake was definitely the highlight of the party. The wheels are doughnuts that she frosted! You better believe the kids dug right into those.

    Megan's cakes are also delicious! The cake is super moist and the fondant is soft and extremely tasty. She makes the fondant from scratch, which I think attributes to the great taste.

    Her cakes range from $40-$60 for iced cakes, $75-$95 for fondant cakes and carved fondant cakes are $100 and up. To contact Megan, you can email her at or visit her blog to see her entire portfolio.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    True Blood never looked so good...

    True Blood is not your average vampire show. Somehow they combine vampires, werewolves and witches living in the deep South without being cheesy. If you have watched the show, you would agree the cast is so gorgeous, you can hardly take their eyes off of them. With Vampires and Southern Belles as their muse, Tarte has created a limited edition True Blood inspired line of cosmetics.

    Kansas City based Beauty Brands is carrying the Tarte True Blood eye palette which is an incredible value. You can create your own "killer"  look with this 17 shade eyeshadow palette. It also includes an eyeshadow primer, eyeliner and my all time favorite mascara; lights, camera, lashes. The whole set is only $52, which is a great deal considering the mascara itself is normally $19.

    Also a part of the True Blood line (available on, is a  glittery red cheek stain that gives you that perfect pinched cheek look. A little goes a long way with this stain and it will last you forever. I own them and just a dab will give you all the color you need $30.

    Vampires are always known for those luscious stained red lips. You too can get that look with their limited edition Lip-Surgence lip tint. This lip tint is made of a super long lasting formula and is mint infused. The iridescent red makes it a great color for day as well as evening. $24 on

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    On the go survival kit for Mom's

    As you dash out the door with your kids, it's hard to remember to pack all of the essentials. I don't know how many times I have forgotten wipes or hand sanitizer or something for my son to play with at a restaurant. Don't worry, the Oopsie Ditty has come to the rescue!

    The chic, yet functional little bag (12" long and 7" tall) is the perfect survival kit for any mom on the go. The Solution Sack includes one disposable bib, placemat and multi-purpose pad, two Purell™ antibacterial wipes, two Band-Aids™ Adhesive Strips, a 10-pack of baby wipes, plus a set of Sargant Arts™ crayons, and Bic™ notepad and pen set.

    Throw the clutch in your handbag or keep it in the backseat of your car so that you will always have it with you, in case of an emergency.

    R.S.V.P in the Village carries the Oopsie Ditty in a variety of patterns for $44. This would be a fabulous shower or new baby gift.

    R.S.V.P is located at 3934 W 69th Terrace, Prairie Village, KS 66208
    (913) 432-7787

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Little Boy Chic

    For little girls there are a gazillion places to shop for dressier items. You can find adorable dresses and skirts at places like Target or Old Navy. For boys, it's definitely more challenging. With the holidays right around the corner, it's never too early to start looking for the perfect ensemble.

    I was at The Little House in the Crestwood Shops this week and came across the cutest shirt line for boys. The brand is called Ciao Marco and they make beautifully tailored Italian shirts that are identical to something your husband may have in his closet.

     They are made of fine Italian cotton, and the sleeves are trimmed with contrasting fabric, which makes for a cute look when you roll up the sleeves. They retail for $38, which is on the higher end, but I have seen shirts similar to this for little boys at double the price.

    If you want to take the look up a notch, add a tie by Urban Sunday. These mini ties come with the knot pre-tied and stitched in place, which makes them easy to put on and take off. The neck straps are adjustable using super-soft Velcro, allowing for a loose, more casual style or a fitted, more formal look.

    They retail for $27 and come in a variety of patterns to choose from.

     You can find these 2 lines as well as other great baby and kid items at The Little House in the Crestwood Shops. 335 E. 55th Street, Kansas City, MO 64113 816-363-1544

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Get the most out of your closet with a wardrobe makeover

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a personal stylist? Someone who would come into your closet and edit what you have, put outfits together and then take you shopping? If you feel like your closet and wardrobe needs a little bit of help, local professional wardrobe stylist and consultant Jennifer Niehouse can help.

    Many women are only wearing 25% of what is in their closet. This makes for a lot of wasted space and money. Jennifer will come in and help you clean out what you don't need and put together multiple looks with the great pieces you do have. She even provides an online "look book" with photos of the different outfit combinations and accessories that you can refer back to if needed.

    Jennifer can also help you fill the gaps in your wardrobe and find key pieces that will stand the test of time. She understands that not everyone can spend a fortune on clothes, so she looks for great values and is really keyed into the resale shops in Kansas City.

    Whether you need her for a one time consultation or for a full closet clean out and shopping extravaganza, she has different packages to suit your needs. For a full list of pricing and packages, click HERE.

    all images via

    She will also be speaking at and doing wardrobe consulting this Friday from 6-9PM at Clothes Mentor (a fabulous fashion resale store) in Overland Park. Shop fall looks and get some professional tips from Jennifer while you are at it. They will have hourly giveaways, special discounts and a chance to win a new Coach handbag.

    You can visit Jennifer's website and style blog HERE or contact her at 816-728-1121

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    A fragrance you can take with you...

    Years ago I used to wear a perfume oil called Miss Marisa that I purchased at a boutique in Chicago. It was one of those scents that you put on and you are immediately drawn to it and can't stop smelling your arm all day. I was so excited to see that In Clover is now selling this fragrance and others by the Ebba line.

    The 5 oz bottle of 100% perfume oil ($65) seems very small, but a little goes a long way. And because it is an oil, the scent will stay with you longer throughout the day. I love that it is so tiny and compact which makes it great to throw in your purse or for travel. They also sell a lotion for $32.50 to accompany the perfume oil.

    The original Miss Marisa is my favorite of the scents. According to the Ebba website, it has "Wisps of Plum Blossoms and Cassis romance Moroccan Mint and Waterlily, in a dance for the senses". It's a very pretty fragrance that will appeal to many women. I swear, once you try it you will be addicted!

    You can find Miss Marisa at In Clover which is located  at Corinth Square South Side
    4018 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, KS 66208. 913-383-2763

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Halloween costumes under $20!

    Last week while visiting my local Savers thrift store, I was surprised to see an entire Halloween shop set up in the front of the store. The best part is that all of the costumes are brand new! They had everything from kid costumes to adults, wigs, masks, hats and more.

     Since Halloween costumes usually only get worn once, it's silly to pay a lot of money for them. As I browsed through the selection, I was pleased to see most of the costumes were $16.99. I saw costumes similar to those seen at Target or Halloween stores for half the price.

    If I were you, I would snag some up before they get picked over! For a Saver's location nearest you, click HERE.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    1 more day...Missoni for Target! Who else is excited?

    I am pretty sure I have been counting down the days to Missoni for Target launch for about 6 months now. Of all the Target designer collaborations, this would have to be the most anticipated in my opinion. Well, the wait is over! Tomorrow is the day that Missoni for Target will be in stores and online.

    Missoni is an Italian design House that has been creating high-end knit separates since the 1950's. They are best known for their signature zig zag pattern and use of color. I splurged on one of their scarves years ago and it is still a favorite piece in my wardrobe.

    Target launched images of the collection months ago and I am still amazed at how many pieces there are. There is literally something for everyone in your family. Most of the prices will be under $40 which will make many fashionistas very happy!

    The women's clothing has some impressive pieces...

    And the little girls assortment is adorable...

    The guys can get in the action too. How fabulous is this cardigan ($49.99)?

    I am a total sucker for cool socks...

    If home decor is your thing, they will have everything from bedding to dishes

     Chic storage anyone?
    And a few of my personal favorites...

    Travel in style with these fun cosmetic cases

    a Missoni rain boot? Gotta have them!

    you can't go wrong with a glove and scarf set

    Can you imagine tooling around on a Missoni Bike?!

    For more images and pricing, you can visit the Target Style Facebook page HERE.

    Will you be waiting in line to see the collection? Or will you go the online route?

    Recent Posts

     About Shopping Scout

    Melanie Knopke

    As a former clothing buyer turned working mom, Melanie Knopke understands the challenge of finding the best for less. Check in daily as Melanie reports back with incredible deals, fabulous finds and all the best that Kansas City has to offer.

     Today's Deal


     Find n Save on Facebook

     Find n Save on Twitter