Monday, September 30, 2013

The Great Ring Reveal and Diamond Candle Giveaway Finale

After a week of melting wax, basking in a warm glow and being enveloped in the soft scent of orchids, my ring was at last revealed. Once that foil packet came to the surface of the soy, I blew out that candle like a kid ready to put his face in the birthday cake. I fished out the bundle from the hot wax with a pair of tweezers and eagerly unwrapped the protective layers of foil and plastic to reveal the ring surprise.

It's gorgeous! I love it. While it's not a precious stone worth hundreds, I'm a sucker for colorful costume jewelry. And it's actually pretty close to my emerald birthstone. There's just one dilemma. My sister also   likes the ring and it fits her perfectly. If I want to wear it comfortably, I have to get it resized to fit my pudgy digits.  Ahhh, what's a girl to do? 

Well, since a kindly representative offered me this free product from Diamond Candles to review, I feel that I might offer the ring as a gift to the sis. Besides, she's making me a confectionary surprise for next week's 3rd year Blogiversary. 3 years, can you believe that?

But I digress. 

As you also know, a week ago I opened a Rafflecopter giveaway for a free Diamond Candle for one lucky reader. Thank you all for entering, sharing and crossing those fingers. Well it's time to announce whose finger is getting a brand new ring inside a delightful Diamond Candle. 

And drumroll, please...
The winner is... 
Kelly Constance Rassett!

Congratulations, Kelly! If you're reading this, I'm sending you an email with all the information you'll need to claim your prize.

To all my many readers, thank you for another successful giveaway. And many thanks to Diamond Candles for sponsoring this wonderful event. 

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Blogger Jen Knightstep Takes Us On A Thrift Tour Of Detroit, MI

My name is Jennifer and I'm a thrifter.  
I've been hooked since I was six, when my frugal mother took me back-to-school shopping at our local Value Village in Sacramento. Over the years, my passion for saving money while dressing like I paid retail prices has become more of a mild obsession than a habit. For me, it's about the thrill of the hunt. Sure, I bring a list with me when I shop. But it's just to make sure I don't forget the things I need, and not an indication I should stop and head to the register when I'm done. You'll find me scouring the racks at my favorite thrift store once a week. And this week, I'm looking for picture frames, overalls for my daughter Sophie's Halloween costume, more little buildings for Sophie's St. Nicholas Square Village, a pretty camera bag and some long-sleeved tops for running. But who knows what other treasures I might find? 

Now, say what you will about Detroit. But bankruptcy and corrupt government and all, we still have some of the best thrifting on the planet. My favorite is Community Thrift Store, located at 37545 Gratiot Avenue, just north of the city. I’m there at least once every two weeks. I’d go more often, but… my friends and family might sit me down for an intervention. WHAT. I CAN STOP ANYTIME I WANT.

Why hello there, beautiful! 

The Basics:

  • The hours are 9-6, Monday thru Saturday. 
  • Cash only.
  • Ample parking.
  • Unisex restroom.
  • No fitting room.
Those “basics” don’t tell you much about the place, so let me fill in some details. Let’s start with the sheer size of the place. They have everything and lots of it, all neatly organized. The organization of the racks of clothing makes the OCD going on in my closest look tame. Each section is sorted by type of clothing and then by color. Long-sleeved shirts never mingle with short-sleeve shirts. Tees are in a separate aisle from button-downs. 
And they have more than just clothes. They have everything up to and including the kitchen sink: furniture, housewares, small appliances, shoes, handbags, books. You name it. 

Oh good lord, the shoes! All sorted by color and type. 

The prices are delightfully low, as well. And as an added bonus, every day they offer the “color tag of the day” for half-price. Sometimes, there are three colors of the day, occasionally with one that’s 75% off. The day’s sale colors are posted on a bulletin board at the front of the store, right as you walk in and grab a cart…something which you’ll want to do, for sure. 

Today, I’m looking for picture frames and rain boots. If I don’t have a lot of time to spend, I’ll just put blinders on and only shop for the items I need. But as luck would have it, I have the time to spare today… so I’m going to shop the whole store. 
Photo frames? There are lots, but none that are exactly what I want. On to housewares, where I see a pile of white plates that match the theme I want when I re-do my kitchen. They’re by Crate & Barrel, heavy and in perfect condition with the stack of three priced at only $3.95. Onward to lamps, where I find the most adorable St. Nicholas Square Village “Gumdrop Shoppe” for Sophie’s collection. My smartphone says they’re selling for about $25, plus shipping on eBay. But here it’s $7.95 originally, then half off. Into the cart it goes! Down the toys aisle, then to shoes. Oh, shoes. I spend a good half-hour here. Rain boots? They’ve got a few.

A small selection of rain boots.

After shoes comes books, where I find the AJ Jacobs books I’ve been dying to read for ages. Only 95 cents. Yes, into the cart. And though I don’t normally, I also skim through the CDs and actually find one I lost in a house-fire back in 2006. It’s also only 95 cents. 

If God was one of us, he'd shop here. I just know it. 

Now it’s time to dive down each clothing aisle, where the possibilities are endless. I find a tee shirt I love, by Lucy, with a tiny quote on the hem that says “I believe in sweat.” Into the cart!

I do believe in sweat, actually.

Up and down the aisles, from tank tops to shorts to athletic wear, on to long-sleeved button downs, short-sleeved button downs, tee shirts, long-sleeved tee shirts, sweaters, dress pants, casual pants, jeans, skirts… and my cart is packed. I couldn’t fit another item of clothing on top of the pile without something sliding off. I make my way to the back of the store, where it’s time to try everything on. 
Now, about the lack of fitting rooms... If you arrive appropriately attired in a tank top and long skirt, it is possible to try on clothes. There’s a single unflattering warped mirror at the back of the store where everyone gathers to try on their fashion finds. Granted, the area does occasionally attract opportunistic pervs. There was one embarrassing incident when I accidentally mooned the world when my skirt got caught in the back of the jeans I was trying on (But it was totally worth it, though. Those jeans were AWESOME and TOTALLY ON SALE). There’s no return or refund policy. So be bold. Be daring. Be slightly immodest, and try on everything before you buy it. 
As my cart empties, some things become apparent. I have way more here than I can afford to buy. I have a thing for the color blue, and I may also have a thing for shoes. Of course, not everything in the cart fits, so it goes neatly on the rejects rack. I end up with one cute coral colored top with crochet accents from Abercrombie (with the tags still on), the three white Crate & Barrel plates, the AJ Jacobs book and the St. Nicholas Christmas house for Sophie. The line at the register is short, which gives me little time to regret not buying that Lucy tee which was just a little too big. 

Today's haul was less than $13!

It’s almost bittersweet to be leaving… but it’s okay. I’ll be back next week… and maybe I’ll see you there. *wink*

Many thanks to Jen, writer/editor/thrift shoppin' professional, for sharing her firsthand experiences of secondhand shopping in Detroit. While Jen shops some 600 miles away from my Philadelphia stomping ground, if I ever find myself in the Detroit area, I know where I'll be hunting and who will be my thrifty tour guide. 

Have you entered for a chance to win a FREE Diamond Candle? 

Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, September 16, 2013

Announcing The Diamond Candle GIVEAWAY!!

A representative from the Diamond Candles company contacted me recently, wondering if I would be interested in reviewing one of their products and perhaps giving away one here on Let's Go Thrifting.

And let me tell you that I could not agree quick enough! I had heard about Diamond Candles in magazines and online and found myself intrigued by the idea. So imagine my surprise and delight to be offered this exciting opportunity! I clicked on over to the Diamond Candles website and immediately ordered an Orchid Meadow candle for myself.

Now, before I get to the review, let me just say that I'm especially wary of scented candles. Many times, I find them to be just too overpowering to enjoy. I love my home smelling fresh, but dread that overly fragrant headache that many scented candles can bring. But ever since my Orchid Meadow Diamond Candle arrived at my doorstep, I've been drawn to the sweet subtle scent. It's lovely...and large. I didn't expect a candle of this size at all. It's just perfect for a coffee table or dining room area. But I've admittedly been hogging all the floral scented freshness in my bedroom. 

Now, let's talk about the ring. Yes, I said the ring. Every Diamond Candle has a ring tucked inside the soy, just waiting to be revealed. All you do is burn the wick and let the candle burn down to reveal that foil packet. And surprise! There's a randomly selected diamond ring that could be worth up to $5000. I'm just about to unearth my ring from the wax and am giddy over the possibilities.

I guess I'll just have to wait. And so will you. But before I reveal the lovely ring within my Diamond Candle, how about I give one of you lucky readers a free Diamond Candle of your very own?

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to relax with your favorite scent or the excitement of revealing a ring surprise inside.  

Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Entries are open for two weeks to all Let's Go Thrifting readers within the United States. One winner will receive a code for a free Diamond Candle of their choice. This prize has a value of the $24.95 candle, the ring inside worth anywhere from $10-$5000 and free shipping. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by Diamond Candles, to which I am very thankful. 
Good luck, everyone!