Jul 29, 2011

buy this, not that: florida souvenir store/gas station/citrus center

i have been back from florida for a couple of weeks now, and have been meaning to post this,
but i was so busy catching up on *life that i just got a little bogged down.
here are a few great comments from my last post in this series, which you can check out here:

 i am finally back in full swing now, and wanted to share with you some goodies that i found at a souvenir gas station in florida (yeah---i KNOW that sounds incredibly classy...but trust me, EVEN here, you can find a few things that are attractive.) 
first off--a couple "overall" shots. just so you can see what we are dealing with here:

it was a little difficult to find some beauty among all of this stuff, but i DID.
(you are WELCOME.)

shall we begin?

buy THIS:
shells are, in my opinion, a spectacular gift from mother nature. the shapes, the textures, the colors...all
so unique and varied and beautiful. a large, pretty shell placed on a stack of books on a coffee
table can become a casual and elegant vignette.

not THAT:
ok. first off, this really scared me. i mean... not many things are MORE tacky and disturbing
that a toothless, cigar-smoking shell-man with weird claw feet. WHO is buying this stuff? 

buy THIS:
 natural. pretty. seeing a pattern here?

not THAT:
"hi honey. i just got back from florida, and as soon as i saw this plastic dolphin, with
it's torso splayed open and it's internal organs and spine replaced with a sparkly, plastic reef 
complete with little fish swimming in it, i just KNEW it would be perfect for you!"

buy THIS:

 or this:
 these frames are pretty simple, monochromatic, and made from REAL shells.
i approve. as long as you don't pair them with 76 other shell frames. things like these
shell frames look great when balanced with simple silver or wood frames.

not THAT:
uh. just don't do it. 
no matter how much you love pelicans.

buy THIS:
as far as souvenir glass objects go, this one is actually rather pretty. the colors are natural, and the shape 
is appealing. i have a *thing for birds. i love those vintage audobon birds etchings, and have a 
few metal bird paperweights in my office. 

not THAT:
 i really do think that handmade glass objects are really interesting, but the color and the weird
eyeballs on this octopus really put me off. 

buy THIS:

looking for a great housewarming gift for a friend? present this little orange tree in a pretty pot! the
tree will eventually produce edible fruit, and add color all year long. this could also make a fun and
different baby gift. it can grow right alongside the little one....and if you live in a tropical zone, it can be planted outside, where it can really thrive!

not THIS:
i don't EVEN need to comment on this one, do i?

buy THIS:
another simple, classy purchase. i imagine the light filtering through the shells when a candle is lit
inside this votive would be very pretty...

not THAT:
 uh....um...i don't even know what to say. 
poor coconut.
this about sums it up. poor, poor coconut.

and last of all...
where was THIS when i was 9?? i would have snatched this up in a heartbeat!
but should i be worried that i am finding my name on plastic licence plates in a florida gas station/souvenir store??
 cuz i am....

if you have missed my other installments of "buy this, not that",
click here and here.


  1. I can't believe you found some legitimate "buy this" items at a souvenir store!

    This line -- "it's torso splayed open and it's internal organs and spine replaced with a sparkly, plastic reef" -- almost made me spew my coffee everywhere.

    I do think if we band together in blogland, we can make toothless cigar-smoking shell men "the next big thing." Who's with me?

  2. ya know what kelly? i bet we actually COULD make cigar-smoking shell men the next big thing!! you put them in YOUR house first, and then i will put them in MINE!!

  3. LOL... that's what I did when I first saw the "Shell Man". I even startled the poor dogs.

    I have to agree with you 100% on all your choices. Who DOES buy that stuff?!

    I hope you had better shopping experiences while in Florida.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  4. Laughing hysterically. Thanks! :D

  5. such a clever series, I am shocked you found that many "buy this" items. When we go into those on the way to the beach, I head straight for the bathroom! M.

  6. I saw the title of this post and knew I was going to love it! One of my favorite things to look for in gas stations is awful, tacky coozies. They are usually cheap and make the best gag gifts. But um, I'm sure they'd be on the "don't buy list"

  7. This is all so true. As someone whose been living in florida for the past six years, I have suffered my mom visiting me and needing to go to souvenir shops. Luckily she doesn't need to do that anymore...and I don't live with her to suffer to consequences of her shopping trips =)

  8. I get so many of these don't from friends and family who go on trips. They think they're cute or funny! I never know what to say but do they actually expect others to keep these things? Horrible!

  9. I don't always agree with ALL of your this/not that stuff, but you nailed this 100%. I just look at all of those poor coconuts & shell entitys & think 'who is creating all this landfill?' For shame..

  10. Hilarious! Although the shell guy and coconut guy could sit in your window to ward off burglars - they would think there's nothing worth stealing in your home :)

  11. Fantastic! I love this series. You are hilarious.

  12. I am totally with you on the natural stuff. This is a very fun series.

  13. This is my favorite Design Dump series. Keep them coming Autumn!

  14. dying laughing! same things run through my mind when seeing that stuff on vacay...who buys it? obviously someone! lol


  15. I featured your blog (this post) today on one of my blogs. I couldn't seem to find your email address...

    I featured you on my INSPIRATIONS blog.

    xoxo Bunny Jean

    xoxo Bunny Jean

  16. OK - LOVE that you can do this in a souvenir shop! Can't wait for the next "buy this..."