Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Black Friday Technique

I am no expert on Black Friday techniques. I've only attempted to get deals on this day a few times.

However, from my experiences (and long stretches of time thinking to myself as I waited in lines) I have deduced a few helpful tips for Black Friday shopping. By the way, I am not a hardcore, camp outside before it opens kind of girl. I'm a wake up around 5 or 6am and slip in to catch some deals person. That should give you some perspective on my tips.

1. Look at the ads in the paper and online and choose the main items you want before you go. You don't have time to browse if you have a lot of stores to go to. It's best to get in and get out. (clothing stores do require some browsing however)

2. Map out what stores you want to hit up in order of importance. Variables include Store open times, favorite items, items you know will go fast, sale ending times & location of stores.

3. Go with a friend. Lines can be long. To save time it's best to grab your main items and hop in line. Take turns with your partner standing in line as the other one shops to find their final deals.

4. Bring snacks & drink. If you are in a mall area where you can go from store to store quickly, you might be racing the clock as sales are ending. You may not have time to wait in the 30 min long Starbucks line for nourishment.

5. Stores like Target and Home depot seem to check you out pretty swiftly. I have found that clothing stores are super slow and backed up such as Gap, Old Navy, Express & Macy's. Be prepared.

6. Bring your iPhone or smart phone. There is plenty of time to check your FB status or read blogs while you wait to purchase your items.

7. Don't bring your kids. I don't mind watching YOUR kid lay on the floor and sob because they can't run around and pull stuff off the shelves. I just don't want MY kid to do the wet noodle and scream in my ear while I wait in line. Leave them with their toys and a guardian. You'll be happy you did.

8. When a clothing store has a sale like- 40% or 50% off Everything- and they don't have your size. Just buy any size and come back a week later when the shelves are restocked and exchange for your size. Worst case scenario is you have to return the item- No loss to you.

I think that's all I got. Did I miss anything? I hope this info only adds to the technique YOU have developed for Black Friday! Today, I only went to Gap, Baby Gap, and Macy's. I feel pretty satisfied. A salesclerk at Baby Gap said she has worked there 12 years and this is the first time Gap has offered 50% off everything. It made me feel good that I made the effort to get there because who knows when that deal will come again.

Also, The picture up top is not actually random. It's the 4th store I went black friday shopping at. It's a window of an antique store. Although there were no Doorbusters or even any sale prices, there was a lot of lovely things there and I had a great time collecting a few beautiful items. Antique stores are just my favorite :) Look how beautiful that handmade curtain is as the sun passes through it. It's like stained glass. Gorgeous.

Friday, November 12, 2010

When I see this picture I think of...

When I see this picture I think of my family.

Although I am not very good at keeping up with the laundry and housework, I really enjoy accomplishing things like this that help take care of my family. I have found that drying our jeans on the hearth of our fireplace is easy, uses less electricity, and keeps the color from fading.

As I continually walk past all these drying jeans, different things come to mind. Sometimes it's the thought of, "Geez, I should really fold those up and get them in the drawers." Other times I look at these drying jeans and think of them as art. I think, "Wow, that is so pretty." The contrasting Blue jean on Orange brick pleases my eye and the representation of our family members in the clothing laid out makes my artistic mind get excited. I used my camera to capture this mundane- spectacular scene.

Another thought I have is one of thankfulness and love. I love what God has given my family. He has given us each other and provided for our needs. I also think of the fact that as being a wife and mama, part of my role is to serve my family. I am reminded of the best servant of all, Jesus.

 "... The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many". Matthew 20:28.

I fall short all the time at being the amazing servant He was. He serves us all the time in His Love, Grace, and Provision. I have the opportunity to be like Him and to serve like Him. Serving like Him in the Pardee home is not what always comes natural, but it's my goal.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Titus' Last Cutesy Halloween

This Halloween my plan was to purchase a costume for Titus to wear, saving myself time and energy. However, a few days before Halloween, I didn't have a costume and I realized my heart was set on making Titus be a sock monkey. I decided that this would be the last year that I could make Titus a CUTESY costume! This is the last year that he won't have an opinion and I'm going to take advantage of that! :)

At that point a ready made sock monkey costume would not get shipped on time and it was pretty expensive anyway. I told myself, if I go to Joann's Fabric and there is no sock monkey material, then I will just forget it. Well, I did find some awesome fabric so I just dove in. I used every spare moment of time (usually between the hours of  9pm and 4am) and I sewed away. I used online tutorials for making a hoodie sweater and Pj pants. It all came together and I was so happy to see the finished product. I felt like I graduated into that classic "crafty mom" role. Yay!

Titus with his sock monkey. Not only a pal, but also an inspiration ;)

I love this cute little pose. He seems so happy to be a sock monkey.

This is his determined sock monkey look.

Awww It's fall!

Sock Monkey with his awesome cousins, Ariel and Optimus Prime.

Justin went as a young boy with his favorite toy!

We went to the Sandals Church Trunk 'n Treat along with about 5,000 other friends and new people from the neighborhood! It was our first sunday at our own building so it was exciting :)