What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Ring out the old, ring in the new! The annual decision:  to go out or stay in on New Year’s Eve?Image

For our New Year’s Eve-challenged readers, we offer a guide to this decision:

GOING OUT:

– You don’t have to eat leftovers.

– You leave the kids with a babysitter.

– You get to go to the thrift store and pick out a glamorous new outfit from the selection of cocktail/evening dresses we currently have in the shop.  Glittery beads and spangles or the timeless elegant look – we’ve got something to make you the star of the New Year’s Eve party.  For the guys, we have a trove of dress shirts and ties that are perfect for this special evening.

STAYING IN:

– You don’t have to remember where you left the car.

– You can wear your comfy slippers instead of those shoes that make your feet hurt.

– You get to go to the thrift store and pick out a new bowl for popcorn, a new blender to mix up whatever drink suits you, and a new warm blanket to snuggle under on the couch.  AND a jigsaw puzzle or board game to play with your kids while you count down to midnight.

Whatever you decide – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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…wait a minute Mister Postman

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There are usually two major projects during the holidays.  The first is putting up the decorations.  The second is the Christmas cards.

ALI Blogger Marta says ‘I’m the person who is single-handedly rescuing the post office. I mail about 100 Christmas cards.  I’m still putting a holiday letter in each one, although the writeup gets shorter every  year (the adults in the family aren’t doing anything new, and the kids have already posted everything on Facebook).  But I love Christmas cards! In an era when we hardly receive actual mail any more, it’s wonderful to open the cards and re-connect with our relatives and friends once a year.  As creative as electronic cards can be, there’s something special and personal about the old-fashioned paper card.’

The thrift store has a wonderful assortment of boxed Christmas cards at unbelievable prices.  We also have some absolutely amazing hand-made cards on the single-card rack.  These beautiful, unique cards are produced by some of our members, who donate them to be sold at the shop. You may not need to send 100 cards, but chances are you’ll need one or two, so check these out.

And while you’re looking at our cards, drop by our stationery section – you may need something for those thank-you notes after you open your presents!

Add high-end sparkle to your holiday table for pennies

Remember the china department at Bullock’s? The crystal displays at Robinson’s? The sterling silver serving trays at Bullocks Wilshire?

I spent hours in these department stores when I was growing up, looking at china and crystal patterns, especially the holiday dishes.  My ambition was to have a set of china for each holiday  – Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving!

Most of the year, I’m content with my casual microwave-safe dishes.  But when the holiday season comes, I want something more – the tradition, the elegance, the sparkle of fine china, crystal, and silver.  And where can we find these things, now that we no longer have Bullock’s and Robinson’s?

The Assistance League of Irvine thrift shop! We always have a selection of crystal and glassware, silver, and china.  Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking for something to fill in with what you already have, we have lovely pieces that would be perfect for your holiday table.  Especially if you need serving dishes, platters, vases, or candlesticks, the thrift shop is the place to look.

We, regretfully, don’t have a tea room like Bullock’s Wilshire did, but you’ll probably save enough shopping with us to go out to dinner somewhere else.

Lorren-Home-Trends-RCR-Laurus-Crystal-Vase-11*Check out tips on how to clean your crystal:

  • It’s important to always use just-warm water, not hot. And never rinse with cold water. Extreme temperatures can cause cracks or breakage.
  • Instead of using the vinegar and water rinse solution above, you can also try a splash or two of ammonia in warm water. This also helps fight cloudiness and spotting on your glassware.
  • Only wash crystal and delicate glass that is first at room temperature and don’t fill with liquid or beverages until the pieces have returned to room temperature after cleaning.
  • Allowing to air dry encourages calcium, mineral deposits and hard water buildup that can eventually cause the glass to become cloudy. Always dry with a soft, clean cloth.