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In addition to an excellent private elementary school with tuition that's half the going rate in Manhattan, my newly adopted hood—the Newport section of Jersey City—has yet another point in its favor: a Target Greatland. Though I've no clue how a Greatland stacks up against a standard-issue Tar Jay (bigger, one assumes), I don't lose a lot of sleep over it. I just happily skip on over when the mood strikes and raid the super-fab kids department.

Last weekend, however, I went shopping for myself. My mission? To check out the new shipment of Botkier bags that landed the third week of July. These limited-edition runs, like the recent Loeffler Randall promotion and the upcoming Sigerson Morrison and Anya Hindmarch lines (both on sale October 12), tend to go quickly. So I was pushing my luck by showing up a few days into it. And indeed, a few styles were sold out. But after weighing the merits of one bag over the other, I nabbed a gray python satchel and a white python hobo ($39.99 each). Trust that no slithering snakes actually died for these purses; they're 100 percent PVC. Cute too, albeit a little shiny.

Emboldened by my score, I took a lap around. After taking a pass on the Subversive by Justin Giunta plastic baubles (too 20-something), I stumbled on a who-knew resource for adorable cotton frocks: Mossimo. An embroidered shift I bought ($22.99) garnered several unsolicited compliments around the office. Let's see if my new smocked sundress (also $22.99) is an equally big hit.