Monday, May 07, 2007

Calling All Shoppers

Okay women and any men that are shopper savvy. I need your help! We have the opportunity to have some things brought over with teams coming from America. I like to take this time to stock up on food items that can’t be found here (chocolate chips, salsa, twizzlers…you know all those really important items that make the world go round…hee!) as well as birthday and Christmas items. Last year, I made my Christmas list out (well my kid’s list) in May. It was downright sinful! Products are much better made and much cheaper that side!

Anyway, I would LOVE a consumer report of sorts from you the American consumer on great new or relatively new (haven’t been back to the States in 2 years) American foods, toys, books, etc. One stipulation, items must be non-perishable and everything conducive size to align with airline regulations…okay so maybe that was two stipulations.

Let me give you some examples…My mother in-law brought over muffin mixes where you “simply add water” (I know totally pathetic but I love them when I am in a pinch and need something quick!). A good friend introduced me to COBigelow ultra mentha lip shine…my new favorite. This being the same friend that got me hooked on Burt’s Bees Wax lip shimmers. Another fun surprise that made its debut here thanks to a friend was different cake mixes and frostings….funfetti, orange, all inclusive fudge cake…etc.

I know most of my examples are food and unhealthy ones at that but I’d also love recommends on toys (my girls are 2 and 8 and my boy is 5), kids and family games, must reads, even healthy items…I love Trader Joe’s and even miss the Tyler Granary!

So would you help this deprived American family living abroad with some new pleasures?

What clever, new products do you and your kiddos enjoy?


Karen said...

Oh, I am terrible at this! So out of date, out of fashion! The only thing I could think of was... have your kids collected all the different quarters for each US state? (Lame, I know).

Webkinz are ALL the rage right now. They are these little stuffed animals that have a code on the tag where you can log onto the computer website, and your pet's personal code allows you to have your own virtual pet. It needs to be fed and walked and played with etc. My kids are ALL INTO THIS!! My 5 year old just asked me for one and assured me that she would take good care of it! Fun fun for everyone!

Hailey Morrisett said...

I got your blog site from my sister-in-law Candi Hester. I read it daily, it is the highlight of my day! I have a question. If I wanted to get some non-perishables and send them to you what would be the best way to do this? Can I send them to you directly or do I need to send them to your team? Please let me know. Keep blogging I enjoy it!!
Hailey Morrisett

Heidi Jo said...

i like hailey's question: do you have somewhere that we can box up our own ideas to send to you? without feeling like you might be giving out TMI?

I LOVE THE BURT'S BEE'S WAX stuff! that lip shimmer is my fav.

Michelle Franzen said...

Karen that is a fab idea and exactly along the lines of what I am wanting to know....never heard of Webkinz!! Will check it out--thanks.

Hailey, I am flattered to be a part of your day!

Gosh guys...sweet of you but REALLY I was not posting this as a plea for you to personally go shopping for me. :-)

Hailey Morrisett said...

I enjoy shopping! I missed how to get stuff to you though. Can you say it again?
Hailey Morrisett

Jennifer Pendley said...

Cooper really enjoys collecting all the Cars from the Disney Movie Cars. They come in small packages and only cost around $4.00 per car. Spider Man is really big right now with the new movie just coming out. For girls, Littlest Pet shop is cute and so are Polly Pockets but both contain really small pieces!! The Webkinz are really popular also. You have to try the Ghiradeli Brownie mix. It is to die for!!! Hope this helps!

Missie said...

Hi Michelle,
I'm stepping out and writing a comment! I was going to say Webkinz too. I think they are hard to find in the store but Kathy and I found a great site the other day that had really good prices compared to other sites- It is Let me know if you need help getting them.

Jane-Jane said...

I want to know where I can send $ or items to, to get to you via the travelers. I am thankful for their visiting you, paying for their airline. So I would like to contribute something, small or bigger, to your family! I could always send them a Wal-Mart gift card to be spent on your goodies!

Michelle Franzen said...

Okay Really Really Really guys so very sweet but honestly I don't want you to send stuff...totally not my intent!!!

Just trying to get my act together and get some b-day and Christmas presents in the mix.

Thanks for all the great ideas..I am writing them down!

Teresa said...

I love all of the Crayola Color Wonder stuff for my kids. The markers only work on the special paper and won't write on anything but that! AWESOME! They also make fun. My almost 6 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old LOVE these products! They have so many to choose from.

Beth said...

You can buy Webkinz at Hallmark stores. My kids love to play Mexican Train (not sure if that is new or old). Cole adores the fun playdough sets that are out these days. They come with lots of pieces to attach to your "sculpture"—kind of like a potato head except with lots more variety. (Eyes, hands, hats, noses, etc.)

I'd also be glad to serve as your go-between if you'd like to receive some of the gifts your beloved readers are offering. How incredible sweet they are!

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if TM is taking stuff to you? Please email me.

Tami said...

My daughter (now 3) was given a doll, kind of like the Polly Pockets, only with bigger parts. It's awsome. We have all but 2 of the dolls now. They come with different outfits and all the girls are different nationalities. I can't remember the name of the dolls but they are sold in Target and Walmart, I know for sure. They also have babies that do the same thing. You can also get additional clothes...they have soccer, ballarina, rainy day, pajamas and birthday party clothes. I'm so sorry I can't remember the name of the doll. I'll try to find out and send it to you. I thought your 2 year old would love it.

Lisa H said...

I'm sure your older kids are too cool for this one, but Tori might like it: the newest Tickle-Me-Elmo (I think it's the 10th anniversary edition). It is hilarious--he knocks himself over and rolls around on the ground giggling/laughing and then stands back up every time!

My two year old got it for his birthday and it's his favorite toy right now (and has been for some time!).

I'll come back and add more if I can think of anything really exciting. :)

Michelle Franzen said...

Thanks so much everyone--great ideas!! I am going to fix myself a cup of hot chocolate and start my Christmas shopping...shameful I know but by Aug. I'll be finished--thanks to you guys!

Beth, thanks for the offer I will def. let you know. Oh and your kids and I would have fun together as I love Mexican Train! It is def. on the list!!

Oh and if anyone is still reading. Any recommends on a child's study bible for my 8 year old daughter. It needs to be a complete old and new test. with readable print (not too small) yet at an 8 year old level. I've looked online and there are a ton to choose from just so hard when you can't see them for yourself so if this rings any bells please help. THANKS!

michelle a said...

This brings back such memories. When Rod and I lived in Peru, we would ask people to bring suitcases full of things for us. American food was hard to get. One time we brought in a 10 pound block of cheese!

I have better ideas for you than cheese :-) Mine are kinda vain though, so I'll apologize up front and they are for you, not the kids. Dremu oil for your face is UNBELIEVABLE. I have tried lots of things, but this one is worth the cash. I didn't tell Rod I bought it and after using it for 3 days he told me my face looked different and was glowing. Go to

Also, the new Bobbi Brown Sun kissed face palette is awesome. The colors would look so pretty on you. It includes blush, lip, eyeshadow and liner. I love it.

Oh my gosh. I'm such a girl. A high-maintenance girl.

Just Mom said...

I wish I could help with the study Bible, but I'm at a loss too.

Re. wish lists, for my son, Star Wars action figures are always a hit. (Of course, your little man recently had a Star Wars b-day party.) He also loves Crayola anything and board games like his Thomas the Tank Engine game. He mostly plays with the pieces, but he still takes an interest in the game itself.

For easy-bake stuff, I love Tastefully Simple products (just add water). You would have to buy it from a representative, however. To pamper yourself, how about stuff from Bath & Body Works? My parents play host to many people from a lot of southeast Asian countries, and the guests always stock up on Bath & Body Works stuff.

If I think of more ideas, I'll let you know.

Happy Shopping.

Dawnelle said...

My son and daughter LOVE their Webkinz. They play on that site as much as I will let them. Great idea. You can buy them at almost any of those teaching supply stores or specialty toy shops, too.

I also think those little dolls at Target are cute- the "Only Hearts" Club ones- they are soft and would be great for little girls, if they like dolls. My son still loves his playmobil stuff as well and there are lots of sets out there. Not new, but fun!

I love Trader Joe's as well and I seriously would send you stuff from there! I used to mail items to my friend who was w/ YWAM in Tanzania. I miss making the little packages!! Let me know if you ever need/want something from there!

Tami said...

I figured out the name of the polly pocket type dolls for the younger kids. They are called Snap-n-style dolls. They are great. My daughter can just click on their clothes and I don't have to help her with them at all. No small parts either. My daughter will sit and play with them for hours.

Lori B said...

Megan right now is into Polly Pockets and My Little Pony's, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and Barbie Dolls, and any kind of doll.

Derek is more into playing basketball or football. Things like that.