Tag Archives: Seattle Goodwill

Last Minute Gifting Tips and Tricks

With only 4 days to go till Christmas… here are a couple of my gift ideas for those last minute shoppers out there that might want to snazzy-up their holiday gifting while helping the environment and making your purchases go further.

As a mommy that values finding ways to help our earth with every little bit I can (which Goodwill is also aligned with saving millions of tons of items from the garbage dumps every year in this country!) I like to be creative with my gift giving, including the wrapping it’s in.  So here are some of those items you can buy at your local Goodwill to use as the boxes and/or wrapping that will add something special to your gifting this holiday season while helping out our environment…

For those guys in your life… grab a car washing-mitt (like this one I picked up at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill for $4.99) and put a tool in it (like this Craftsman level I picked up at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill for only $19.99) add a bow (or not) and your set!

For girls on your list grab a holiday kitchen towel (like this brand new one picked up at the Bellevue Goodwill for $1.29) and wrap it up into a roll and put a bracelet or belt around it and then finish it off with a scarf! (also from the Bellevue Goodwill for $4.99)

And the finished look with a bow and a gift tag (made from repurposed wrapping paper)…

Or you can give an entire “Accessorize package” and wrap a handbag (like this beautiful brand new Tignello handbag I picked up at the Seattle Glitter Sale for only $39.99) in a scarf (also from the Seattle Goodwill for $3.99) with some bracelets (all from the Seattle Glitter Sale for various prices ranging from $9.99 to $12.99)!

And wrapped in the scarf as wrapping paper…

For those kids on your list… purchase a nice, cozy winter hat (like this GAP kids hat purchased from the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill for  just $1.99) and put some presents in it (wrapped or not)…

And here are a couple of more ideas for items to use as boxes or wrapping paper instead of using more materials that cut down trees…

How about a planter for a gardener’s gift to store items in

Or a Coffee Canister (or kitchen canister of some kind) to put trinkets for that food-lover on your list

Or a storage container for that kid or parent on your list to store all those toys they often get during the holidays!

Or how about using a men’s tie as a bow on a gift (even better if it’s a “bow tie”!)

There are many different ways that you can package your Goodwill items in repurposed goodies that will not only cut down on your environmental footprint, but give your gift a little added PIZZAZ when viewed against the typical wrapped gifts under the tree.

But no matter how you wrap your gifts… I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and I will see you soon to wrap up this year of Living the Goodwill Life for 2011!

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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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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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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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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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Glitter Gala is NEXT WEEK!

Can you believe it?  Only 1 week till the big Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala Fashion show fundraiser and SALE!

This last weekend (Halloween weekend) I went to my runway walk-through.  I had a babysitter planned so I could focus on my modeling responsibilities but she cancelled at the last minute so I had to bring the little guy for 3 hours?!  It was interesting to say the least.  He was a trouper and wanted to walk the catwalk all the time…

They put me in some very uncomfortable flats (which I don’t think go with my dress at all so I requested a nice pair of heels) but they are cute none-the-less…

And most of the time we were smiling…

And today I went to see my stylist (Michael @ Salon Circa) who showed me the mock-up of my make-up and hairstyle, it is going to be off the hook people!  I was so excited that I forgot to take images of my mock-up but here are a couple of ideas of what it will look like….

Guess your just going to have to stay tuned in on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning for the final images from the show!

Time to get your GLITTER GALA ON Seattle!

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The Golden Gates of the Glitter Gala

There are perks to doing a year-long-only-buying-from-the-Goodwill-challenge… and one of them is being able to take part in the annual Glitter Gala Fashion Show!

This summer I received my mailed invite to the event… and I immediately thought that I’ve attended SO MANY fundraising dinners that I didn’t just want to sit and eat but I wanted to PARTICIPATE with the audience, the staff, the volunteers!  I wanted to volunteer as a model in the fashion show!

So I’ve been working with the lovely ladies behind the scenes and pass through those elusive Golden Gates to the “goody rooms” and you wouldn’t BELIEVE what is in these rooms!  Anyways… I couldn’t take pictures of their “collection” so you will just have to attend future fashion shows to see all they have amassed over the years but I can tell you that the items being modeled at the show are going to be available for purchase at the Glitter Gala!  So get there early (because you know I’m going to be in line) for all the deals but if you want a sneak-peek at what they will be offering, attend the fashion-show fundraiser on Wednesday, November 9th at 6pm!

You can find out all about both the fundraiser dinner and the infamous shopping day here:  http://www.seattlegoodwill.org/glitter/

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Geesh, I can’t keep up!

Okay… I’ve garnered another full-time (temporary) job.  Add to it that I have a family and all of their schedules, that I have holiday projects that I’m buying and/or making things for, that I try and work out a couple of times a week, that I have this blog and one other to write for (and yet a third that I’m currently planning my 2012 year-long challenge around), that I do try and make time for family/friends to hang around with AND now I’ve added a college course to raise my level of writing.  With all this going on… I’m S L I P P I N G on posting in a timely manner, that is for sure!

So, I’m going to give you a little view of all the items I’ve picked up at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill, the Bellevue Goodwill, and the Ballard Goodwill in the last week and call it good.

I will add to this post that shopping exclusively at the Goodwill for everything you need is NOT as easy as people might think!  I mean, if you need to get something pretty particular you need to go to a couple of stores to buy it because you can’t just walk into ANY retailer that you know has it and buy.  AND, on top of that I’ve found myself getting into this “weekly Goodwill shopping habit” where I feel I NEED to buy something every week to make a post out of it (and really because I do like all the great Goodwill savings!) but it gets a bit tiring to do it every week when you have so many other things on your plate!  I will give you all a hint that my 2012 year-long challenge does NOT have to do with shopping at one store again.  In fact, I’ve already started making my “wish list” for all the things that I want to go buy at all the retailers I have not been shopping at this year (don’t worry Goodwill, you’ll always be in my shopping cart even after this year) because it does get a bit harder 9 months into a challenge like this not to walk into another retailer sometimes.

So, now you all know my frustrations on my busy life and staying on top of my challenge/blog… I won’t bore you with any more details or post-pone the Goodwill goodies any longer.

Ann Taylor brand-new dress bought @ the Ballard Goodwill for $4.99.  The awesome kid’s-combo that my partner actually found (not ME if you can believe it?!) of a brand-new Gymboree T-shirt for $1.99 and italian shoes (that normally cost $80 brand new!) that were only $3.99 at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill store.  I also picked up this amazing wood and canvas umbrella for $2.99 and we desperately needed kitchen-sink-pads that were at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill for $1.99 each.

I scored another great trinket box for all my crafting goodies at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill for only $3.99….

I picked up a great Halogen (Nordy’s brand) sweater for only $5.99 at the Bellevue Goodwill this week but didn’t take any pictures of it.  Don’t worry… I will have it in my Fall/Winter photo shoot (yes, ANOTHER project I’m currently planning!) which we hope to have up by Halloween.

We did also donate a bunch of stuff this week as well.  So that did feel pretty good.

Okay… I’m done with the updates for now.  Keep a look out for more posts about the big Seattle Goodwill Glitter Gala that’s coming up since I’ll be modeling in the show!

Time to go back to my homework. (I hope my professor is reading this post and will give me a good grade on my report for being such an awesome multi-talented student!)

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