Tag Archives: Parents Tested Mommy Approved


Yes, you heard right my trusty Living the Goodwill Life followers… this challenge-blog is living ON!

Well, not exactly as you might think.  No, my year of “living” from just Goodwill is over but my challenge continues in my 2012 blog Parents Tested Mommy Approved (PTMA)!

-AND- there are discussions underway to keep a thrifting blog going as well!

So, follow my current adventures over on PTMA and see how I take on Parents magazine’s contributors, advertisers, suggestions and ideas with my own family and I will keep you posted about my thrift-adventures as they develop.

-Beautiful Existence

One Year, One Woman, ONE Adventure every 12 months!


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This is the end…. my friend.

Okay, I know the title sounds a bit morbid but I had that Doors song in my head, but reading this title begs me to wonder… is this REALLY the END for Living the Goodwill Life?

I have been in discussion with Goodwill for the Living the Goodwill Life to live on past 2011 so that all of us thrifters feel we have a place to continue our conversations with each other about our thrift finds, the things we would like to see, all that’s going on in our thrift-worlds, etc.  I dream that one day we too will have our own reality TV show and Las Vegas-style Convention where we all could meet in person and talk about American Thrifting!  I know these dreams could be a reality because I have been lucky enough to be at the helm of an entire year of American Thrift and boy, let me tell you… our community is HUGE!

I’ve been able to connect with people like Patrice J. Williams over in NYC with the blog “Looking Fly on a Dime” that is doing great ground work taking groups of people to thrift stores to score deals on designer-inspired looks!

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jenna Isaacson who did the thrift-store tour of America this last summer over at “All Thrifty States” and looks like she is doing another round of states and stores this year!  We are all anxiously awaiting your documentary film Jenna!

I have met the staff at Goodwill stores that are direct recipients of the dollars we spend in the stores finding our goodies.  Recipients where our dollars have quite literally changed their LIVES and the lives of their children!

I have gotten to know Goodwill stores and their missions to help in their communities from NYC to Portlandia and all the goodies in-between!

I have gotten to know the local Goodwill personalities like the wonderful Gary Foy over at the Bellevue Goodwill… the man with a thrift-shopping plan!

I have been lucky enough to share Thrifters wedding dresses and receptions… all built from 2nd hand treasures like this beautiful wedding dress found by Courtney… here is her story.

“I was casually looking at the dresses, when i saw it: the perfect wedding dress for me! It was hung up at the very end of a rack. Just waiting for me! It was antique lace, strapless, just the right look. I took a look at the price tag, and to my suprise it said $8.00!! I couldnt believe it. did I really just find my wedding dress for $8 at a thrift store? without even looking?! It felt too good to be true. so i took it into the dressing room, and would you believe it, it fit me like a glove! No alterations needed. It was as if the stars had aligned and I was granted a wish by my fairy godmother! I took it up to the register after shopping a bit and finding several other things that i couldnt live without (though none of them as spactacular as my dress) and there was a sale going on! all i had to do was to draw a paper fish out of a box and on the back of the fish was written “60% off”. So, in a nutshell, i found my dream wedding dress for $3.00!!
Immediately i got into my car and called all my friends and both of my sisters, unable to contain my excitement!! I love it so much, its exactly what i was looking for!”

Or how about this post I did in the spring on Kelli Kirk (and hubby) who furnished their reception with Goodwill pieces!

I have had the honor of being a national spokesperson for all of us Thrifters trying to not only show the rest of America the value of saving some money but being environmental and purposeful with our shopping choices as well!

My Northwest spot…

Komo 4 News spot this spring…

Komo 4 News spot at end of the year…

King 5 News spot (that ended up all over the country on various TV stations)…

I have gotten my family and friends to THINK THRIFT and step foot into a store after years (or never) thinking about this shopping option!

I have found treasures beyond even my wildest dreams that have stories of their own to still share.

I was lucky enough to not only model in the Glitter Gala fashion show (that was amazing!)

But spent the entire night in line to be 1st at the Glitter Sale just to break the Seattle urban legend about who gets in line and at what time!  (It’s about 3-4am that most thrifters start getting there BTW…)

I have spent some of the best parts of my life this year shopping at Goodwill stores with my boys and showing another generation how important it is to think about where your money goes!

And I’ve had the pleasure of meeting other multi-generation Thrifters who are out there teaching the value of Thrift too!

And I couldn’t have done all of this… I couldn’t of been LIVING the GOODWILL LIFE for all of 2011 without YOU!  The Thrift-Public of America!

Thank you for being a part of my first year of challenges.  Thank you for participating in my year of living Thrift.  Thank you for taking part and sharing your joy and love of Thrifting with us all!

Only 2012 will tell if the Living the Goodwill Life lives on but one thing is for certain…my curiosity to explore and report out on life, from a suburban-mom’s perspective is certainly living on in 2012.  If you are a parent, know parents or have any children around join me in my adventures of taking Parent’s magazine to task and exploring everything from their advertised products to their recommendations on relationships to the latest dinner recipes over at Parents Tested, Mommy Approved.

With much LOVE I close out my year of Living the Goodwill Life

Beautiful and her boys


Filed under Thrift observations, Thrift-spiration

Little media hints…

This holiday week started off with the KIROradio interview with Linda Thomas which you can read about more here.

Linda was a delight to speak with and I gave her a couple of hints of posts coming up next week that you can hear in the interview… namely the limited edition book from Harold Keeler that I picked up this summer (and found on the floor!) at the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill location for .97 cents but could be worth thousands!  Yep, this purchase could by far be one of the best I’ve ever scored in all my years of thrift shopping… and I want to share it all with you.

So watch next week for images of the book and for news of the gallery that might be showing it next summer!

Also, Linda reported out on the many, many receipts that I’ve been keeping for everything I’ve purchased this year.  So once I’m truly done spending money at the Goodwill (which literally could be up until December 31st!) I will tally them all up and show you what the final retail & Goodwill prices were and how much I SAVED this year!

Third, is my 2012 challenge where I will be taking Parents magazine, their articles, suggestions and yes… even their advertisers products, to task for a typical American family and blogging back to you how they worked (or didn’t) for us.  I will be sharing the link and my goals for the 2012 challenge “Parents Tested, Mommy Approved” in the post next week as well.

But for now… look for my last post on Goodwill holiday gift ideas this week for those last minute holiday shoppers and the other media interviews coming up in Seattle Met magazine and Seattle Times!

Leave a comment

Filed under Thrift-spiration