Holiday Cheer

The holidays are quickly approaching and this month is being spent preparing for them with parties and events such as the one we attended yesterday morning at the Tacoma Goodwill’s Milgard Center.  The Santa Breakfast is a collaboration with the Sunrise Notary and is a wonderful holiday event that is over 10 years old!  We were invited by Christine (thanks Christine! your antlers were really cute!) and were excited to take a trip south to Tacoma to check out a couple of stores new to us as well.

Of course our first stop was for some yummies after our drive.  The volunteers were very attentive, the crowds were full of kids ready to see Santa and the syrup was sticky-sweetness!

Then it was onto the kids craft area… but we got sidetracked easily in the “balloon room” and ended up staying there for a long time having a BLAST!  Next year Tacoma Goodwill should make an entire room full of balloons for another side activity since this one was such a hit with more than one child!

We then tried to see Santa and were offered stuffed animals or books and bags of goodies but our little one was only interested in playing with the balloon.  So we decided to drive over to the other stores and check out the Tacoma Goodwill’s toy sale (currently 30% off most toys and games) and their “Christmas stores” for some extra decorations for our party next Friday night.


By this time the little one was getting ready for a nap so we needed to head back home.  But mommy did find a holiday present, an entire box full of brand-new wooden blocks for 30% off $3.99!

We were still looking for some other items to get our home truly ready for the holiday party on Friday, December 16th so later in the evening we went to the NEW Edmonds Goodwill.  I’ve been to enough thrift store openings to know that they usually stock the store with higher-end pieces and it’s usually like that for up to a month after the grand opening… so since we have 20 people coming over for our party and I’ve been needing to find a couple of last minute holiday gifts Edmonds Goodwill was on our sites!

And believe me… the NEW Edmonds Goodwill did not disappoint!  The store was immaculate, the staff very attentive and helpful and lot of really great goodies!  I ended up finding a designer present for somebody that normally is running at $250 to $300 dollars at discount sites like Overstock.com and is in great condition!  Needless to say it was less than $100 and working just fine!  I also picked up a designer luggage piece to go with that DVF makeup case, a file cabinet for only $4.99 and we dropped off a couple of donations while we were at it.  I will be posting images of all the holiday gifts I’ve purchased in the next week (I’m waiting a bit so I don’t give away my surprise to those friends/family that read this blog) so that you can get your own holiday ideas going!

I will be sharing some of the holiday decorating I’ve done with Goodwill pieces for our party this next week so stay tuned for some ideas for your own holiday parties!

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Turkey down… one month to go!

Well, the turkey, Black Friday, Small-business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all done and on the record books for 2011… and in one month so will the Living the Goodwill Life challenge!  I’ve been gearing up for my last month of the challenge with some end-of-year interviews, some holiday shopping trips and of course my wrap-up blog posts to complete this year of buying everything I need from a Goodwill.  I’ve also started putting together next years challenge and will keep dropping hints up until New Years when the new challenge/site officially launches!  (it’s parent/child related)

But this weekend I just relaxed and enjoyed time with my family.

My father’s birthday was last week so we picked up this great WWII DVD box set (in mint condition!) for papa at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill last week for only $9.99!

While in Centralia, I visited the Visiting Nurses Thrift Store Black Friday sale (with everything 50% off!) and boy was that store cleared out!

I also ventured into both the Centralia and Lacey Goodwill stores looking for a new pair of jeans but came up with a couple of holiday items instead…

My mother took me to a new thrift store called Reborn that was probably one of the cleanest, most well-organized thrift stores I’ve seen in a long time and what great designer items they had!

Just look at this prom/formal dress area at Reborn with many high-end pieces!

My mother knew we were having a holiday dinner party and ended up picking up a carving set for only .49 cents!  and a serving platter for $5.99

So with less than a month to go stay posted for all the end-of-challenge updates!

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Pre Thanksgiving

We are having a holiday party in December and the list of “To Do” items is pretty long but we have been chipping away at it.  So this weekend, before the big BLACK FRIDAY shopping craziness, I decided to try and find some more items on that list… mainly shelves.  See our little 17 month old is into EVERYTHING, which means more shelves to get those breakable items up and out of the way is absolutely necessary now, especially having a holiday party that could include 3 more little ones with curious hands.

We ventured over to the Bellevue store on Saturday afternoon first, but didn’t find anything.  Then onto the Renton store hoping our luck would be better but no again… then onto the Seattle Dearborn store and wouldn’t you know it, success!  I found a great Pottery Barn shelf for 1/2 off $25.00!

Then I found a couple of other white shelves to go in the playroom for only $4.99 each!

Then I found this great little jewelry hook holder for only $1.99 to hold all my new Glitter Sale items!

Then I found a whole bunch of great Baby Gap long-sleeve tops for our little one (and a cute “E” block for his room!) for $1.99 each and a MUCH NEEDED hat/glove set with the winter-cold-weather finally hitting the Seattle area!

This last week a co-worker emailed and asked for people to bring socks in for the homeless in our area.  I thought it was such a great idea that I picked up a couple of pair and plan to go out with her this next week to start delivering them to our company’s neighbors in Pioneer Square.

This is a short work week then we are down to the farm for the holidays…

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

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Post Glitter

Okay, I’m finally sitting down on a Sunday evening to show you all what I got at the Glitter Sale this Saturday.  Let me first say that I’ve been waiting for this week all year.  When I first started this challenge this year I knew that the Glitter Gala/Sale week was going to have to be one of the bigger events that I participated in for the year and I was right!  I BROUGHT IT all week, modeling in the Gala on Wednesday and camping out Friday night BEFORE the store even closed to make sure I was FIRST in line at the big sale!  I really never waited in line for concert tickets, or black Friday sales so I knew this was going to have the be my chance to experience the excitement of line-waiters.  Apparently in China they actually have such horribly long lines that they actually have an entire industry of “line-waiters” that you pay to wait in line for you for everything from pharmaceuticals to being able to see a doctor?!  Knowing that I’ll say that I’m certainly glad I only had to do it once in my lifetime!

But, I met a bunch of people, had a great time and bought lots of fabulous items for holiday gifts!  I did initially walk in and immediately grab like 20 handbags and then browse the store for those Christian Louboutin heels but I couldn’t find them so I went over to the jewelry immediately.  When I finally got my jewelry purchase down to the keepers I went through the handbags that I had grabbed and I have to say that I was a bit disapointed with what I found… all of them except one (the orange Tignanel0 bag that was on the Glitter Sale blog a couple of weeks ago) were fake!  I even grabbed the Gucci handbag on the blog too and once I looked through at the hardware I knew it was a knock-off (a really good knock-off but still).  But, with everything there are positives… so here are some of the benefits of my Glitter week.

1.  I met the my stylist Michael Weigand and the staff of Salon Circa and let me tell you I’m making it my new salon (even though I’m a die-hard Aveda girl) because their level of experience, their dedication and amazing artistry on the models for the Glitter Gala was just too much NOT to want to make them your home salon!  All the other models that didn’t go to Salon Circa kept telling us that they wished they had been able to go to Salon Circa!  I had so many compliments, heard so many praises and have so much respect for stylists that touch up your lipstick right before you go onstage that it’s not even a question where I’ll be going from now on!  I just hope the “powers that be” at the Goodwill corporate hear my message and make sure Salon Circa comes back again and again for the Glitter Gala!

2.  I always love meeting new people!  And both the Glitter Gala and the Sale had plenty of opportunities for me to meet so many people that love the Goodwill as much (or more) than I do!  I have new staff members (from stores and the back office), new customers, new volunteers, new Art Institute students… so many new people and TONS of great Goodwill stories to share that it would take months to get all the blog posts done!  From the Dearborn staff member Sammy (who I just seen working the register at the Glitter Sale today) to Arthur and Brice from Camino island that kept me laughing and company all cold pavement night long!  Or Hallynd and her step-mom Amanda (who comes up from Portland every year for the Glitter Sale) telling me stories of all their fabulous past Glitter sale finds!  Yes, this year has been an adventure but this week in particular I’ve been able to meet so many more people because of the Goodwill, which is really what doing a challenge/blog is all about… connecting with people.

3.  Third is the fact that with this week I’ve seen a side of Goodwill that not many people get to experience.  From the top-notch Glitter Gala fundraiser that was a black-tie, dinner and champagne event  at the Sheraton to walking down the line as the first person at the sale and having all the staffers giving me high-fives… this whole year I’ve grown to understand so much more about the organization that I’ve chosen to support with my year of buying but this week really knocked it out of the park.  I mean I seen models that looked like they walked right off the fashion pages of Neiman Marcus!  Models wearing fashions that two days later were hanging right in front of me on the sale racks!  I experienced how dedicated this organization is to helping train and serve others with the countless stories they had in the back model-prep rooms of all the people Goodwill has helped change their life, with purchasing the fashions we were wearing!  Talk about making a girl feel like a million dollars by not only outfitting her in designer creations but letting her know that these efforts make a difference in another human beings life!

4.  And fourth, but not least are the goodies themselves… isn’t this why we wait in line to see the models?  Get into the doors first thing in the morning?  The Glitter Gala and Sale are all about what people love about Goodwill… the goodies they can find for such amazing prices and for such a great cause!  So without further adieu… here are a couple of samples of my Goodwill Goodies I snagged as first-in-line Saturday morning.

I hope those I’m buying holiday gifts for don’t see all their future goodies here!!!  :-)

Just look at all that jewelry!  I could have purchased much, much more… but I did get some of the best of the best here.  I picked up a real Tiffany & Co. silver bracelet for less than $30!  I also picked up what could be my buy of the week, but since it’s a holiday gift (and I know somebody is reading this) I won’t confirm that until December.  Let’s just say it costs hundreds of dollars and I snagged it for less than $80!

I did sneak a couple of images of some of the items at the sale.  They had beautifully color-coordinated the racks of each department making it so wonderful to see first hand!

and even more dresses!

and because I was totally exhausted on Saturday after the sale I didn’t have time to shop for anything else so we went back today to donate a couple of things…

yes, that’s a blu-ray DVD player (that doesn’t work) along with clothes and a couple of other household items.

We ended up getting a new baby gate and some more pants for the little guy, but because I’ve worn down my immune system this week I now have a full-blown cold and need to go to sleep pretty soon, so I didn’t take any picture of the new stuff.

This week has been fun and it’s hard to imagine that I’m almost done with my year-long Goodwill challenge.  Only the holidays left to go and then I’m onto next years media challenge!

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T-minus 3 hours and counting

So I’ve been standing here speaking to a number of Glitter Sale shoppers, people up from Portland, business owners looking for great deals to resell, shoppers that have been in the Top-Ten line for years. The’ve been telling stories from years past, their best buys and what they did with the items.

The whole shebang will be showing up soon, Goodwill staff, corporate, media. So I’m going to repost the next update with my goodies in hand from the sale!

Just watch that line grow & grow!
@ 4am….and again @ 5am….and again @ 6am!

Keep following my twitter feed (evolveexistence) for more photo updates!

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More shoppers arrive!

Well, more shoppers have slowly started to arrive. Car doors slamming woke us already in line up and of course I had to see what new groups we had on board for the big day!

Let me also start this next post with some tips on how to attend the Glitter Sale…

First, be prepared! I came with tents, flashlights, emergency materials, sleeping bags, hand warmers, money to spend, itemized wish list & a back up plan including speaking to staff, and contacts to call! Serious Glitter Shoppers come prepared but are always rewarded!

Second, bring a friend! Or two, three… A group! Half of the fun is sharing it with friends, and when needed asking for friends to help you on such an adventure! I couldn’t of done my First-In-Line adventure this year without the help of Dante, Jill & Pauline, you guys ROCK!!!

This morning we had Amanda & Hallynd came together to shop the Glitter Sale, Amanda comes up from Portland. She states that Portland stores have different, more eclectic items and Seattle has higher-end designer pieces. True Glitter Sale items for sure! Amanda says the $1.29 Mondays up here ROCK! and Portland should look into getting a similar day! They were here last year at 4am, this year 2am… they still look great this early!

Third, have a shopping game plan. No, standing in line all night/morning isn’t enough… You need to know that there are 200 people right behind you looking to grab that one pair of Prada pumps too so unless you wear easy slip-off shoes, clingy clothing for easy-over try ons and of course hand-warmers to keep your chill out in line, your gonna miss out on something.

I’ll share more tips from the Glitter sale front-lines as the reports from shoppers come in!

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It’s Glitter Sale Morning!

We are already here lining up for the Glitter Sale. First people in line (besides me) were Arthur & Brice, who were here at 10pm and ready for the jewelry! They spoke to me about the Goodwill’s policy changes and how it’s made it harder for businesses that buy from thrift stores to make a living. But they are both here looking for deals, giving the Goodwill another chance to find the best of the best!

And that’s just some of the first front-line action at the Glitter Sale 2011.

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The Glitter is going BIGGER this year, so prepare early next year. Arthur & Brice will tell you the same, like my sign says “First in Line or BUST!”

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Glitter Gala Fashion show down… Sale to go!

Wednesday night was full of fabulousness at the annual Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala Fashion show! We had an amazing hairstyle and makeup application session at Salon Circa. Just check out the behind-the-scenes work…

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And talk about an updo! This model was there for hours having her amazing creation put together!

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Just look at this unbelievable artistry!

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Then you have my beautiful hairdo by Michael Weigand at Salon Circa!

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And some finished work ready for our Goodwill fashions!

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We stopped by Starbucks on our way to the Sheraton…

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Then I snuck away to check out all Tge goodies available at the Silent Auction… brand-new Kate Spade! Prada! Burberry! I was just floored by the options available!

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Glitter Gala Girls All done up and waiting to go onstage… Some of the looks off the runway

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The night was fabulous, the models & fashion show, audience, stylists, EVERYBODY was amazing!!!!

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Kokii & Jake did an amazing job on their 2nd year organizing!

All in all it came down to having fun & BEING YOURSELF!

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Now onto the sale!  Keep up on my twitter account (evolveexistence) and this blog for posts from the front lines (and when people actually get in line!)

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Glitter Gala 2011!

I am SO EXCITED to be participating in the Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala fashion show this year!  I’ve been practicing in my new red heels purchased this weekend and dreaming about my outrageous hair and makeup.

To get you into the Glitter Gala mood…

I was contacted by the Art Institute of Seattle last week about the designer-student outfits that will be showcased at the show as well.  Being a past children’s clothing designer that used mostly upcycled materials, I LOVE that the Goodwill is collaborating with the Art Institute to encourage re-design and showcasing the works at the Glitter Gala!  These pieces were put together from found items at the Seattle-area Goodwill stores and as you can see our local fashion-designers have talent!  I can’t wait to see them on the runway tonight.

The honorable mentions first…

Susy Gregoire’s gold and red piece… beautiful!

Pierre Davis brings some “ice” to the contest

Penny McMillan’s piece is so amazing!  I wish this one was in my size!!!

This piece was costume-amazing!

The Second Place winner is….

Daniel Bordner did a beautiful job on this piece!

And the winner is….

Alyson Mendez!  Who did an absolutely FABULOUS job with “the time she spent tearing strips of multi-colored fabrics to create this layered and textured strapless garment… she really invented her own fabric in the process.  The whole thing is astonishing!” – GlamSpoon (Glitter Gala Art Institute Judge 2011)

They said we might have some down time as models… so I’ll try and keep you all updated from hair and makeup (at Salon Circa) to the backstage action taking place via my Twitter account (my twitter is: evolveexistence).

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Seeing red

So this weekend was all about starting the MASSIVE cleaning & redecorating of the home for our holiday party. And one of the items I’ve wanted for a long-time (like 15 years!) is a nice portable bar for the kitchen. The type you can roll out onto a patio or dinning room to put appatizers and drinks on for guests. Well, I originally went into the Goodwill this weekend to pick up some nude panty-hose for the Goodwill Glitter Gala on Wednesday night and to see if I could also find a pair of red heels to wear with my dress (since those red flats were KILLING my feet!).

First of all, we parked in the new parking lot… Oooh, la la!

I found the red heels…

Then, speaking of red… I found that long-awaited kitchen portable bar, in a beautiful shade of RED! And this Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel quality piece was in mint condition and on sale for only $50!

I also ended up finding some more shelves (for our home redesign) and a couple of other items we needed like more pants for the little guy!

After getting the bar home and cleaning it up I spoke to my oldest son who lives part-time in Colorado. While in Fort Collins last week he picked up a great pair of K2 boots for only $10!

Only 48 more hours till the Glitter Gala!  The countdown is on…

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