Category Archives: Thrift hauls

The Last Living the Goodwill Life shopping trip

This week I’ve been holding off on shopping at Goodwill for a couple of reasons…

1.) I already added up my total savings of over $13k this year

2.) I’m trying to conserve money because my temping assignment ended and I don’t have another job yet

3.) I’m starting to get SAD that this year is almost over, and all that I have learned and everybody that I have met could be ending very soon.

But because I’ve taught my boys well, my oldest wanted to make one last trip this week to a Goodwill, so we ventured over to the biggest Goodwill in America, the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill.

I stood back and let my oldest shop for deals with his newly aquired holiday money… and boy what proud mommy I was as I watched him weight the value of an item and ask for my opinion on the cost and then decide if it was really something that he wanted.  Of course we hit the toy area first, but because he is a Tween the clothing area has been a recent discovery for him.  As we were walking back I found a nice little glass container set that I never can seem to find for $2.99 so I picked it up.

Just look at this awesome brand-new winter hat (he lives in Colorado part of the year after all, so this baby will come in really handy!) that he scored for only $8.99!

And this sweater that only cost $4.99 that he described as “SWEET”…

So there you go.  My final buy of my Living the Goodwill Life challenge is a simple (but very useful) glass container and most of this trip was for my son’s joy.

I appreciate all the people that have been subscribing to this blog in the last couple of weeks and all the comments and ideas coming in from readers… it makes it bitter-sweet to me that this challenge is ending in less than 48 hours but even more inspired to keep up this outlet of communications for all thrifters in America… hopefully that will transpire in 2012 in one way or another!



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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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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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All Hallows Eve!

Finally!  Halloween is here!

I have been preparing for Halloween for months.  I knew we had a family costume party to go to on Sunday (after our 3-hour Glitter Gala fashion show walk-through which I will post about later on this week… it’s only 1 week away!!!), so I focused our family costume around the cowboy items I picked up for our little one at that church garage sale this summer for .50 cents.  I found most of the items for our family costumes at Goodwill.  We had Dastardly Whiplash (AKA “The Villian”) all costumed out by Goodwill with a black cape and top hat, and even the moustache!

I ended up needing to get the red bandana, jeans and cowboy shirt at the Goodwill to for my little “HERO”.

For my costume I picked up a long, black skirt and victorian-esque blouse @ the Goodwill.

I had to ind REAL rope, which isn’t so easy, so I ended up buying it at the local Home Depot store.

This weekend also had me preparing for our Halloween party at work.  Since I’m temping as an Administrator in an Accounting Department, we decided to all dress up as “counts” so I re-used the villian’s black cape, added my own little BCBG black dress (that I picked up last year @ Goodwill for my baby shower party) and because there were NO vampire items left at Goodwill I had to venture out to the Seattle costume-mecca… Champion Party store for my fangs.  I tried to put the attachable fangs on this morning with SUCKED (figuratively, not litterally) so I ended up going with the Goodwill $1.29 trusty pair.  If your dressing up as Vlad, don’t buy those attachable kind… they are a waste of money!

I also picked up a little mini-shotgun for my little “HERO” @ Champion.

I also decorated our department and could not find black or orange streamers at the Goodwill so I ran down to Fred Meyer and picked up a couple packs 1/2 off $1.89.

This week while shopping for the last Halloween items I also happened upon a great sale @ the Bellevue Goodwill and picked up some cute shirts for the little guy for $1.29 and a Faconnable vest, merino wool sweater and BCBG dress for me for work.  There were so many items (like the cute Channucka cards) that I just made a pile of the tickets for you…

This picture is my “artistic” self-shot of my new outfit.

I also used those cute little “Trick or Treat” baggies I picked up @ the Goodwill to put Halloween cookies for my co-workers…

I “COUNT” wait till the office Halloween party this afternoon!  This company is so awesome to work for/in… I hope I stay here for a long time!


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Getting ready for Halloween @ Goodwill!

So if you’ve toured your local Goodwill lately you will probably see a TON of Halloween items out, ready for the big costume day!  I’ve had fewer shopping trips to the stores lately because of my schedule but also because I’m saving up funds for the big Seattle Glitter Gala and sale (check out their blog which shows a lot of the groovy items up for grabs this year!)… but I’ve still managed to get out and costume our family over the last month.

I still have a couple of things to find because I have two costumes to buy (one for work and one for our friends Halloween party) but I’m sure I’ll find what I need with the awesome assortment of choices in each of the stores!

So far, this last week I finished off our little guy’s costume for 1/2 price $1.99 each (and bought another swim top)…

While we were there our little one found a drum to bang on!  (only $2.99)

And I scored another cute Nordstrom-designer dress for only $5.99 with a JCrew sweater that was $5.99 also.

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Honey, what happened to my shirt?

If you’ve ever lived with me (in a relationship), you will know that I have a tendency to throw out things every once in a while.  I literally get so sick of seeing certain items that I just gather them up one day and consign, sell, give-away or donate them just to get it out of my sight!  It wouldn’t be so bad if all of this stuff was indeed mine, but yes, I am admitting to you now that I’ve tossed a couple of things that were not mine into the great fire-sale pile (like that FUGLY “avocado” shirt of an old boyfriend’s – geesh was that thing was FUGLY! – or my ex-husband’s favorite concert T-shirt that started a feud between us that we could still be fighting about today if we didn’t already go our separate ways).  And yes, there is a story about why I fire-sale off my (and other people’s) stuff which I will save for another date *hint-hint* I have a few hoarders in my family.  Enough said.

So if you read this blog you will also know that two weeks ago was one of my famous fire-sales (again too with other people’s stuff) and that I (or should I say “WE”?) donated a bunch of stuff to the Goodwill.  Great!  I encourage (and live by excellent example obviously) donating items to help out your local nonprofit thrift-store.  Well, turns out I goofed and accidentally put my bathing suit in the donation pile.  Oops!

Now normally this wouldn’t be a problem… but I found out at 7:30 the morning I went to go put on my suit because our little guy started swimming lessons at 9:45.  Oops again!

Immediately what came to mind was “CRAP!  I’m gonna have to go to Target or some other retail store because the Goodwill is NOT going to have a swimsuit during the offseason, let alone in my size!”

So for days I hesitated going into a Goodwill, first of all because as I’ve stated a couple of times lately that I’m pretty busy with my family, work and college coursework… but mostly I shunned the stores because I was so super-pissed at myself for doing such a stupid thing!  I mean come on… it’s not like they can even sell my swimsuit… basically, it was like just throwing it away which made me even more pissed at myself!

But, eventually I got off my self-bashing-session and mustered up the courage to quickly check out the Dearborn store for any remnants of a suit before I headed into what has becoming no-man’s land to me during this year-long-challenge… that of the suburban strip-mall retail stores.

Guess what?  I actually found a suit!  The ONLY one-piece suit they had, brand-new and in my size?!!  I couldn’t believe it!  And I even found a swim-top for the little guy so he would stay warmer in the water.

Again, the Goodwill has got my back with an item that I thought for sure I wouldn’t find in their stores!

So since the great swimsuit donation a couple of weeks ago I’ve decided to swear off being so hasty in my futures fire-sales.  And I’ve also decided to possibly just box things up for a while before I get rid of them all together that way if I want them back I don’t have to go buy them again.

I bet my ex-husband and boyfriend would have appreciated me learning this lesson oh say about 15 years ago!  But then again… who ever is wearing that FUGLY avocado shirt got a screaming deal and I won’t EVER have to see that thing again!  (oh please, please, please…*crossing fingers* let me hope so!)

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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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Gift cards and Goodwill

For months I’ve been looking for items to buy my two tween nephews for their September birthdays… but when it came to the night before and I still had not found anything off their list of goodies, I ended up buying one of the few items I did not get at the Goodwill this year… Barnes and Noble gift cards.

But, I knew we would be able to shop at the Centralia store while we were visiting, so it wasn’t going to be a entirely free Goodwill weekend.

We arrived to watch both boys soccer games and my little one did some soccer kicking of his own…

From the soccer fields at the High School we traveled into downtown Centralia and while on our way came across a street performer!

Add an ImageIn all the years I’ve lived and visited Centralia I’ve NEVER seen a street performer there… let alone a Steampunk-ish one!

The Centralia Goodwill was chalked full of Halloween goodies and great visual displays!  This display even had an interactive parrot, PERFECT for interacting with the customers!

With all the Halloween items, displays and signs around I was inspired to get some of our Halloween outfit items.  Luckily, we found a couple of things for the little guy and his daddy.  I’m not going to tell you who we are going to be yet… but I will unveil our costumes before the holiday to show you what is possible when shopping for Halloween at the Goodwill.  Maybe you will figure out who we are going to be before then?

I also found a couple of great coats for the little one and me.  You can never have to many wash-n-wear items with a toddler around AND when they are designers like J Crew, even better!

We were about to get into the car after shopping at the Centralia Goodwill and I spotted a sign down the sidewalk of the strip mall that read “Thrift Store” so we decided to stop in.

The “Growing Places” Thrift Store had just opened up a week prior and oddly enough, Growing Places nonprofit is one that I worked with at my last job!  It was great to see a new Thrift Store in the area and to know that the youth farming mission that Growing Places supports will be moved ahead with this new shop!  So if your in the area shop the Goodwill AND this new little store.  Your money and/or donations will be supporting TWO great causes in the Centralia area!

We found all sorts of great items at the Growing Places Thrift Store and ended up walking away with a whole bag full of friendship bracelet thread (I have more bracelets on my agenda for holiday gifts) for only .50 cents!!

After all the shopping it was time to go back to our nephew’s house to enjoy an afternoon with the family.  We also spent some time with Nana feeding and petting the bunny rabbits.  Ah, life on a farm is just so amazing, especially when you see your children enjoying nature like this….

In the words of Ice Cube… “Today was a good day!”

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