I love this time of year with all the festive decorations, gatherings with family and friends, gift-shopping, yummy holiday food, and let’s not forget the good spirits that abound with all the festivities (I’m talking about alcohol…ha!) But it can be a stressful time too with all there is to do. Even more stressful? The expense of all this fun. I personally know people who put so much on their credit cards during this time, they end up paying for it all year. Not fun at all.
Which is why I especially love shopping at Discover Goodwill for decorations, gifts, party outfits, and gift packaging during the holiday season. Lots of unique and amazing finds for less.
Today we’re filming live with FOX 21 at the Goodwill location on Austin Bluffs to showcase all the fabulous offerings Goodwill has. I’m covering holiday fashion, easy DIY decorations, and some fun ways to serve up those holiday treats…
HOLIDAY LOOKS FOR LESS –
Chances are, when the holidays hit, you have more social events to attend. And who wants to wear the “same old thing” to each occasion. But with presents to purchase, along with food, decorations, shipping…well, the costs of the holiday can add up rather quickly. Here are a few looks my friend (and owner of Ashley’s Attic,) helped me pull together at a recent trip to Goodwill. Whether you’re looking for something to wear for a casual evening with friends or something for a more formal event, you can look festive without paying a lot. And no one will know you’re wearing “Goodwill” unless you tell them, which I always do. I get so excited when someone compliments an outfit and I can say, “And it only cost $3.99!” (Or however much it is.)
This look is timeless and fresh. The Limited velvet wide leg pants ($4.92) offer some glam while being comfortable and velvet is super popular this season. We added the black White House Black Market cami, $2.99, black crochet sweater top, $5.99 and black Paprika pumps, $6.99 for an ensemble that can go anywhere from drinks with friends to a dinner party. Love the necklace for only $4.99 too.
Total cost for everything was $25.88. (The Limited is currently selling velvet wide legs pants for $79. If you bought all of these items brand new, you’d pay approximately $180.00) BIG savings and everything is in perfect condition.
Another velvet piece and boy is this a beauty! The dress is Laundry by Shelli Segal and her dresses range in price from about $150 and up, with similar dresses like this costing $150 to $200. This dress, again in perfect condition, only costs $8.99. The necklace is $12.99 and the black heels by Christian Siriano for Payless are $7.99.
Total cost for this lovely look is around $30 versus about $210 if you bought new.
This is a fun and festive look with lots of comfort. Love the red and black TCEC wool circle skirt, $5.99, which Ashley paired with this sequined Xhileration top, $6.99. Hey, if you can’t wear sparkly sequins during the holidays, when can you wear them? She added the necklace, $9.99, and the Elle booties, $7.99 to give the whole look a fresh and current feel. And the booties are so comfortable, I’m keeping them for myself!
Total cost is $31 versus paying about $130 if bought new.
For filming, I started the morning off in one of my favorite Goodwill finds from several years ago. It’s super comfortable, warm, and has some sparkle. I paid $3.99 for it at the time. Paired with Jessica Simpson pumps, $6.99, tassel rope braid necklace, $6.99, hoop earrings, $2.99, and ring for $9.99, this fabulous outfit costs about $31. Not bad for a dress, shoes, earrings, necklace, and ring!
I had some time between episodes so decided to make a wardrobe change into another of my favorite Goodwill finds that keeps me warm, feels good, and looks a bit more holiday than my sweats. But it’s as comfortable as sweats! The Calvin Klein dress was $4.99 (had a 50% off colored tag on it when I bought it,) bracelet $2.99, earrings $2.99, and then the $9.99 ring I wore earlier, along with the Elle booties, $7.99…love, love this look for approximately $29.
DECK THE HALLS EASY DIY DECOR –
First off, I am not the most crafty person. Oh I can get ideas but I’m just not that great when it comes to painting, sewing, or even drawing a straight line. In my defense, as I get older, the arthritis in my right hand gets worse so it’s physically difficult for me sometimes to use that hand which is why my projects can look a bit “shaky.” (Ha!) But if I can make the following crafts, anyone can make them and yours will look even better!
I originally bought a stack of old CD’s for a couple of bucks at Goodwill last year to cut up and glue to glass ornaments. It was a project I saw online and thought it was pretty. Well let me tell you, it’s really, really difficult to cut through CD’s without them snapping, flying through the air, and the edges can be sharp. After a couple of hours I threw the project away because it looked hideous. Which left me with a stack of used CD’s.
This is how I used them this year…I covered the CD’s with wrapping paper I had cut out, glued them to a ribbon, and added the letters. Took me about 10 minutes and they will look cute hanging on the wall.
I saw this stocking made from an old sweater online so I attempted to make it. I bought a sweater at Goodwill for $2.49 (it was half off that day,) because I had just donated all my old sweaters. I wanted to make all our cats stockings so for the first attempt I bought a sweater that kind of went with our Kitten’s personality. (Not everything has to be red and green for the holidays.) I don’t have a sewing machine so I stitched it by hand.
My husband told me the shape didn’t look quite like a stocking but then I showed him a “store-bought” one I was using for my pattern…
Another cute idea I saw online which I think would be fun for kids. I bought a puzzle set at Goodwill for a couple of bucks but if you have children, chances are you have some sets with missing pieces you can use. I used hot glue and painted both sides.
I found this idea on www.thatswhatchesaid.net.
I love charger plates. I have them in every color and shape and use them as much for other things as I do on the dining table. I always look for them when I’m at Goodwill and since I don’t “need” them, I wait till they have a 50% off colored tag for that day. I picked up both of these for 49 cents each. (Chargers are great to use as platters, to hold plant pots, or to even hang on the wall. I use them as my packaging for cookie platters since they are sturdy and cover them with plastic wrap.)
Found this fabulous silver metal basket for $2.99 which I filled with pine cones from the yard, that we spray-painted silver. The silver candlestick is something we painted back in October for a Halloween display. Simple.
I love this elegant look. The mirror was $2.99, the bowl $3.99, and the candle holder $1.99. Fill the bowl with colored balls, pine cones, or just garland for a simple but stunning effect.
Love the detail on these pieces…
Someone is always needing attention…
We picked up a couple of silver ice/wine buckets in October and painted one with black chalkboard paint for Halloween. My husband was sweet enough to paint this one red and add the tree. I think it looks fabulous! You can fill it with pine branches, flowers, pine cones, a mini Christmas tree, or a bottle of wine.
PRETTY PLATTERS –
Whether you need a few serving pieces for a get-together at your home or you’re taking treats to an event, the price for platters or packaging can add up. Why spend tons of money on items you’re only going to use once a year or that typically get tossed when you can choose from lots of fun items at Goodwill?
I just picked this snowman tray up the other day at Goodwill for $2.99. The brand is Sonoma, which is sold at Kohl’s, and the same size piece, with a different snowman scene for this year, is currently selling for $29.99. I thought it would be cute either at my house or to use as a host gift filled with treats.
These chocolate-covered peanuts are something I make every year because they are fast, easy, and inexpensive. And they are delicious! I melt chocolate chips or chocolate wafers according to the package directions and then add nuts. You can use dark chocolate, white chocolate, semi-sweet, whatever you like. I don’t measure my nuts, but just stir them in till I get the consistency I want. Some people like more nuts, some more chocolate. Once the nuts are coated, drop spoonfuls on a cookie sheet lined with was paper, pop them in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden and you’re done.
Another pretty holiday platter for only a $1.99 which I can keep or use to carry treats to a friend.
And another favorite 2-ingredient treat I make every year is peppermint bark. Put candy canes or peppermints in a plastic bag and crush using a kitchen mallet or wood rolling-pin (or whatever you have on hand.) Melt white chocolate candy wafers or bark according to package directions. Add some of the crushed candy to the chocolate and stir. Spread out evenly on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, sprinkle with more peppermint pieces, pop in the refrigerator till it hardens and then break off pieces as big or small as you want.
Here’s a fun way to offer guests a bit of sweetness that doesn’t require any baking at all. Gathering glass receptacles of different sizes filled with holiday themed sweets makes it easy to offer up goodies and it makes for a pretty display too. The Santa tray was $1.99 and the various glass pieces ranged in price from 49 cents to $1.29. The grand total of this display, minus the treats, is $6.04.
Goodwill always has tons of woven baskets to choose from. This basket arrangement not only looks pretty but it smells wonderful! The cloves are easy to pop in oranges once you use a toothpick, skewer or even a nail, to make your holes. I used a glue gun to attach a few pieces of star anise, which is so aromatic, to the oranges, filled in the arrangement with fresh pine branches and pine cones from our yard, and added a cinnamon stick. Seriously, the kitchen smelled heavenly as I made it. This would be a great host gift, present, or look fabulous on any table or shelf.
(Once the holidays are over I peel the orange and simmer the orange peel pieces, cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves in water which makes the entire house smell warm and cozy.
Nothing too complicated, low prices, unique looks…all at your local Goodwill store. And while you’re there shopping, don’t forget to donate any items you’re no longer using or want.