Tag Archives: postaday2011

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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Weekend warriors

We took a drive down to visit some family this weekend in Centralia, WA.  I did not have any thrifting in our plans but it happened anyway.

Being that it was a weekend AND that it was absolutely gorgeous weather… the garage sale signs were out in FULL FORCE just calling our name… so we pulled into a couple.

Immediately we found some great treasures, and ALL of them at the church garage sale were only .25 cents each!!!

The little one scored this awesome Fischer Price “popcorn” toy, a cowboy hat and horse (with real “whinny” and “galloping” sound effects) just in time for Halloween costume shopping!  And mommy found another antique glass lighting fixture which I’ve been making into those flower/candle holders as gifts…. ALL were only .25 cents each!  (that price is worth a second mention!)

I think we ended up going to like 4 or 5 garage sales and scored some beautiful antique “Made in Japan” bamboo bowls, a pair of wood/metal shoe horns, some kitchen towels and whole box full of magazines (for free, thrown in for good luck) for $2.  I was just grovin on the deals this fine summer day!

Then we attended the Centralia Classic Car show downtown.  So many beautiful cars!  I grew up in a family that buys 2nd hand, including their cars too.  Mostly we had classic chevy’s (like our “family” car which was a 56′ Nomad or my dad’s “roadster” a 55 chevy) since that is papa’s “thing”.  Boy do I have some stories of us drag-racing down Centralia’s streets before they banned cruising (Centralia used to be the BIGGEST cruising destination back in the day!) and other odd-ball adventures with my parent’s classic cars.  I too inherited the 2nd hand car bug and purchased my 1968 convertible Bug back in 1992 which I still have today.

Anyways… if your a thrifter or a classic car lover like my family is, weekends like this last weekend are part of the excitement of our lives.  Our endless search for that “one” special deal, whether it is a classic car with one original owner and only 60k miles on it… or that rare book from a famous artist that ends up being one of only 5 in existence (more on that book later).  The “warrior” in us searches on for that one, special find… but us warriors also know that most of the fun is in the adventure of the searching itself!

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Back to school shopping

So my oldest is about to venture into the dreaded… MIDDLE SCHOOL in a couple of weeks.  You know, the place where tweens start to assert their social dominance… where the innocence of elementary school (and childhood) are quickly left behind for the latest TV show, iTouch game, hairstyle and Tshirt?!  A place where saying or wearing the wrong thing at any given moment can reek total havoc on the rest of your school existence?!!

Well, maybe it’s not that bad?…. yeah, right!

My son has been brought up with a very thrifty family who has taught him not to been afraid to shop at thrift stores (or still play with Legos) up until this point and I’m not going to stop now (at least until he cries “Uncle” for fear of total social banishment) so we head over to the main Seattle Dearborn and Bellevue store to check out their Back-to-school sales.

Immediately we were met with a Back to School display…

From there we toured the men’s section and rounded up quite a few trinkets for the school wardrobe… board shorts for $2.99, khaki’s for $4.99 each, some PJ pants for $2.99

I even found a couple of shirts for the little one while we were at it… both $1.99

My oldest found a vintage 1980’s leather jacket that he just LOVED… and it was 1/2 off $19.99!

It took a little TLC because it smelled like smoke, so we put it in the dryer on air-dry for a couple of hours which did the trick!

I even ended up finding some brand-new Sofft sandals for only $12.99 in our shopping!

Remember… lots of stores have Back to School specials out there but you cannot find the deals on the designer labels like you can at a Goodwill store, so visit one today!


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National Thrift Store Day

Last Wednesday was National Thrift Store Day… yep, our country has a national holiday for thrift stores, Yippee!

So we ventured out after work to check out the deals and came up with quite a few needed (and a couple just-because) items.

I’ve been on the search for new kitchen and bath towels lately and scored two Sur La Table beauties @ only $1.99 each!  We also needed a new pair of sandals for the little one since his (less than two months old) pair of Teva’s are falling apart?!!  I ended up finding this great-condition pair for only $2.99 and while I was looking found a beautiful BCBG Generation cashmere tank (with sequins) for only $5.99!

It will be 360+ days till the next National Thrift Shop Day in 2012 but that doesn’t mean you can’t search for deals everyday at your local Goodwill!


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Community Garage Sale

Last year I happened upon a quaint little town in southern Puget Sound called Steilacoom, and it just happened to be on the one day of the year that their entire town hosts a community-wide garage sale.

So this year, even though I have been buying everything from the Goodwill for my challenge, I decided to attend this event again and blog about it so that all the other 2nd hand/thrift lovers can discover more of these NW hidden treasures!

We arrived about 8:30am and the people were already starting to shop… so we parked and went straight to the downtown tennis courts where you can get a map of all the garage sales and see just how big this sale actually is!

I mean just look at all those homes having sales!  There was NO WAY I was going to be able to hit all these places in one day, so we started with the 30+ vendors in the commons area and worked our way out from there.

The morning was GORGEOUS… the items were plentiful but my little one was already getting antsy, so we strolled through quickly and didn’t find anything we needed but I did find an item that a friend possibly needed… these beautiful, antique canning jars

Unfortunately the jars were not the right ones so we headed down the street to the private garage sales.  A couple of blocks from town you can see why I ADORE this Puget Sound community…with views like this of the Anderson Island ferry docks (and besides having an amazing community-wide garage sale) this town is like heaven!

Down by the ferry waiting line we discovered a garage sale of mostly children’s items so we had a look.  Immediately I found a pair of Georgia Boots for only $2 and this was a HAVE-TO-GET moment!  I search the Goodwill racks all the time for good kids boots and never come across boots like these for only $2… my little one was quick to snatch them up and played with them for 15 minutes while mommy looked at other sales, another reason enough to pay $2 the entertainment factor alone!

We were walking back up the street, trying to hit as many houses as possible when we came upon a driveway were people were just grabbing stuff and a man was telling people that the owners said everything was FREE?  There was a bit of confusion at first since no signs or people pointed to this fact, so another women rang the doorbell and asked.  Yep, ALL the items were FREE said the man at the door.  Luckily, we happened to be standing besides a bunch of children’s items for the beach/boat so I started to grab up what we could (the first man had actually filled his trunk with all the items he snagging while the rest of us asked the owners, geesh… he could have had his own garage sale with the stuff he swiped up!) and so we did end up getting some great items that we used that afternoon down at the Steilacoom waterfront beach park!

I waited all year to go to this sale, and I would definitely recommend attending this event next summer but get there EARLY with plenty of $1 bills in hand, a wagon (the #1 accessory of the seasoned garage sale shoppers) and the map.  It’s really a treasure hunt in my opinion, with the first ones to the site gathering up all the booty (and sometimes FREE stuff!)

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Girls night out

Last week a friend contacted me saying she had an evening to spare and since we had been discussing getting together to do a Goodwill shopping trip for months, this was going to be a perfect time to do both!  Besides… she lives in Bothell, so I would be able to finally have an excuse to drive north to the Lynnwood Goodwill and check out that store finally!

So after work we drove over to the store…

The store is tucked behind main roads, in-between strip-malls holding other stores like Tuesday Morning.  We were there in the evening, so getting a good picture of the store was a bit difficult, but we managed to find lots of goodies inside!

Like these new shades that she found.  There are lots to choose from so if your in the mood for a new pair check out your local Goodwill!

We both looked for items on her shopping list…

And wouldn’t you know it… as soon as we started looking, some of those items on her list were found!

Her favorite score were these pair of almost brand-new BORN shoes!  I love finding these kind of brand-name-designer goodies!  In fact, the shoe department ended up turning out pretty good for her since she scored an almost-new pair of Timberland sandals for her soon too!

Of course I ended up finding some great items too…  such as this Hollister “Orange County” Tshirt for my oldest for $1.99 and this Gap Tshirt for my youngest for $.99 and a beautiful burgandy throw blanket for $2.99 and these fuzzy-warm slippers with hard soles for only $2.99.

Okay… back to work finding a job!  Goodwill International are you watching out for my resume?  😉


*UPDATE on Girls Night Out*

I asked my friend to answer a couple of questions for the LTGWL readers so that you can start to get an idea of other thrifters out there and how/why they choose to shop at thrift stores.  These are the questions and answers from Brianna

1.) How often do you shop at the Goodwill?

Brianna:  I shop at the Goodwill about 1x/month or look online for deals.

2.) What items do you look for when shopping at the Goodwill?

Brianna:   I look for items that my family or myself are currently in need of (ie:school stuff, furniture, etc.).

3.) What would you like to find more of at a Goodwill?

Brianna:  I would like to find more furniture at local locations more.

4.) What other thrift stores do you frequent and why?

Brianna:   I also go to Helping Hands thrift store, Saturday’s Child, and Me and Mom (mostly for children’s items, but for seasonal items too (rubber boots for my kids). 

5.) Why do you think it’s important to shop thrift/garage/2nd hand stores?

Brianna:  I think it is important to shop 2nd hand stores for any family on a limited budget, to teach our children to be wise and good stewards of the money that they do have. 

Thanks Brianna for sharing part of your thrift story!

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Sunday drive in the country

This weekend I worked again on looking for a job but I also gave my family some time away from the city to enjoy a nice, leasurely drive in the country.  We dropped off my oldest at the family farm outside Olympia and then ventured north-east to the new Yelm Goodwill.  

I was invited by the Tacoma Goodwill to the store’s opening earlier in July but was unable to justify the 2 hour (one way) trip from our home at that time.  Being a new job-search candidate, you can understand the frugality of not spending all the gas costs but since we wrapped it into an already scheduled trip this time we enjoyed the Sunday drive in the country!  The backroads through winding green fields and passing through small towns like Roy were  pleasant.  But when we got to the Yelm Goodwill store it was evident immediately how much work went into the opening, and how much of that work has remained in place a month later!

From the very first display case you see the visual appeal that was crafted by the store’s opening team.  Just look at all this vintage pottery and glass beautifully staged and inviting you into the store!

Yelm being a major family community (the home of Miss Washington 2008, Janet Harding) and of some of the best rural schools around the state… you can see the family focus immediately with areas for the children to explore like this play area.

And with a toy isle like this there are PLENTY of toys for children to find and explore while parents shop!  I found this refreshing to see Goodwill embrace instead of the normal intercom announcement to “watch your children” thereby making the rest of us parents feel alienated (even if we don’t have children with us in the store at the time!) from the rest of the shoppers and making us feel lesser because we shop with our children?!  It is a difficult boundary to walk as a prior retail manager, there are definitely parents that just let children run wild in the isles breaking things and taking advantage of the customer service aspect of retail.  But there are plenty of other parents that keep our children contained, responsible for any mess or damages that our children might create… and this store’s embrace of that was encouraging for this mommy to see.

The store staff was extremely nice, offering to help us a couple of different times.  The store is stocked with plenty of summertime product like swimsuits, towels and toys.  In fact one of the first things we found was a brand-new-in-package beach ball for $.99 cents.  We then proceeded to find a number of other miscellaneous items like a new package of organic yarn for $.99 cents and a children’s book by National Geographic that looked brand new.

We then continued onto the children’s clothing area and found a pair of ORANGE TAG PJ’s for the little one 1/2 off $1.99 and I found a new Target brand PJ top for ORANGE TAG 1/2 off $1.99!

With such a welcoming child/family area we went through the toy isle and ended up scoring a couple of vintage Fisher-Price toys!  The Food Mart was only $2.99 and the rocking-horse ball (that chimes when the ball moves) was only $.99 cents!

There were plenty of other items that I would of liked to seriously consider but with the extra-job-searching-frugality I decided to hold back and head toward the register.  Wouldn’t you know it… on the way to the register I passed a Calvin Klein button up khaki dress with the elusive RED TAG which meant it was only $1.29.  I held my breath as I tried it on quickly hoping that it fit for such a great price.  Yep!  It was a PERFECT addition to the job-search wardrobe I’ve been on the look out for lately.  Reassuring me that I still have the Goodwill GOLDEN touch, that is for sure!

The baby couldn’t wait for us to get the beach ball blown up and played with it and his new Fisher-Price toy the rest of the evening.  We are heading out after the nap this afternoon to try out the new toy at the beach!

We hope that everybody goes outside and enjoys this beautiful Seattle summer we are getting!  This week is more of the job-hunting for mommy and two interesting prospects for Goodwill shopping trips/blog posts concerning a family’s front room interior makeover and a local mommy that makes the most of her nonprofit employers funds by buying their Head Start group toys at the Goodwill!

Stay tuned for more summer interviews thrift-public and today being August 1st I will start reminding all our readers that August 17th is NATIONAL THRIFTSHOP DAY and Living the Goodwill Life is working on a national collaboration to celebrate the special day.  More to follow!……


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Another Donated day

This weekend we cleaned out our closets again and made our way down to the Seattle Goodwill to drop off more donations.

Just look at all those bins of goodies just waiting for new homes!

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Thrift Salvation

Yesterday we attended a rainy (but pleasantly NOT crowded) Bite of Seattle.  I always enjoy going to the Bite of Seattle to see new restaurants/foods to try. Unfortunately, I ‘m not sure if it’s too expensive/policy-ridden to attend or not worth as a restaurant anymore because the Bite of Seattle actually had LESS vendors for food and goods than the PRIDE festival actually did?!  Not only that but @ 6:30pm (a very typical dinner time) the entire “ALLEY” area that Tom Douglas created, and that supports a great local nonprofit Food Lifeline, was CLOSED??!!!  Not a good sign for the culinary lovers in the PNW.  😦 We need something new, the local markets are offering a BETTER culinary choice than this (supposedly) major Seattle festival!

Bite of Seattle… you need a desperate rehaul.  The newest and BEST item we tried this year was a free sample of Dave’s Killer Bread (the cinnamon bread, YUM!)??!!!

BUT, in the disappointment that the festival was to us I found some THRIFTSPIRATION from our local Salvation Army !  I’ve been thinking that thrift stores need to get on the festival/event bandwagon and start setting shop to offer the public 1.) more environmental options for purchasing (and believe me, purchasing an umbrella yesterday would of raked in BIG BUCKS!) 2.) provide event goers a NEW-NESS to the endless-boring-typical vendors at these events  3.)  get the THRIFT (and DONATE!) message out to the masses more!

I mean just look at this set-up!  Beautiful items for sale like bikes, furniture, designer clothing and accessories…the Salvation Army even had the tent nicely decorated with plants, asian screens, antique mirrors and antique retail counters!  The sales staff were extremely friendly and interested in the Living the Goodwill Life  challenge.  I couldn’t seem to pull myself away from the tent.

Now, of course, “I” can’t buy anything from Salvation Army this year… but I DID start this challenge to encourage Thrift LOVE, and to me that means LOVE to ALL thrift stores (as long as they are nonprofits).  So I wanted to showcase this brilliant idea of a traveling thrift store from the Salvation Army to you all and I think I’m going to use it as catalyst for another project I’ve been wanting to start posting about here on the blog… other thrift stores.  I know, you can get some of this information on the ALL THRIFTY STATES blog/documentary too, but Jenna doesn’t have time to showcase all the different thrifting options in the PNW area (unless we start to collaborate in the future on a NATIONAL thrift site?!  HEY, I’m talking to YOU JENNA!  *wink* *wink*).  So, I think I’ll start the reporting here, with the Salvation Army traveling thrift-store.

The tent is FULL of Gucci, Coach, Juicy, Men’s athletic jersey’s and italian shoes… the list goes on and on.  My oldest son seen my excitement for all the items (I couldn’t buy) and INSISTED that he buy’s me something from the Salvation Army!  I mean, how could a thrifter mom not be just so touched that your child wants to buy you something at a thrift store with their own allowance money?!  I was just welling up with appreciation…pride….LOVE for my oldest son’s desire to spread the THRIFT LOVE!

So, I ended up walking away with a brand-new grey designer (Target brand) T-shirt purchased by my oldest and a new curiosity for the Salvation Army stores and all the other stores I have on my Facebook page, I see on our way to the park, I work with at my nonprofit job… etc., etc., etc.

Thanks Salvation Army!  Thanks for being @ the Bite of Seattle this weekend!  Thanks for your beautiful merchandise to browse through during a dull event!  Thanks for your friendly staff help!  and THANKS for providing more exposure to the world (and benefits) of THRIFT shopping!  Oh, and Thanks for the *FREE* beautiful calendar!

If your going to the Bite, get there EARLY to attend the Alley and check out the Salvation Army traveling thrift store (over by the growing garden, kids/family area in front of the EMP)!  Goodwill, you have a great idea to watch here!

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Camps, Construction and Coffee!

This Friday morning, right @ opening, my boys and I entered the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill store to check out their GREEN TAG sale and look for a plain T-shirt for my oldest son’s camp.  He is in a fabulous Rock n’ Roll camp and part of their instruction is called “Rock Art” or otherwise known as marketing, smart huh?!  They teach the kids to make fliers, buttons, T-shirts and posters to not only market their final camp show… but to also SELL!  Not even many colleges teach young adults how to market themselves (let alone their practice) nowadays but this camp is teaching artists how to look at ALL angles of their passion… SMART!  Plus, a really great local musician Camille Bloom is the director (who ROCKS as both director and musician BTW!).

Anyways, we had 45 minutes to kill… and a very mellow store crowd (I really enjoy these early mornings or late evenings shopping @ Goodwill, they are so much more pleasurable than weekend afternoons!).

My oldest found his camp T shirt right away, as well as a Zoo York hat and I even found a great Italian paperboy hat in the men’s area!

I then checked out children’s because the little guy is quickly outgrowing his jammies and I ended up scoring a great blue-stripped pair!

As you can see, mommy made up for not finding anything the other day (the dressing room incident day) and found things at every turn!  Including this  amazing, silk, JCrew dress for only $5.99 that fits me like a glove!  You can’t beat that!  Besides, we have a beach wedding tomorrow that I’m quite sure this beauty will go perfectly with my JCrew flip-flops I purchased last summer!  I even found a great light-weight scarf to go with the ensemble!

We each left the store with some treasured items and even took a couple of minutes to watch the equipment tearing down the buildings.

Now all I need is a cup of coffee to complete this early morning adventure!

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