map of paris

The other day Hobby Lobby had an 80% off sale.  And since nothing says date night more than rows and rows of urns and picture frames and pillows and bird’s nests marked with yellow stickers for a mere fraction of their original price….

….I brought my husband along for the treasure hunt.

He stopped to join all the other patient husbands in the front by the candy aisle and I took off in a full sprint to the back of the store.

First one aisle….then another.  And then…..half way down aisle two….I saw it.

You know…IT.

The thing that you find…..that you never knew that you wanted….that you had absolutely, positively no idea that you ever even needed….

….until you find it and wonder how you have existed until this moment without having it in your life.

map of paris with rail system

It was gray and faded and full of typography and fancy French words and a three dimensional metal framework on top.

As we say in Kentucky…..

….I almost had a come apart.

I ran down the aisle to it and lugged it off the shelf before anyone else could grab it and immediately tried to awkwardly fit it into the cart.

Except in my excitement I didn’t realize that it was really too big.   And when I went to quickly push the cart to the check-out line before Hobby Lobby realized what a treasure they had in their clearance aisle and change their minds about the price… suddenly fell out of the cart and onto the floor and got a little more scratched up…..

….which made me love it even more. 

paris street map with railways

I shoved it back into the cart and pushed it up to the front of the store where I waved frantically to my husband and pointed at it and danced with excitement.

“Look what I found.  Can you even believe it?  Isn’t it beautiful?” I said in a rush.  “And it’s 80% off!” 

He calmly shifted the piece from its precarious position in the cart and smiled.

No words were necessary.

This was not his first 80% off rodeo.

using maps as wall art

And we bought it and loaded it into the car and as we pulled out of the parking lot….I let out a sigh of satisfaction and thought to myself how amazing it was going to look on the chalkboard in the living room.

My husband smiled at me across the car.  “I’m so happy you bought it.” he said.  “I think it’s functional and educational, too.  The kids can learn a lot about other places in the world.”




Had he been to the same 80% sale that I’d been to?

I stared at him in confusion.

streets of paris

“You know….the map,” he continued.  “It’s a map.  A map of the railway system of Paris.”

I looked at him.

And then I glanced back at the piece in the back seat.


Sure enough… was a map.  Somehow in my 80% off clearance haze…..I had managed to overlook that detail.

Ummm……of course,” I said. “Good thing we bought that….ummm….that educational, highly functional map.”


Good thing I married him.

Good thing his eyes still twinkle when I mention the clearance aisle.

And good thing when I was stopping to admire all the pretty pictures…..

….he knew which direction we were going all along. 🙂

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  1. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Love. It. I'd have so snapped that up, too....and promptly found a home for it in our family room. What an amazing find, you lucky ducky, you! Yippee!! You and your twinkle-eyed guy just go! =)

  2. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    I can so relate with you,often I see something, but not the details. Good pick, I'd say.... I love Hobby Lobby!Its my go to first store.

  3. Image for Lenore Lenore

    Ok no fair getting me all teary eyed this early in the morning (5:50 a,m,) with such a cute, funny, verbally visual (my almost favorite part btw), sweet and loving story (my favorite part). I say your husband deserves a breakfast in bed for his participation and good natured observational skills. When I saw the first picture of the map i was thinking, how will she work this into any kind of plan?, then you had the picture of your prizes new home and all I can say is OMG IT LOOKS FANTABULOUS!!! I went from just looking at a picture to checking out each piece and seeing how they all work together like a loving family, all different in appearance but couldn't be seen fitting so well anywhere else. Congratulations on your newest acquisition! Have a wonderful day!

  4. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    I just had a penny drop moment reading your tale… I think I may start calling you and your hubs Yin-Yang… you are a perfect representation of how important it is to find a mate that balances you. My only question is are you yin or yang? Perhaps I will make a hybrid like the YYWoods! Great story to start my day! Thank you!!

  5. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    Perfect find. Love the story. On my blog it would have gone like this...Found a cool map at Hobby Lobby. Here it is. I guess that's what makes you special, huh? Hor far do you have to drive to get to Hobby Lobby?

  6. Image for Julia - Vintage with Laces Julia - Vintage with Laces

    This is absolutely gorgeous, KariAnne. What an awesome, fabulous, fantastic, amazing, great find!!! SIGH!!! I would have so bought that too and our well-behaved cats would have loved to climb up on it, learning about the stations in the Paris metro along the way :).

  7. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Loved your post!! Wishing you a Super Great Day in the way in which you've started my day with your written excitement of a trip and purchase to Hobby Lobby!! What a Wonderful Find!!

  8. Image for Stephanie Brown Stephanie Brown

    You are just precious and can just picture joy on face when you spotted your clearance prize. So Glad you are blessed w twinkle eyes so get it as I often tell my dancing eyed husband can tell when he is happy as well as up to something as his eyes twinkle!:) we are both truly blessed! Keep sharing!

  9. Image for Julie Julie

    I can't believe you scored that AWESOME find at Hobby Lobby!! I've never seen anything quite that cool at our local Hobby Lobby (and I might be there a lot...just sayin') I wouldn't have realized it was a map of the railway system either, haha. Your husband is a keeper :)

  10. Image for Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story

    That is a gorgeous piece KariAnne! We have only one Hobby Lobby around here and it is quite a trek to get there. That didn't deter me from going to their 80% off sale last week. Only thing I found was a heavy metal bust, which I didn't really want but was too good a deal to pass up. No cool stuff in our Hobby Lobby. :(

  11. Image for Raquel Raquel

    Funny! One question: what did you think you were buying if you didn't realize it was the Paris railway system? Also, I have a hard time shopping at Hobby Lobby these days. :-(

  12. Image for Beverly Beverly

    You should have called me because I definitely knew you needed it. And, it looks great. Are the kids studying so they will know their way around Paris?

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    I am laughing out loud at this one!! My first thought? WHY DID I NOT KNOW THERE WAS AN 80%-OFF SALE AT HOBBY LOBBY. My next thought? What a cool map of the Paris train system! LOLOL!!!!! Honestly, I was just there a few weeks ago and didn't see that!!! Good thing, huh? ;) Thank you SO MUCH for my first real laugh of the day! Happy nice-and-cool Thursday!

  14. Image for Rita Rita

    Dearest Debbie, I am here laughing all by myself thinking of a dear friend of mine and myself in the Hobby Lobby store. This is how we shop together. You are a refreshing breeze to my day....keep up the good work.

  15. Image for Jill Jill

    You, my dear, are amazing and have perfect timing! I love your metro map of Paris. What a fantastic find. I love to haunt the 80%-90% off aisles at Hobby Lobby. How is your timing perfect? I was trying to think of a way to explain to my husband the chair I brought home today. See, the dog and I were taking our morning constitutional on his favorite day, trash day. To him it smells like heaven. On this misty morning as we wove down the street around the big cans, it appeared: a well loved chair. All of the fabric is gone off the arms and there was a spring hanging out of the bottom but the bones are good and the shape is terrific. I figured picking fresh blueberries and making a blueberry cheesecake dessert would be the way to break it to him. I can say: at least I didn't go to Hobby Lobby! And he will laugh and say, "But you will have to go tomorrow for fabric!" Oh my, I can hear the 80% aisle calling my name right now! Thanks for making me smile this morning! Happy Thursday!

  16. Image for Beth Beth

    This seriously is one of the funniest stories! I so wish we had a Hobby Lobby here in Raleigh. And that map is just the coolest thing. It would go great in my den, oh well, enjoy.

  17. Image for Kris Kris

    The 80%-off aisle at Hobby Lobby is my favorite place. I got a pair of sofa pillows there a couple of years ago and, full-price, I think they were $80 apiece. Do people really pay that for pillows??? And as of this spring I found 2 huge Frenchy candlestick holders for my mantel. Actually, when I look around my house, there's a fair amount of Hobby Lobby goin' on ...

  18. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    You make me smile everyday! Just adore you, Karianne! Hobby Lobby just came to Florida in the past year and I love that store!!!!

  19. Image for Judy Judy

    I love your husband's reaction, KariAnne. If I could have even gotten my husband inside a Hobby Lobby, mine would probably have said, "What is that and why do you need it?" You're a lucky lady.

  20. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Oh honey if I had seen this I would have had to pick it up as well... except it would be like this crazy big souvenir as I have ridden on the rail system in Paris (talk about totally NOT liking it because it STINKS to high heaven!! I mean seriously think the porta-potties at the county fair... ugh! and yes you make sure to not walk close to the walls or corners because you NEVER and I mean NEVER know what you might encounter... *shudder*) and it was an experience. With really happy memories too! :-)

  21. Image for Terri Terri

    I can totally understand. When preparing our parents' home and possessions for auction, I kept very little for myself since I live in an apartment. One of the things I did save for myself is a CAD map of the local Chase county roads. It was just too good to pass up. I'm sure at some point my road engineering uncle gave it to our grandparents, who previously owned the house.

  22. Image for Cheryl @ Artzzle Cheryl @ Artzzle

    Good One! I've had TWO great hunting weekends lately. Hubs took me to "the City" on my BD, and we went to all the places I love (most of which he DOESN'T love) but after all this time, he is starting to get me :) It was a wonderful birthday present. The other trip lasted three whole days, with two crazy cousins of mine . . . five towns - WOW!

  23. Image for Deborah Wilkins Deborah Wilkins

    I madly raced to Hobby Lobby on-line to see if there might, fingers crossed, be another one for sale on their website! Love, love, love your find! Lucky you, KariAnne!

  24. Image for KWolff KWolff

    I recognized it as a map of the metro immediately! My daughter and I were just in Paris a couple of weeks ago and we studied that system like crazy. I hope & pray that my Hobby Lobby has this in their clearance aisle too. It would just totally make my day and I'm sure we would find somewhere to put it. :) Kudos to your hubby for understanding that Hobby Lobby has a place on date night. Mine is so great about browsing HL with me and he is usually the first to head to the clearance racks. Good guys like that are keepers!

  25. Image for Jennifer H Jennifer H

    I love the clearance isle at Hobby Lobby, I always find something. I may repurpose it a bit, but there is always a good find there. I hadn't seen that particular piece but I know that the stores carry different things sometimes. If that was at my store I know for sure it would have come home with me. Great find!!!

  26. Image for Gloria Gloria

    Seriously funny. Perfect read for my hour commute home. I truly enjoy your writing to pieces! Made my day. Giggle seriously giggling. Gloria

  27. Image for Carole Carole

    What a fun find, and a patient husband (I've got one too). lol I've heard about Hobby Lobby from friends a lot. Up until right now, seriously just a few seconds ago, when I did yet another Google search, I had no idea that there was a store in my state. It's not very close by, but we do have one now. The chain has finally made it to my area. Hopefully they'll build another closer by eventually. I'd like to see someone give Michael's a run for the money (which wouldn't be very difficult). ;)

  28. Image for Kerry Kerry

    Ahhhh I too have a hubby who doesn't mind date night at Hobby Lobby. Good choice....on both your map of Paris railways, and a husband who understands the importance of a map of Paris railways. It's awesome!

  29. Image for Cindy@DIYbeautify Cindy@DIYbeautify

    Hahaha, that's an awesome story! I do the very same thing when I see a big sale...get all flustered and excited...not bothering to really "see" what I'm buying until I get home! My hubs is, thankfully, very patient and understanding...he'll even alert me to sales! Cindy p.s. oh, and btw...I have a HL going up about 8 minutes from my house...I am in BIG trouble ;)

  30. Image for Heather Heather

    LOL - you made me laugh at your story! I had to do a double take too to see the map!! I think you should go to Paris Karianne to verify if that map is actually correct! Wink! ;)

  31. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Your are truly a very funny person. I love the line --- almost had a come apart. What a hoot. You got a good deal and it should make for an interesting piece for your home. We have similar date nights here in my next of the woods.

  32. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh, Dear, I'd almost think we're married to the same guy ~ except mine is a "few" years older, right here with me, and not at all the carpenter type!!! Twinkling, loving eyes and the Hobby Lobby (plus) patience, he does have, too, though! You are a lucky lady! What a treasure you spied! And I call it "SPIED," because you didn't even know what it was from a distance away ~ you just knew it displayed as a great piece, even from AFAR!!! And by gosh, no one was going to come between you and it ~ right?! No worries that you didn't recognize a Paris Railway System after buying, either: we'll cover for you! (I wouldn't have known without some kind of label ...) Oh, Dear! Gotta' run: if they don't have the map at the 3 stores within 20 minutes of me (lucky me!), they'll have plenty of other goodies! kj

  33. Image for Martha Martha

    What a great find and the story is very funny. It reminds me of many shopping escapades I have had with my sisters. Thanks for the great laugh!

  34. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I love your Paris railway map! What a fun find! And I also love the story that goes with it! It sounds exactly like me and my hubby. I would have totally NOT noticed what it was and he would have. You have a great hubby to go to Hobby Lobby with you on date night. I love that place and I'm lucky enough to have one really close to me, like 7 minutes away! I try not to go too often because it's just torture to find so many amazing things for good prices (with the 40% cupons) and not be able to buy them all!

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