I grew up in the Augusta area, living in Waynesboro for as long as I can remember. I went to college in Indianapolis, interned at the Chronicle over summer and Christmas breaks, and landed a job as sports clerk the summer after I graduated. Eventually, the sports job turned into writing for the business section and now I report on local business happenings as well as writing for the Shopgirl column/blog.
Posted August 10, 2011 11:58 am - Updated August 10, 2011 12:02 pm

Power strips, patient shopping and popcorn under the stars


I love it when utilitarian and everyday objects are designed thoughtfully and beautifully, without costing an arm and a leg. The QuirkyTM Pivot Power surge protector is an excellent example of this.

Designed by a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, this surge protector twists and stretches to fit plugs of all shapes and sizes. You know that camera charger that only plugs into one outlet, but stretches to cover four more? With this power strip, you can twist the outlet to be facing so that the charger only covers the outlet it is using.

The design is clean and efficient, something I wouldn't mind on my desk, much less my floor. Get it at Bed Bath & Beyond for only $29.99.


Stores are stocking their shelves with fall inventory, but try to wait before stocking up for cooler weather.

If you're patient, you can save a bundle on new clothing if you hang on until the stores run their inevitable sale that usually comes after the back-to-school rush but before the holiday season. Last year, Gap and some other retailers slashed prices 50 percent when the store was still fully stocked - making it hard for me to pay full price for anything this year.

It's a risk of course, but try to hold your horses, follow your favorite stores on social media and even pop in every now and then to check. If you get to buy twice as much for the same amount, it will be worth it.


School may be back in session, but the weather is still warm and the weekends are still here.

If you haven't been to the Big Mo Drive-In in Monetta, S.C., there's still plenty of time to catch a movie under the stars.

In operation since 1951, the drive-in offers double features of current movies for only $7. This weekend, the three screens will be offering a choice of The Smurfs and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Final Destination 5 and Horrible Bosses or Cowboys and Aliens and The Change-Up.

Concessions are really reasonable, ranging from $1 ice cream to $4.50 soft drink in a souvenir cup.

Reach Gracie Shepherd at (706) 823-3217 or gracie.shepherd@augustachronicle.com.