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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Target 75% off

7 Target stores, 7 hours later and this is what I have to show for it!Shopping the 75% off Christmas sale is a yearly tradition in our home. Over the years I have definitely purchased my share of decorations, but now that I have 9 themed trees totally decked out, I mostly concentrate on gifts. With 6 daughters we need lots of birthday presents during the year. We also have Christmas parties for each of our daughters and their friends. Another tradition I shop for is our advent calendar. Each of our girls receives a gift everyday from December 1 thru December 24. These are usually candy, jewelry, games, etc. My tween recently told me this is her favorite part of Christmas. With all of these things to buy, I completely rely on the 75% off sales. Now, this year was a little tricky- 75% off usually occurs somewhere between December 31 and Jan. 2. I started researching the morning of December 30th and found a posting on that said Chandler Targets had already gone 75% off. I quickly picked up the phone and began to call all my local Targets. Several of them told me they were still 50% off, but a few said yes! Christmas went 75% off that morning. It was already 9:30 when I jumped in the car with my 17 year old in tow to make it to the first Target. Throughout the day we discovered that many of the Targets that told me they were 50% off were actually 75% off, in fact, we only found two stores that did not go 75%. No worries, there is always plenty of merchandise to go around. Here are some of my favorite finds:
These stocking kits will be perfect for the craft at my 6 year olds christmas party. Each one was 1.24
Cute pajamas! Just remember to buy one size larger. These were $3.74

Die Cast Thomas the Train for $3.74. Perfect stocking stuffer for my baby.

Lamp, alarm clock, ipod charger/player for $6.25

This tin tea set by Schylling was only $3.74

This reed diffuser will be a perfect gift and it was only 3.74
This playdoh set will be a perfect gift for my 6 year olds friends at her christmas party. They were only 1.49.

These Disney princess lipgloss and nail polish sets were $1.24 each, but will make great birthday gifts for little girls.

This bath and body set for $2.49 will be used next christmas as a gift in our exchange game.

This bath and body set for 2.49 will make a great birthday gift.

Hope you are all inspired to check out your local 75% off christmas sales. If you're in the Mesa, Arizona area, don't worry, as of this morning there is still a ton of stuff! Good Luck. Love, Kelly

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Double Surprises and My Ebay Disappointments of the Week.

Sometimes you get a surprise that leaves you a little, well . . . shocked. But what if it's a
Double Surprise!

Like this little situation.

Reef did all this just to get to the “sword” at the end of the rainbow.

Double Surprise?

Mayer's reaction.

This breakfast disaster was a surprise.

Double Surprise?

The dogs cleaning it up.

Mayer surprised me by trying to fix the sprinklers.

Double Surprise?

The dogs running through the house, soaking wet, sliding all over the living room floor (I didn't even have time to get a photo of this one).

Once again, Mayer (he's just at that age) surprised me with a little art work. On my DESK. WITH PERMAMENT MARKER!

Double Surprise?
Look at how well he's writing the letter "M." Wow, that's my boy. Preschool is really paying off.

This fox shawl at a yard sale was a bit of a surprise, in a kind'a cool way.
Double Surprise?
These super funky Monk Jars were from same home as the shawl.
Surprises on Ebay can go either way. Today I'm posting my Ebay disappointments in the format of Double Surprise.
Be sure you're sitting down.
It get's brutal.

I just read about Peabody coat's in December's In Style Magazine. They're the hot winter item and I had one to sell from Old Navy. I had over 20 hits from interested customers, but this darling jacket only sold for $1.78.
Double Surprise!
It sold to a customer in Hawaii.

Chico's Travelers are always a big seller for me, but to my
Double Surprise,
these double items sold for .99 cents. What gives?
It was so difficult packaging them up. Good-bye and farewell. Sniff sniff.

Black House White Market. I love this brand. I think I've taken it personally at this point, because I always buy this brand but they never sell well. These gorgeous diamond studs on the pockets were a Double Surprise to me. New, pants like this sell for over $100.00. At Goodwill, they were listed at $24.99, but I was able to pick them up on dollar day. Lucky me, they sold for $1.45.
The diamonds . . . the diamonds!
I've been the same way with J. Jill. This is a very expensive label, but lately it hasn't sold well on Ebay. The Double Surprise is it was a Plus Size 18 Chocolate Brown skirt. You know how I feel about Plus Sizes. They always sell better then regular sizes, but after two weeks on Ebay, it hasn't even sold yet.
I'll get over my Double Surpise's soon, but they real question is will you?

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Best Friend Tiffany

There’s no doubt that when garaging you’ll find tons of stuff you want need. But every once in a while you find a treasure so amazing that even the most experienced garagers will look at you in disbelief. Rewind to a few weeks ago. I’m at a garage sale and I notice an old Jewelry box. It was sitting up high on top of a cabinet, but I could see a few necklaces hanging over the edge. I reached up to get a better look at a silver colored necklace with a heart shaped charm that I thought my twelve year old might like. Upon further inspection I decided it would make a fabulous stocking stuffer for my tween. I asked how much and the lady replied 50 cents. I paid my two quarters and made my way back to the car. While waiting for Mr. Right to finish looking at something else I noticed that my new treasure felt a little heavy. “Maybe it’s real silver” I thought. So I began looking for a silver stamp. “Yup, there it is”Then I saw & Co. engraved next to the stamp. I couldn’t make out the complete inscription so I decided to check it out with Mr. Right’s reading glasses when we got home. Long, long story short… When I put on the glasses there it was… Tiffany & Co. complete with Paloma Picasso’s signature! (A designer for Tiffany's) This stocking stuffer just bumped itself up to an official present! All I needed now was an official Tiffany’s box. Mr. Right and I made the drive to Scottsdale to the Tiffany store. For $15 they sent it out to be hand polished. They then packaged it nicely in a suede pouch, box and cute little Tiffany’s bag. My 20 year old was a little disappointed it wasn’t for her, but other than that it was a huge Christmas hit.
Gotta love Garaging. Love, Kelly

Ten Things I've Learned From Rachel Carson

I have a dear friend whom I’ve never met. In fact, she was dead before I was even born. If I think about this fact for too long, I want to cry. I find myself thinking of her everyday. I call on her words when I need inspiration. I believe there is life after death. I want to have a nice long talk with her by the sea someday.

In one word I can describe Rachel Carson:


She cared for the world before the words “environmental issues” were ever spoken. A visionary? She saw herself as a writer first, than a scientist. I see her as my hero.

Rachel Carson was born in 1907 and died in 1964. In her short life she wrote several pieces of literature. My world changed in 1996 when I read a book called The Edge of the Sea. Writing so passionate and poetic; it felt like reading scripture.

If I dared to introduce my own writing genre I would call her writings: nature romance. Her words take me dancing in the forest on a bed of damp ferns. I’ve heard we may forget facts, but we don’t forget feelings. When I’m out in nature, I feel Rachel Carson’s words speaking to me through my feelings.

Think of the most wonderful attributes about a child you love.

Rachel displayed those very attributes throughout her adult life. She loved being outside. She carried buckets and pails with dirty worn-out shovels. She got on her hands and knees to look under rocks. She drew pictures of the birds and un-hatched eggs in their nests. Crabs were always fascinating, as were starfish, sea urchins, snails and other creatures that were always changing. Water was something to be touched, not just looked at. It didn’t matter if it was cold, she wanted to be exploring outside. One particular outing, she was gazing at a tide pool of little creatures. After several hours, her knees buckled. The cold water left her legs numb. A friend lifted Rachel’s petite frame and carried her back to shore, but like a child, she couldn’t wait to get back into the water.

In honor of Rachel, I named my little son Reef Carson.

He already loves the sea.

And creatures of the sea.

Here are ten things I’ve learned from Rachel Carson:

  1. Watch birds
  2. Carry a journal when out in nature
  3. Learn from a child’s natural curiosity
  4. Real women wear gloves
  5. Anything radical is not pure
  6. It’s easy to protect the earth when remembering who created it
  7. Write letters to friends
  8. Study what you love
  9. Visit the ocean regularly
  10. Honest and passionate writing can change the world

Thank you, Rachel, for all you’ve taught me and my children.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa Shops For Bargains Too

Christmas at our home was so sweet.
I love the innocence of my children, the joy in their faces when they open a present on Christmas morning. Last year for Christmas Payson asked for hand sanitizer and gum. This year his requests were just as sweet & simple; jewelry cleaner (he likes to clean my and the counselors rings) and gum.

The last few months, Santa’s been collecting toys and goodies at thrift stores and yard sales.

Here’s what our Christmas looked like.

This little vintage Sesame Street Playhouse came with all the original pieces. I remember playing with this when I was little. It has a trapdoor, slide and merry-g0-round. Santa paid $5.00 at a garage sale.

Santa thought these wooden block construction trucks would be great. Santa found these at Mesa Thrift for $4.95.

And a large wooded choo choo train. Oh Reef, what fun we'll have with this. $9.95 is a great price for this catalog treasures.

Garage sale - $3.00. It even has working batteries. I couldn't buy the batteries for that cheap.

Mr. Bear Bear weighs about 40 pounds. Santa found him at Mesa Thrift wearing a Schnapps vodka vest. Santa paid $4.95 for him and threw the Schnapps vest in the trash.

The choo choo is a hit.

As is the Curious George hammer and nail set.

Chandler and Payson at first site. Santa did get them scooters. It's hard to find these used, but buying them on black Friday isn't too bad either.

Look at the love in Payson's eyes. He's a great big brother to Reef.

Payson got this silly plate full of nails. He can press his face into it and it leaves his image behind.

More goodies from yard sales.

Reef loves his ambulance that Santa got at Goodwill. It works great and once again, already with batteries.

Chandler didn't ask for a new chair for his desk, but he's still glad Santa left him one.

I just have to share my Christmas cards. I found two packs of these holiday cards this summer at a garage sale for $1.00 each. They were in their original packaging and the price tag read $21.50. I loved how they turned out.

My favorite part of Christmas - seeing my sweet boys faces.