SHOP SMALL SATURDAY

images-3I’m the first to admit that I spend a lot of time and money at the big box stores like Walmart and Sam’s Club.  It’s convenient and I know what I need will be there for a reasonable price.  But today is going to be different because I’m going to check out some of the small businesses in my own back yard!  I’m excited because many of these stores are filled with unique items that I’d never find at a big box store!

When you’re Christmas shopping, it’s nice to find one of a kind gifts.  There’s nothing like walking into your Walmart after Christmas and seeing a whole rack of the same sweater you got…  am I right?  Maybe it’s a girl thing – but I think guys like to get unique items too.

It’s not easy to maintain a small business, and if we don’t want them to disappear, we need to do our part to frequent and support them.  Today I’m going to share some of my favorites and spark some interest hopefully in shopping at small businesses.

www.lucindaspoetry.webs.com

cyber-mondayIf you have enjoyed this blog through the years, then you will really like Lucinda’s devotional book “A Second Cup with Jesus”.  Her writing is so spot on and heartwarming.  I believe that the Lord will speak to you through it.  ❤images-222

chellees-pieVisit my friend Chellee’s restaurant in Marion, Kansas!  It’s called Aunt Mae’s (named after her mama).  I’m so very proud of her because I know it’s something she has worked hard to accomplish.  Y’all let her know I told ya to come see her, okay?  And save room for some of that delicious cherry pie!  Stay on main street and you can’t miss her place – it’s the cute little white place with a spacious parking lot.  Enjoy!images-218

https://www.facebook.com/toddscustomboards/?fref=ts&__mref=message_bubble

Check out Todd’s deal for today only…  a 10% discount on orders made today!

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imagesbk2p4f0zSome folks are not into antique shopping like I am…  but there are some amazing antique stores in my area!  I could never pay retail prices for Longaberger baskets, but sometimes I can find some good deals in antique stores and flea markets.

https://www.facebook.com/FlyingMooseAntiqueMall/?fref=ts

The Flying Moose Antique Mall here in Wichita is having some good sales on their stuff through Christmas.  I may see if they have a Longaberger acorn basket – I’m determined to find one for a reasonable price!  I’m patient…  the right one will come along.  😉  I have a few Christmas gifts to shop for as well.  That may be a destination for me today!

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https://www.facebook.com/Hen-Feathers-Quilt-Shop-137758583334/?hc_ref=ADS&fref=nf

If you have a quilter to buy Christmas gifts for, there are discounts to be found at Hen & Feathers Quilt Shop in Wichita, Kansas today!

And Wichitans should also think about supporting the small businesses in Old Town!  Sometimes they have pretty good sales and you’ll find unique items that those big stores don’t carry.

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lifeisagardenparty.blogspot.com

Judy Janowski is the very talented author of a wonderful book called, “Life Is A Garden Party”.  She writes poetry and prose that centers around gardens and the beauty of God’s creation.  If you want to read a book that is uplifting and positive in nature (nature…  see what I did there?)  I think you’ll really enjoy this wonderful book!  Sign up to follow her inspirational blog at this link also.

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Here are the kinds of shops that I like to go in and browse – and by browse, I mean not be rushed through.  LOL!

I like handmade stuff – soaps and such.  I like little boutique shops tucked away…  my heart beats a bit faster when I spot one of these out of the way places!soap-1209344__340

I also like the flower shops that are also antique stores – have you seen any of those?  What an unusual combination, but it works!

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There are literally hundreds of small businesses in communities all over the country.  These are just a few of the possibilities!  Don’t forget to click on these links not only for Shop Small Saturday – but on Cyber Monday also!

On Saturday the 26th of November, plan to shop small.  Bring along a bestie to help you carry your haul.  – seen on facebook today.

buy-1299519__340If you do take a bestie along to help carry your haul…  make sure you buy them a coffee!  I mean, seriously – that would be nice, don’t you think?  When you go to get it, think small…  remember, today is all about supporting the small businesses!  I would go along with a friend and carry bags for a good cup of coffee and girl talk and all that…  jus’ sayin’…  😉

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This special emphasis on small business has taken place the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2010, and the impact has been felt by small business owners everywhere.  It’s not easy to start a business these days, so everything we can do to support small business owners is greatly appreciated.  🙂

 

 

 

 

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LUKE 10:27 ON 10/27

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He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  – Luke 10:27

All means all – not just whatever part of your heart, soul and strength happens to be leftover after you’ve loved everything else that competes for your affection.  It’s so easy to love the things down here, isn’t it?  They are things we can see with our eyes and feel with our hands and sometimes smell a pleasant aroma.  We all have the struggle – at some time or another.  It’s a struggle to love God more than the people, places or things that surround us.  God is a jealous God and He wants all our heart, soul and strength.

share-a-smile-and-the-wayWe love God wholeheartedly by loving each other.  It’s so cool how that works, isn’t it?  We treat each other with mutual respect and with true love – an agape’ love that shows the love of Christ.

I met a sales person today at JC Penney that helped me above and beyond the call of duty.  She was not only doing her job, but I knew that she had a genuine concern for me as a person.  Maybe she could detect my frustration with the process of purchasing drapes – I don’t know.  It really can be frustrating when you need an economical solution for odd-sized windows.  I didn’t want to have to buy custom-made curtains.  Rich, I ain’t.

Between a couple of phone calls, she gave me her undivided attention.  She was patient and soft-spoken, which gave me hope that a low-cost solution could be found.  She was doing her job, yes – but she chose to do it with an extra dose of Christian love.  We all need to love God with everything in us and love people with the love that God gives us in return.

By the time my shopping excursion was over, we were laughing and chatting about all sorts of things!  The best news of all…  she helped me solve my drapery need for an odd sized window for under $20 including tax.  I was so very pleased.  I think I even jumped up and down – but I definitely gave her a big hug and thanked her.  I said, “God bless you” and that’s when I knew without a doubt that she and I serve the same Master.  How cool is that?

I wanted to invite her to my house for tea.  🙂

GOOD DEALS FOR TODAY

TL GOOD DEALS FOR TODAYIt’s TAX DAY 2016…  I know – don’t get too excited.

I’ve been surfing the deals for today and found a few businesses that would love to have you spend some of your tax refund with them.

  • Great American Cookies – Stop by participating locations and grab a free regular chocolate chip cookie — no purchase necessary.
  • Staples – You can shred 5-lbs. of documents for free for another year at Staples.
  • Schlotzsky’s – All locations will be offering a free small original sandwich with the purchase of chips and a drink today.
  • McDonald’s – Buy one get one free French fries.  Some locations have free small coffee.  Some locations have 18 cent Big Macs & Quarter Pounders when you buy one for regular price.
  • Hard Rock Cafe’ – Tonight you can SING FOR YOUR SUPPER!  Sing your favorite song on stage and get a free Legendary Burger!  All ages welcome.
  • Boston Market – Get a half chicken individual meal with two sides, a regular fountain drink, cornbread and a cookie for $10.40.  You know, 1040 – like the name of the dreaded form…  LOL!
  • Arby’s – Free curly fries.
  • Olive Garden – Comfort food – that’s what you need during tax week. Olive Garden will give you a free take home entree’ with an entree’ purchase (dine-in only).
  • Outback Steakhouse – Free Bloomin’ Onion – when you mention Bloomin to your server. I recommend calling ahead to make sure your location is participating.
  • Kona Ice – Giving away free tropical shaved ice.  The company’s trucks will be parked at post offices, tax preparation centers and businesses nationwide, handing out free cups of shaves ice and complimentary Hawaiian leis.  Their moto this year is NO TAXATION WITHOUT RELAXATION THIS TAX SEASON.
  • Sonny’s BBQ – Half price Sweet & Smokey or House Dry-rubbed Rib Dinner.
  • Sonic Drive-In – Half price single patty cheeseburger.

Hopefully there is something here that you can take advantage of today!  Saving money after paying taxes is as American as apple pie!  If I can help you do that, then my day has not been wasted.  🙂

 

 

WE’VE PACKED OUR DUDS… LET’S GO!!!

WE'VE PACKED OUR DUDS... LET'S GO!

There’s a major snow storm coming our way!  We’ve known about it for a few days and as temperatures reached the mid 60’s last Friday and Saturday, we decided to get out and enjoy it!  We headed south on 1-35 and on to the Kansas Turnpike.  In winter the Kansas prairie is not terribly interesting and there are leafless dead trees lining the highway, but as we got closer to the Oklahoma border, we saw the wind turbines waving at us!

In case you’re wondering, yes – I waved back.  Yeah – I didHello, happy little wind turbines!  Yes, I am FUN on a trip – pray for my poor husband, will ya???  IMG_0003Once we got past the waving turbines, we knew the Oklahoma border was not far away.  We stayed on the turnpike for another hour and a half once in Oklahoma – we got off at exit 194 and drove about 30 miles west on highway 412 to Enid, Oklahoma.  I love brand new adventures, don’t you? 

We found a few really nice antique stores, but sadly, a couple of the stores had gone out of business.  😦

Broadway Mall gets a 5-basket rating from this Longaberger collector!  The baskets were all over the store, so some hunting was required (but that’s part of the fun, right?)  https://www.facebook.com/broadwayantiquesenid/  LIKE them on facebook!

IMG_0004IMG_0005I took this photo from inside the truck – that’s why it looks like there’s a car driving on the roof – it’s just a reflection.  I assure you there was NOT a car driving on the roof!  https://www.facebook.com/Broadway-Exchange-528702237171093/  LIKE Broadway Exchange on facebook.

Not everything was antique, but I like to look at new stuff too, so that’s okay.  I found a couple of small baskets there because most of the antiques are large pieces like beds and dressers.  I liked this place because it’s so well-organized and there was plenty of room to walk around.IMG_0006Just a block from Broadway is Maine St. and look at that sweet ride setting there!  I just had to get a picture of it!  Then we went to the thrift store to look around.  Larry was looking for antiques (because sometimes you find the unexpected in thrift stores) and I was looking at vintage clothing.  Neither of us found a treasure – but that happens sometimes too.IMG_0007Here’s another blast from the past!  We were on our way to eat dinner at Chick-fil-A and were stopped at a traffic light.  I think that’s probably the original paint too – isn’t that neat?  Someone has taken very good care of it!

IMG_0008There are so many reasons to LIKE Chick-fil-A, but they impress me because:

  1. The employees serve their customers as if they are serving their MASTER, Christ Jesus (it’s Biblical – and it makes such a difference!)
  2. I heard children in the booth behind me saying EXCUSE ME (in a nice tone), PLEASE, THANK YOU, and they asked their parents… MAY I GO PLAY?
  3. There are literally DOZENS of condiments as well as straws, napkins, etc.  They are in a clean and tidy area.  I’m not sure how they can have mayonnaise in packets unrefrigerated…  regular and light – but they DO!  It’s a good thing, because I like lite mayo on my chicken sandwich.
  4. This goes in the GO THE EXTRA MILE FILE…  They put fresh carnations in a little vase on every single table – every single day!  I was looking around and thought about how SPECIAL they make their customers feel.  I feel special when I’m at Chick-fil-A.  https://www.facebook.com/chickfilaenid/  LIKE them on facebook!

Friday night we stayed over at a local motel…  I won’t say much about it because we were less than tickled with the experience.  But then Saturday morning rolled around…

IMG_0009There’s a Wally World in Enid – YAY!!!  If you know me, you know that Walmart is how I roll.  We ate breakfast at McDonald’s located on the market side.  I tried their new maple and fruit oatmeal, and it’s pretty good – and surprisingly did not raise my blood sugar too much.  Since it’s maple and fruit, I expected a significant rise, but was pleasantly surprised.  It’s also under 300 calories.  Good to know.IMG_0010You know how some folks go on vacation and they take beautiful photos of the sunrise – it rises over the beach or over a large body of water???  This is my sunrise photo for this trip – the sun is rising over the Walmart.  Isn’t it beautiful?  Who needs palm trees anyway???

As we were traveling down 412 west, we saw the funniest thing – and I didn’t get a photo (sorry, I was too slow) – but there was a little piglet grazing in the median!  I’m not joking – we laughed – and I said, “ONLY IN OKLAHOMA!!!”  I wish I had taken a photo – but it just came up on us so fast!IMG_0016We got back on the turnpike heading for Tonkawa, Oklahoma…  I like this sign – it’s a business that fixes big rigs – but that sign – well – it’s a TRUCK!  It’s been there for years – I think it’s really cool.  I don’t know if you can read it, but it says, WE FIX TRUCKSIMG_0017Welcome to Tonkawa, Oklahoma!  This is a Santa Fé caboose.  I think trains just look naked without the caboose – but I’ve had time to get used to the idea.  LOL – 😉IMG_0021This restaurant caught my attention for two reasons:  (1) The spiral staircase and (2) I was HUNGRY!  We didn’t eat there, but I still think it’s a really neat looking place – I’m keeping it in mind for a future trip.IMG_0022About two years ago we were in Tonkawa antique shopping and had good luck finding things in this store.  Apparently the place changed hands, because it is now more of a thrift store.  I didn’t mind, because I found some vintage clothing and a coffee mug that says SMILE, GOD LOVES YOU that Hallmark made years ago.  I didn’t get one back then, but I have one now.  Works for me!  I can afford $1.00.  I remember looking at those mugs at the Hallmark store years ago – but they were so expensive, no way could I get one.  I love how God works things out if we just let Him have it – big or small.

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We got off the turnpike to go to Blackwell, Oklahoma.  There was a VERY long truck with a wide load driving ahead of us at about 20 MPH.  Once we got to Blackwell, we decided to try to get ahead of the truck by taking some back roads to get downtown.  Sounded like a good plan to me, but the trouble was – we got about halfway to our destination – and an Oklahoma State Trooper came around the corner – lights flashing.  LOL…  it was the big rig!  Instead of getting ahead of it – we MET it.  But – I got this really cool photo of the monster in the intersection.  Isn’t that massive???  With two Trooper cars and a Pilot vehicle, hopefully that thing will get where it’s going.  What is that thing they’re hauling, anyhow???  Does anyone know???

Eventually we got to Ashby’s in Blackwell.  We didn’t find much there – went to the Braum’s for lunch and got back on the turnpike to go home.  LIKE Ashby’s on facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/ashbysantiquemall/

We’re thankful to God for another safe journey!  We’re so glad you got to come along!  🙂

For more information about the places to visit in Enid, OK, go to http://Info@VisitEnid.org  The Enid Welcome Center is at 201 W. Owen K. Garriott Rd., Enid, OK  73701 / 580-233-3643 / Open Mon-Fri 8am-Noon, 1pm-5pm

Antique / Thrift / Consignment Shops in Enid:

BECKY’S CONSIGNMENT SHOP 123 E. Broadway  580-297-5118

BROADWAY ANTIQUES & UNIQUES 129 E. Broadway 580-297-5113

BROADWAY EXCHANGE 211 E. Broadway 580-540-9171

PARK AVENUE THRIFT 507 S. Grand 580-233-7275

JWL RETURN ENGAGEMENT 123 N. Grand 580-234-0624

LOLA’S BOUTIQUE 224 W. Randolph 580-542-0133

COMMUNITY THRIFT & GIFT 130 E. Randolph 580-297-5133

BRAND NAME EXCHANGE 114 N. Independence 580-237-8336

CHER-DEN’S 827 W. Maine 580-237-6881

KARMA’S RETRO SHOPPE & FLEA MARKET 1713 S. Van Buren 580-748-0353

HOPE OUTREACH THRIFT STORE 215 S. Van Buren 580-237-4673

Most of these shops have websites and are on facebook.  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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I believe the trend toward pitching a tent in front of an electronics store on Thanksgiving just to save your place in the ridiculously long line the next morning when the store opens – is finally waning – at least I hope it is.  Let’s just look at this thing logically for a minute.  We just spent a day around a table with loved ones, giving thanks to God for all of our many blessings – OH – but wait – we gotta pitch a tent so we can sleep on the sidewalk because there is a piece of technology I still need to possess.  WHAT???

Click image to enlarge

It’s insane…  and we all know the definition of insanity…  it’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result or outcome.  Look, there are two schools of thought about Black Friday – some people say we need to frequent the stores and the sales because the folks who are working need their job and don’t mind working on Thanksgiving and the day after.  Others, like me, believe that stores have no business being open on Thanksgiving at all – and should be closed the day after as well.  Those employees deserve a 4-day weekend before the Christmas nightmare begins!  I’m just one person with an opinion.  Will anyone listen?  Probably not – but that doesn’t stop me from speaking my mind.

RRiWcz1EgPbn7gcKacIg7nZTqgUYou know, God did not create us to kneel in front of the BEST BUY store.  God created us to praise and worship HIM.  He wants us to take time to sit and reflect on His Word and be quiet before Him so we can hear Him speak to our hearts.  Put your feet up by the fires of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we get so wrapped up in retail therapy that we can’t focus on anything except which stores we want to get to and when, then we are the ones who lose out.  I’m not saying that retail therapy is a bad thing, but I don’t think it’s so important to participate in Black Friday.

I’m not opposed to online shopping, and frankly I think most people would rather stay home and shop in their pajamas.  If consumers would resist the temptation to shop on the Friday after Thanksgiving, eventually the stores would not see the need to be open and employees could have the 4 day weekend they need – and more time with friends and family.  When did we stop thinking of others?  Wouldn’t you rather spend 4 days off than just one – and some don’t even get Thanksgiving off because stores are feeling like they need to be open on Thanksgiving.  It’s sad because everyone should be with family and friends – not co-workers – on Thanksgiving – and the day after and the weekend after that.  🙂

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

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My group on facebook, A Second Helping of Wellness…  with a Dash of Humor & a Pinch of Faith – https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness/ has come through again!  Last Monday I asked them to share their best shopping tips with my blog readers.  In this economy we all need help – at least I know I do!

  •  Coupons! Always coupons! And if you have a coupon that doesn’t have a specific size and it’s not on sale, always get the smallest one. It saves you more per ounce.
  • Beware of freebie sites on the internet.  Once I joined one of those and requested a few things and my computer ended up with all sorts of problems.  Is getting a virus on the computer worth getting a few freebies sent to my door?  No.
  • Be cautious about where you get coupons online for the same reason.  Some sites are notorious for either swamping your computer with spam or sending viruses.  Again, weigh your options and you’ll find it’s not worth the grief.
  • Keep in mind that Walmart has price matching.  If you see an item advertised elsewhere for less money, clip the ad and take it in to Walmart.  When you check out, show the cashier the ad and they will honor that price.
  • Try RedLaser to scan bar codes while you shop.  It compares prices at nearby stores so you can find the best deals.
  • Do you make several trips to the pharmacy?  Next time take a look around while waiting for the medicine.  Often the prices on nonperishables like crackers are lower than grocery stores.
  • Staple items like cereals, flour, rice and coffee are often less expensive at Supercenters like Target or Walmart.
  • There are cooking websites that allow you to type in the ingredients you have on hand.  The sites generate recipe ideas using only those foods so they don’t go to waste and you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store.

Allrecipes.com

Myrecipes.com

Delish.com

  • Remember that frozen foods are just as nutritious as fresh.  When your favorite vegetables and fruits are out of season, you can find them at the frozen food aisle.
  • If you go to a farmer’s market just before it closes, the sellers might be willing to negotiate prices on items they don’t want to haul back home.
  • Sales run in six or eight-week cycles.  Scan circulars for deals on foods that won’t expire, and buy enough to last a month or two until the next sale.
  • A lot of times, I see something I really like in store, but can’t afford. I go on Ebay and often find it for a fraction of the cost, even with bidding wars. Eg: Lacoste polo shirts usually $90+ in store ~ I can find them for around $15 including shipping for like new, pre-owned on Ebay.

So you see, it really is possible to save at the store if you can wind your way around all the hype and see your way clear to the common sense ways of saving at the grocery store.  🙂