Tag Archives: Edmonds Goodwill

The BUY of the YEAR!

So the recent media have covered the topic a little and I’ve given hints in the last week but here is the moment of truth about the BEST purchase during my Living the Goodwill Life 2011 challenge year.  In fact… I think this purchase is possibly the BEST of all my thrift purchases in my 20 years of thrifting!

So, with all “great finds” there is usually a story.  You see them on Antique Roadshow about how somebody found the $30k vase in Grandma’s attic or you’ve heard those stories at the dinner parties about the person that found an original Picasso ashtray at a 2nd hand store in the 60’s.  But how many “fish tales” do you know personally?  I know in all my years and those of my parents… there have been some good ones, but even I received kuddos from my parents for my find this year.

So here’s my fish tale (which is real).

I had already visited the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill once earlier in the summer to start the outfit selection for my modeling in the Glitter Gala so this day I walked into the store with both of my boys ready to be in and out quickly.  We went to the back and I tried on my dresses, the coordinators made their selections and took pictures and we were done.  Well, not really… my oldest wanted to look around a bit so we headed towards the back.  That’s when i saw the book, laying on the floor, all by itself.  It definitely caught my eye immediately because of the uniqueness of the cover.  Knowing rare books myself I could tell it was hand-bound and had care given to it’s creation so I dusted off the back that was all dusty from the floor and carefully opened the pages.  They were immaculate!  The pages looked to have no finger prints, no bending or damage… amazingly kept!  Then I moved to the back pages where I knew a signature would be and there it was!

This book, that the store charged me .97 cents for, is a gem to an art or rare books lover!  Rough estimates from two dealers (an art and a rare books dealer) put this piece into the thousands, possibly $8,000!  And one spoke about possibly putting it on display at their collection next year!

I will add that my 2nd place winner this year for the BUY of the YEAR was for this $350 retail watch that I picked up at the new Lynnwood Goodwill for less than $50!  This too has a great story… one of last-minute desperation to get the one item I was asked to find, the one item that I could not seem to locate even though I looked at different Goodwill‘s for weeks… a quality men’s watch.  But low and behold, one of the lessons I learned this year was to attend new store openings when possible because they stock the stores with quality items and that is indeed the case because one week to the day that the Lynnwood Goodwill opened, I found this beauty in the jewelry case!  Boy, when it was opened this last week was the recipient suprised!  And what a beautiful addition it makes to his collection!

So as I end out this last week of my 2011 Living the Goodwill Life challenge I want to challenge YOU about the BEST purchase you’ve ever received.  Was it worth thousands?  Was it something you once owned a long time ago?  Was it even your find?  Please… leave your comments on what you found (or heard somebody found) and where!

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People, Parties and Polaroids!

So friday night was our holiday party and we have been preparing for months to host 20 of our friends with an amazing (if I do say so myself) dinner, drinks and good holiday cheer!

First of all… I’ll start with how we prepared our home with items from Goodwill

So, besides the typical organizing items that I’ve picked up for the last month (shelves, file cabinet, bar, etc.) I also picked up a bunch of holiday items to decorate the tree (or Chanukha bush, however you want to look at it).  So I took the yarn from the Yelm Goodwill and made it into a yarn-ball garland.  You can see a video of how to make them HERE.

I paired the yarn garland with a bunch of blue decorations…

and VOILA!  Look at that beautiful final tree with presents and even sporting a plush-dreidel that I picked up at the Edmonds Goodwill last weekend (brand new!) originally marked retail price of $45.00 and picked up for only $.99 cents!

Of course, once we had all the items up in the house and were doing our final run-through I came up with some last-minute things we needed.  So a quick Goodwill run to the Seattle Dearborn location got us set up with holiday napkins, wrapping paper, a stocking, some MUCH NEEDED serving utensils and I ended up finding some cute outfit items (JCrew skirt for $1.99 and red leg-warmers for $2.99) to make the last bits festive!

During my last minute Goodwill run I wanted to decorate our entry area so guests knew which place to ring the doorbell.   I found full-size Christmas trees, tons of holiday decorations… I mean look at the rows upon rows of holiday items at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill!

I mean all of this AND a back room just chalked full of Christmas, Chanukah items and toys!!!  But still, nothing was hitting the spot for me until I went through the back sporting goods area and found this pair of old ski poles, PERFECT!  I mean these babies have hand-stiched leather handles and looked great wrapped in lights and topped off with a snowman rug!

Our home was finally ready!  And soon our guests started to arrive, we served hours of dinner and drinks and even one of our Polaroid cameras came out for some fun!

We have a couple more parties to attend in the final weeks of 2011 but as I’ve shown here, you can decorate your home, your tree, yourself and your dinner with items all found at your local Goodwill!

The second of the holiday gift posts is coming up this week were I show you how I’ve taken everyday objects and turned them into the wrapping paper and boxes for the holiday gifts we are giving…helping you to not only save money with your purchases but also helping the environment!

Only 2 more weeks of my challenge are left but check back soon because we might have some exciting news about how the Living the Goodwill Life might continue on after 2011!

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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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