Category Archives: Shopping

Spotlight On Handmade: The Dizzy Windmill

Okay, so you all know how much I LOVE handmade (and especially repurposed) items! I just found the cutest little shop that has just that! Shelly, over at The Dizzy Windmill has a variety of items that are cool (and kinda quirky, just the way I love them) for you to take a gander at!

The Dizzy Windmill

The following post is a paid review. To find out more, please click here.

The Dizzy Windmill

If you’ve ever talked to me in person, paid attention to my blog posts, or my Facebook posts, you know that I am all about supporting small businesses instead of big corporations. Shelly’s business is one of those that I can really get behind. First of all, while I can crochet, I cannot knit, and she has some of the most AMAZING hand knit items (like this beanie that I really want and this really cool and awesome Raven scarf!). Secondly, she has jewelry made with paper beads that she makes herself! Take a look at this purple paper bead bracelet if you will, and see just how great it is!

Why The Dizzy Windmill?

What do I love about The Dizzy Windmill so much? Mainly because the owner repurposes items in her jewelry in order to make it eco-friendly. My favorite example of this is this necklace here.

steampunk jewelry The Dizzy Windmill

If you haven’t done so already, you need to go check out Shelly’s store and look around! Come back and leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite item in her store is… I hear that she has a big sale (and maybe even a GIVEAWAY!!!) going on at the end of this month (the 26-28th), so stay tuned for more info on that.

You can follow Shelly on Twitter (@dizzywindmill) or on Facebook to keep updated on her sale and all of her new creations!

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Why I Don’t Shop On Black Friday

One thing that the hubs and I do not have in common is a love for shopping on Black Friday. He loves it, I don’t. Last year he convinced me to come along, and it reminded me of the many reasons why I don’t shop on Black Friday. Tonight, he’ll be going again, although I can’t fathom the idea, and I will be staying home and getting some extra snuggles with my kiddos.

why I don't shop on Black Friday

Why I Don’t Shop On Black Friday

When I worked retail, I had to work on Black Friday. It was miserable, and I was able to see how the very day after people are celebrating everything that they are thankful for, they turn into greedy monsters who fight over the craziest things just because their prices have been marked down.

The very first Black Friday that I ever worked, I worked at a small jewelry store in the local mall. It was very crowded, but thankfully no severe craziness. We had a drawing for a gift certificate, and we marked everything down 25%. The only thing that I remember was when I tried to leave to get something to eat, not being able to walk through the mall because it was so crowded. I literally starved for most of the day. Oh, and I remember being cussed out because I wouldn’t sell a $2,500 ring for $250.  That was fun.

Fast forward to being an assistant manager at Walmart. This was my one and only Black Friday in a large retail chain. I had to get there at 3:00 a.m., and it was already crowded. I worked electronics, which as you can imagine is VERY crowded on Black Friday. We got all of our Black Friday deals in place as quickly as possible, and before the sale started at 4:00, a fight broke out over a place in line. Little bitty 5’4″ and 110 pound me (note: I am not that small anymore *sigh*) went to break it up. I was thrown into into an SD card display, and got a few small cuts on my back from the metal rods that they are hung on. I got back up, and then got shoved into the Kodak photo printing kiosk. The rest is a blur, but I know I left with two cracked ribs and a sprained ankle that day.

Fast Forward To Last Year

Last year, after a lot of prodding from the hubs (then boyfriend), we left Thanksgiving dinner at his parents house, and went into the city to start gearing up for Black Friday shopping. The main reason that I wanted to go was to get a Skylanders game for my little bambinos at a deeply discounted price. Although I will admit that I had a few things that I was very interested in getting for myself as well.

You see, every year the hubs’ grandma (MawMaw) gives us money for Christmas to spend on ourselves. This money has been affectionately names MawMaw Money. I wanted to spend my MawMaw Money on some new clothes at Old Navy for 50% off. I bravely walked into the store, got 15 feet past the door, and then started feeling like a cow being led into a crowded trailer headed to a slaughter house. The hubs was sitting outside laughing, because he knew how it would go. You see, I don’t do crowds very well, and I may just be a bit claustrophobic… I spent almost the rest of the trip sitting in the safety of my car.

We did make it to Toys R Us to to attempt to get the game, but they wouldn’t honor the deal that had been advertised online, and I got upset and left everything sitting at the register. We quickly went to Best Buy (it’s around 2:00 a.m. now, in case you’re wondering) and they were nice enough to honor Toys R Us’s advertised price. After that, I told the hubs that he could shop all he wanted, but he had to take me home first.

Best Buy Co, Inc.

Why I will NEVER shop on Thanksgiving

So, I truly didn’t think about it last year when we were out shopping, especially since it was night when we started, but all of those poor employees had to leave their families to come in to work and prepare for these sales, AND to have to deal with greedy, miserable, self-indulgent people, on a holiday that should be all about family.

I don’t understand why stores have started having their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving, but the hubs and I have firmly agreed on one thing, we will not be supporting any businesses that are open on Thanksgiving and taking their employees (and customers!) away from their family.

What I do instead…

In case you haven’t figured it out, Cyber Monday is much more my speed. I carefully combed through the Black Friday ads and showed the hubs what I would like for him to get if possible at the in-store sales, but I already have a full list of things that we will be ordering online…. And I, well, I’ll probably be steering clear of major retail chains until January.

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Happy Holidays!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s November 30th already… This year has completely flown by! Happy holidays everyone, but more importantly, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

How many of you already have your tree up? I have gone against the flow of my family traditions, and I put mine up on this past Friday, right after Thanksgiving… As well as a few other decorations. I really don’t feel like I’m done yet though, so I’ve been on Pinterest looking at decor.

On top of decorating earlier than normal, I am also proud to say that I think I am actually done with all of my Christmas shopping, and my gifts are even wrapped and safely hidden away  from the kids… They’re just waiting to have ribbons and gift tags (which I also found this awesome printable on Pinterest for!). I actually need to take it all back… I was informed last night by the loving boyfriend that he would like a new pillow for Christmas, so I found these, and the best part is that they are eligible for Amazon Prime, and if you haven’t got Prime, you can get a FREE trial by clicking this link. With Prime you get free shipping, free music streaming, can watch certain movies for free, and LOTS more. If you’re like me, you’ll love Prime so much that when you’re done with your 30 day trial, you’ll happily pay for it.

Time to get back in shape
A little inspiration for us all…

Now, on top of all the regular holiday stuff, I have decided to start attempting to get back into shape BEFORE the new year… Be on the lookout for some fitness posts again. I have done one very important thing though, I’ve thrown out the scales. I will not be judging by the scales at all, I will be looking at inches lost and how well my pants fit. If you’d like to join me in this quest, check out 30 Day Fitness Challenges. The first one I’ll be doing, starting tomorrow, is the squat challenge. I have already printed the challenge and will be posting it in my office so that I can mark it off daily as I have finished.

I hope this finds you all well… Feel free to comment below and let me know what all of you have been up to, after all, I LOVE my readers. 🙂 Also, remember to have happy holidays!

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My Online Store!

Department of missing socks, no sock left behind, Alicia's online storeOkay, so if you’ve stayed true and loyal (and why wouldn’t you?) to my blog, you’ve noticed that I finally started adding items to my online store! I’m going to do my best to update this as often as possible with all the new things that I am working on, but I’ll also make sure to let you all know when I am running any specials.

I am considering doing a giveaway for one of the items that is already listed in my store. Any item… Although I must admit that I’m particularly taken with the one shown in this post! Once this blog post is shared and has been commented on 50 times, I will host a giveaway. So, get to sharing people… And maybe comment with what you would like to win!

Talk to you soon,


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Tax Refund Plans

tax deduction maternity shirt tax refund plansSo, if you’re like me, you already know what you’re getting with your tax refund before you even get it. My main plan is to get tires put on my car, buy a few things for my house, and pay off the cell phone that I had to finance when the little one broke my old one. Thankfully, most of my debt is paid off, otherwise, a huge chunk would be going there too! Now that we’ve heard about mine, what are your tax refund plans? Today we’re going to discuss a few things to do with your tax refund. Some will be fun, some will be responsible… Some will be in between. Continue reading Tax Refund Plans

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