Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. In our opinion, Repurpose should be added to the list of suggested ways we can all do our parts to help this great planet we live on. We’ve been repurposing things forever! And not because it’s trendy – we do it because we actively want to do our part to reduce our carbon foot print. And think about it – Goodwill has been reusing and recycling forever too!
In honor of Earth Day – we’ve decided to focus our repurposing efforts on our four legged friends. First up was a pet bed made from an old piece of luggage. First step was giving it some feet. We knew any pup would love his/her bed being elevated a bit. We always have small branches laying around – so they became the feet. We did place some felt chair leg covers over them to protect the floor. Using the fibers from a pillow, we crafted our own comfy cushion with a t-shirt. Once the cushion was in place, we used an afghan to make it even more plush. Last but not least we added some embellishments just for fun.
Once we had this project done we just started playing around with t-shirts. We ALWAYS have a ton of t-shirts so we made quite a few toys for both dogs and cats with them and a fun little cave for our kitties. The cave was a huge hit. It was made simply by wrapping a t-shirt around a box. The neck opening became the entrance. The dog toys were made by braiding and knotting t-shirt strips that we pulled on until the resembled ropes. Cat toy balls have catnip inside them and no cat can resist ribbons – even if they are made from t-shirts.
Overall our pets were quite pleased with our creations… and we thing yours will be too.
There are tons of Earth Day events going on. Make sure you take part in something and learn a thing or two on how to better take care of our planet.
It’s official! I have finally have a goal I really want to achieve. When I grow up I want to be a five year old! Lol! Okay… so I really don’t want to be five again – but the latest trend has me over the moon and thinking like a child. What is it that has me so giddy? COLORING BOOKS! As an adult, I don’t think I’ve ever lost my interest in coloring… but there is something about coloring Barney or Clifford that just didn’t appeal to me, so often time I would make my own coloring page using clip art. Now I don’t have to. Coloring books are everywhere! Including your local Goodwill store. We picked these up at the Burton store Grand opening along with colored pencils for $1.50 each – which is an amazing bargain! Ones on Amazon and Barnes & Noble were selling from $5-$12 and the colored pencils were equally as pricy. So… to say we love the ones at Goodwill for $1.50 is an understatement!
There are huge benefits to coloring. It’s relaxing, a great way to reduce stress and just all around fun. It’s a cheap way of tuning out. And more importantly? It’s something you can do with your kids! Who doesn’t love quality family time… and even without the kiddos – it’s a nice mindless way to put an end to your day. When you’re coloring, the most important decision you have to make is what color to use. Ha! That’s the kind of decision making I’m up for at the end of a long day.
While the supply of coloring books might be low right now – Goodwill does expect to replenish that supply in about two weeks. So keep your eyes peeled for the lasted editions of adult coloring books at the store.
So… It’s January in Michigan. While Mom Nature has been very kind to us this winter, the desire to be outdoors and on the go much is still significantly reduced; just like it is during any normal winter in Michigan. Every year about this time I’m looking at things in the house, hating how dull and empty it looks now that the Christmas décor is put away… and thinking what can I do to add a punch of interest into my house. It’s this time of year that I’m looking at art in general. But… like any true thriftier – I’m a tight wad! I don’t like spending a ton of money on stuff and this category is no different. I’ll never have an original Picasso – but a print of the original works for me too.
This is one of my favorite finds in framed art. It’s one I’ve had for several months and it’s been moved to multiple places in the house during this time period. The frame alone caught my eye and over the months it has become one of my favorite pieces of framed art. I picked it up at Flint Township for $39.99; which is about 1/3 of what I would have paid for the frame alone! This piece is HUGE! It's about 30" by 40" and sits perfectly on the mantel.
|Quirky with black frames always work well in my house. If for no other reason than having the ability to repurpose the frames using my own photos. But these two are part of a collection that hang in my study/art room. Both were picked up for $2.99 each.|
|The final one proved to be a challenge to photograph… so take my word for it – this piece of framed art is awesome! It reminds me why I enjoy feeding birds and lets me enjoy the one bird I’ve been unable to get to come to my feeders – the blue bird. This one I picked up in Owosso for $1.99.|
Over the years I’ve cultivated quite a collection of unique wall hangings that are often donated right back to make room for new. At thrift store prices you can change your mind on a whim without breaking the bank.
Goodwill Outlet Store shopping… really is like no other Goodwill shopping. When you enter the outlet you are met with giant blue tables loaded up with everything imaginable. While at first this can seem so overwhelming – finding one really amazing item is all it takes to cause the “hunter” mode in your brain to kick in. I’ll admit. I was skeptical. Within my first five minutes I saw the best album cover ever created by a group of creative people. There is nothing about Chiqui Chi that holds any interest musically… but that art work! Then I found this fabulous leather purse! Hooked for sure! All my opinions on digging in bins have been pushed to the wayside and I’m chomping at the bit for the bins to be rotated out so more treasures can be found!
So – what is the Outlet Store? It’s everything that didn’t sell at one of our store or anything that didn’t make the grade to land at one of our stores. The bins start with fresh stock every morning and are then rotated out, replaced with fresh stock again twice during the course of the day.
You will find furniture priced for next to nothing that may need some TLC or a good cleaning. We have a ton of ski's for $2/set.
You will find a miscellaneous selection of electronics and other things priced dirt cheap. Everything else is priced by the pound. Clothing, handbags, shoes, toys and house wares are $1.29 a pound. Glass and books are $.39 a pound. You fill up your cart, roll it onto the scales, pay for your things and off you go.
Some example of things found in the store this morning:
Some rules to keep in mind while outlet shopping:
When bins are being rotated – you have to wait until the bins come to a complete stop in the assigned location and the staff have removed the cover before you can shop them.
No pushing/shoving. Be nice to everyone. :-)
Use caution when digging through the bins – there could be sharp/broken items in them.
Keep your kids with you. They aren’t allowed to be unaccompanied.
No food/drink are allowed in the store.
All sales are final – so check your stuff before you buy.
Head to the Outlet Store. Feed your inner bargain hunger. Happy shopping!
|I love Christmas! Everything about Christmas makes me happy…even the madness of shopping for that perfect gift is fine with me. But what puts a smile on my face bigger than anything is decking out the entire house for the holiday season. This year when we opened A Very Goodwill Christmas at our Averill location – we made the decision to mark things dirt cheap and I think we succeeded in doing that all the way around. Now…the downfall of having a Christmas store with items that are dirt cheap? What to do with all the cool things! Last weekend we picked up a couple of the large tubs that had miscellaneous Christmas decor. The tubs were $4.99 each - so we thought we had NOTHING to lose by taking a couple home. We are glad we did! We found enough pretty, vintage ornaments to fill two large bowls and even found the cutest little glass bird that we believe is from the late 40's. And still had a ton of ornaments for the trees.|
My Dad had an opinion about ice cream…no matter how big the meal there was always room in your tummy for ice cream. It just melts around the food that is already there. Lol! He has a similar opinion on Christmas decorations. There’s always room for more Santas, more nativity sets, more ornaments, more TREES… and I am my Father’s daughter. We just started decorating the house this past weekend and already there are FOUR Christmas trees up. Three are fully decorated and one…the giant one we picked up yesterday, still is waiting for its baubles. The giant tree is 10 1/2 feet tall... and since we used our calendar coupon the cost was $65. In addition to the tubs we picked up several little sit-around decorations that we have put EVERYWHERE!
If there is free space on a shelf or a table - it is getting a decoration. Most of these we picked up for less than $.49 each. At these prices we even found appropriate decor for EVERY room in the house.
So what’s not to love about Christmas? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! A long time ago we made the decision to make Christmas about celebration vs. buying presents that none of us could really afford to buy. We set limits that were within everyone’s (and I mean everyone’s!) budget and we stuck to it… trimming down the excess of that habit and truly enjoying family, faith and festivity. It created a more heartfelt holiday that didn’t leave anyone with regrets over the gift they didn’t get or the one they were unable to give. But the decorations…with the help of Goodwill and other thrift stores, over the years, have ALWAYS been over the top.
Santa - part of a silent auction.
Purchased for $50.
The tree to his left was $4.99.
There is a racy little tv show put out by Netflix called “Orange is the New Black”. While this tv show may not be up your alley, this can become your new mantra heading into the autumn/winter season. Orange started showing up last year and held strong into spring/summer. But this year? Hold onto your hat! This new pantone shade is sure to add some punch to an otherwise drab season. And yes… Pantone has declared orange to be part of the trendiest colors for fall, 2015. While orange may be a challenging color – you must admit; there is something playful about orange. It’s not rays of sunshine like yellow, but it does emote a playful attitude.
Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Victoria Beckham all are showing orange in their fall/winter collections.
And so is your local Goodwill store!
The best thing about adding orange from Goodwill? At our prices – this really can be your disposable, fall 2015 look that you wear for one season and not lose any sleep over how much money you spent. We say give orange a chance this season. We find it to be a flattering shade for just about everyone. Another nice thing about orange? It pairs nicely with gray; which is also included in the list of “must have” colors for fall.
For those of you that love a good auction, eBay is probably your best friend. But what you may not know is Goodwill has online auctions just like eBay. All items posted are what our team thinks are unique, interesting, antique or otherwise special in some way or another. It also ensures we have access to customers all around the world… something that just isn’t possible with our brick and mortar stores.
First thing today one of our team popped into my office to tell me about this great bike that we had on Shopgoodwill.
It was a bike he was interested in, but the auction had ended and he fell asleep before getting his bid in… and he was kind of kicking himself over that. He REALLY wanted the bike. Fast forward to 5:45 a.m. today… This particular employee was coming into work and saw a man he didn’t recognize in the parking lot wandering around. Now – being the person he is, he approached the man and struck up a conversation with him. Seeing a stranger in the parking lot that early in the day – he wanted to make sure everything was okay. The man informed him he was waiting for us to open so he could pick up an item he won on Shopgoodwill.com. What was the item? The bike… lol! Our team member was a bit gutted, now seeing the person who would be getting “HIS” bike. Seems this man had taken some vacation time off from his job and took the bus in so he could ride his bike back home… Did we mention he lives in Lisle, Illinois? Lisle is about 30 miles west of Chicago, btw...
We like this guy, his name is Byron… genuinely a nice person with an amazing outlook on what the future holds for him. He called his purchase "A once in a lifetime find, so much better that he expected...and couldn't wait test it out on the road back home." Thank you for your purchase, Byron... and for giving us a great story to tell that has all of us smiling today. We would like to extend our wishes to him for safe ride back to Illinois. Mother Nature sure looks like she’s going to be kind to him on this return trip.
Back to school shopping has NEVER been easier than a trip to “A Very Goodwill Christmas” located inside Courtland Center Mall in Burton. This year we’re opening our Christmas store early to make back to school shopping easier and so much more economical. This year’s Christmas store houses tons of great, new clothing items. This selection of clothing at this store is part of a purchase Goodwill made in an effort to increase the overall quality and variety of clothing we have to offer. At this store you'll see Guess, Abercrombe & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Levi and Nike to name a few... what's not to like about that!
Fleece and jeans are always the perfect combination for school; particularly when the weather starts cooling off….. and at $4.99 each or 3/$12 for the fleece and $5.99 each or 2/$10 for jean – you can’t go wrong with this!
Looking for school uniforms? We’ve got you covered on that front too. We have some really nice khaki’s and solid polo shirts. And you can always top with a solid hoodie.
While back to school shopping may remind us that summer is over and it's time to hit the books... we think it's another excuse to shop! And why not make the most of your back to school budget by shopping at A Very Goodwill Christmas for brand new, name brand stuff!
The Michigan Renaissance Festival is a little over a month away and we couldn’t be more excited! We have a contest going on encouraging people to create their own costumes. We’re in the process of doing said creation for our own (multiple) trips to the festival… so we thought we would share some inspiration for anyone who thinks they aren’t creative enough to make their own costume.
In our opinion – if you’re trying to create something for a woman; two things are important. One being long skirts and the other being a corset. While we have seen some corsets in Goodwill stores over the years – we did decide a couple of years back to purchase a new one. It is our one indulgence in our costume. We did manage to make this purchase while the site was having a sale… which helped us keep costs down.
So back to our costumes for this year. While visiting the Imlay City store we found perfect components. A wonderful burgundy skirt that looks quite rich and two blouses that are PERFECTLY Renaissancy… The skirt and one of the blouses was $3.99 each and the other was ½ price, so we snagged it for $1.99. During a visit to the Burton store earlier this year – we found the necklace ($1.99), hat ($1.99) and the booties ($5.99).
The one really creative part to this costume is below…. Over two years ago we found some wonderful, lightweight upholstery fabric at the Midland store for $5. It’s a large plaid with the perfect colors to compliment this combination. It’s been sitting in our closet waiting to be used. We’ve decided to create an over-skirt for our Renaissance outfit. We also found a puffy slip at the Fenton store during the 1/2 price sale - which means we got it for $3.50! both of these really "finish" the bottom 1/2 of our outfit.
Time to get creative! The contest ends August 10th. The winner will receive 4 tickets to this year’s festival. Good luck!
Whimsy in the garden is such an easy thing to add… and if you’re like us, we don’t have any formal gardens, we simply enjoy having fun and creating beauty – in whatever fashion strikes our eye… Goodwill stores and whimsy go hand in hand. You know we’ve been creative when it comes to our gardens from previous posts. But most of the times our gardens tend to take on a more girlie look. So we were thinking – what can we do to make gardening interesting for boys… and still serve our need for silliness, Silliness that does nothing more than make us smile.
We landed on using trucks as planters… and we think they are absolutely adorable! And they look really pretty with succulents or other low-growing plants.
We found our truck at the Flint Township store and used our coupon – so it was only $2.80 + tax. We also found the bird cage at the Holly store and created this fun little group with our favorite gnome. We are now on a hunt for more! This gardening thing… can be quite addicting. Lol! Somewhere a long time ago I ran across a quote… something about the fasted way to calm a child who is wound up – is put dirt in their hands… Our suggestion for this summer: find the time to garden with you kids. It will provide a type of stress relief you can’t find anywhere else.
For the past few years – Fairy gardens and all things Fae have been ridiculously popular. Every garden center you pop into has a section dedicated to all the small things you need to create your own little heavenly garden for the winged creatures… and when you have a seven year old in the picture, every year must be bigger and better than the last! The adults do share her enthusiasm… but goodness, can it get expensive. The simple houses seem to have a starting price of about $35 and then you need all the accessories to keep the Fairies happy. So… we decided to get creative to see how much we could do on a smaller budget.
We know most people don’t give the Christmas section much attention during the summer. Heck – who wants to deal with packing it away until Christmas or stashing it somewhere only to be forgotten. We felt the same way… until we realized the lighted Christmas houses were the perfect size for our fairy garden. All that was needed were some natural elements to cover up the Christmas look… that and a supervised hot glue gun. :-D
Due to a malfuncting camera – we don’t have most of the before shots. But we found 4 houses for about $3 each at various stores around Flint. And the perfect little coffee pot that seemed to have promise. As far as our natural elements go – most were found around the neighborhood. We did purchase a couple of small stems of fake flowers and one bag of moss. Total costs for these less than $10.
So… for less than $25 we have five really awesome fairy houses that add a really unique touch to our garden…. Which left us a few extra dollars to buy some really sweet faries to add to the community.
You all know we’re crazy about gardening here at Goodwill. We’re so crazy about gardening we plant a garden at our corporate office. Nothing like green, living things to brighten your outlook on any given day! But we digress… the purpose o f this post is adding unexpected color to the garden.
Ever notice all the crazy, stained-glass lights you ALWAYS see at thrift stores? Most of the time one of the glass pieces has a chip and is sitting there looking unappreciated. For whatever reason – we started noticing them and was thinking about how we could add some color to our flower beds using these crazy lamps. So far we’ve rescued two. One is flipped upside down and is sitting along the edge adding a pop of blue… a color that is seldom seen the in flower garden.
|The other one is hanging from a shepherd’s hook near the garden shed… and with the sun setting it casts an amazing shadow on the building.|
We love these crazy pops of color that our long-forgotten lamps are casting in our garden… now to find some more!
As you may know - we're HUGE fans of local blogger Tashia Perry who does Mama Gone Thrifting. If you caught her monthly segment on ABC12 this past Saturday - you know she found a really spectacular dress at one of our stores and she's giving it away to a local deserving teen. Don't you LOVE this dress!