DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas from the heart and not your wallet.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Happy Mother’s Day to our beautiful moms out there. Here are some gift ideas inspiration from the heart ❤

 

Click here for even more Mother's Day Inspiration. All photos by PINTEREST

Mothers Day, Graduation and more!

imageIf you haven’t been to the Thrift Shop lately, come in and see our revamped checkout area. This new setup gives us more working room at the cash registers, so we can ring up your purchases more quickly.

And that’s a GOOD thing because . . . May is super-sale month! We’ll have INCREDIBLE sales all month, because we’re counting down to May 30, when we take inventory. You’ll get amazing deals all month long, so “shop early and often.”

This is a GREAT time to look for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts, and, for those who really plan ahead, Father’s Day presents. With summer approaching, you’ll be going to a lot of parties and barbecues, so you can also pick up some inexpensive hostess gifts to keep on hand. Beach books, small toys for the kids to take on vacation – it’s all here.

Stop in soon to take advantage of our May sales! (And think of us when you’re doing your spring cleaning – we accept donations any time during the hours our Thrift Shop is open.)

 

Help Us Celebrate 25 Years!

FullSizeRender 25 years ago (way back in 1990), members of the Assistance League of Irvine had an idea. Many of these members were teachers or retired teachers, and they believed that the arts had a vital place in children’s lives. They knew, firsthand, that many children who might not be top students academically, blossomed when they were able to express their creativity. And they wanted a way to recognize these young artists and let them know their talents were special.

This was the start of ALI’s “Young Masters Art Show!” It’s a FREE family event that has grown over the past 25 years to include over 500 pieces of children’s art, hands-on craft activities for kids, refreshments, and entertainment by award-winning Irvine high school music groups. This year it will be held on SATURDAY MAY 2 in the Irvine Civic Center Plaza from 1 to 4 pm. It’s the ONLY event of its kind in all of Orange County!

Irvine Unified School District art specialist teachers have select one piece of art from every K – 6 classroom in the district to be showcased at Young Masters. It’s amazing to see the incredible creativity of these students – you just know many of them will have careers as professional artists.

This year our craft stations will include Clay Creations, decorating picture frames, painting mini-flower pots, and – a Selfie booth! Face painting and balloon creations will be back by popular demand.

The entertainment will feature the Irvine Elementary Honor Choir, the Irvine High Jazz Ensembles, and the Woodbridge High Percussion Ensemble (consistently ranked as one of the best high-school percussion groups in the nation). You’ll be amazed at how talented THESE kids are, too.

Join us on Saturday to help make our 25th Young Masters the best celebration of all! See you there!

Tuesday, April 21st is the iheartoc Giving Day! Will you join us?

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Help us join with other nonprofits to raise $2MM for charity in 30 hours on the “iheartoc Giving Day!”   Your online credit card donation of $25 or more will help us earn bonus funds and prizes to support our community programs. Starting at 6 am on Tuesday, April 21 through noon on Wednesday, April 22, you can donate to Assistance League of Irvine.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

This event is sponsored by the Orange County Community Foundation, an organization founded 25 years ago to provide grants and support to local non-profits.

We know our blog readers support us by shopping at our Thrift Store. If you’ve thought about contributing further to our programs but weren’t sure how to go about it, this is your opportunity. All the funds we raise will go right back into our own community here in Irvine, and we’ll make the most of every dollar!

(And once the 30 hours of online giving are over, be sure to stop by our Thrift Shop to check out our new spring merchandise!)

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February 14th is around the corner. Shop with us!

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the greeting card aisle, the calendar strikes again. It’s Valentine’s Day! Well, not quite, but it’s on the way.

Now we know all of you headed over to the cell phone store at the end of December so you could trade in your phone before the free upgrade expired. We also know that 97% of you have yet to download the instruction manual for your new phone, and thus have NO IDEA how to program a reminder to buy a Valentine gift for your significant other into your phone.

You have two options before February 14:

– Download the manual, which will appear in teeny tiny print on your cell phone screen. Since you can only read one paragraph at a time when you enlarge the text enough to be visible, it’ll take you 5,294 hours to go through it.

– Go to the Assistance League of Irvine’s Thrift Shop RIGHT NOW and pick out all your Valentine gifts from our selection of incredible bargains. We have jewelry, crystal, china, silver, and picture frames. For the kids, we have a whole menagerie of Valentine-themed stuffed animals. We have the ever-popular DVDs, CDs, and books. And if a special Valentine’s Day dinner or party is in your future, we’ve got the clothes.

See how easy a holiday can be? Now pull out that new phone and start making Valentine’s Day plans!

OUR OWN BLUE-LIGHT SPECIALS!

abstract-wallpapers-abstract-blue-lights-wallpaper-37323Author Marta Mahoney,  Assistance League of Irvine Member

No, we’re not K-Mart – but if any of the following apply on the day you’re shopping, you’ll get a special discount off your purchase!

  1. It’s your BIRTHDAY! Join our BIRTHDAY CLUB, and you’ll receive an in-store coupon good for 15% off your entire purchase, which can be used on any one day of your birthday month! You can sign up at the thrift store during regular business hours – just ask one of the ALI volunteers. Be sure to sign up early as it takes us about a month to process your membership.
  2. You’re a SENIOR CITIZEN! Seniors age 65 and over get a discount of 25% on their total purchase, on the 3rd Thursday of every month! All you need to do is shop on the 3rd Thursday and show us your I.D.
  3. You’re shopping on ANY THURSDAY! Every Thursday is “Mystery Discount” day! After your purchases are totaled, you can pick a token from our “Mystery Discount” cup. Whatever is on your token – 10%, 25%, etc. – is taken off your bill! (This can’t be combined with the “Senior discount,” however – it’s one or the other.)
  4. You follow us on YELP, using the YELP app on your smartphone. You can receive a $2 coupon to use on any minimum purchase of $5 or more, when you “check in” to our thrift shop with the YELP app.   (This app searches for businesses in the area based on your location, and tracks and posts your activity to a social media site of your choosing, such as Facebook or Twitter.)

YELP will then send you an electronic coupon! The coupon is delivered to your smartphone immediately and can either be used on the same day, or saved for your next trip to the thrift shop. But it can’t be transferred, emailed or re-used – once it’s opened, it disappears!

YELP being YELP, you’ll also be encouraged to post a review about your shopping experience at the thrift store. We read all our reviews on YELP and take the comments very seriously. If you do take advantage of this coupon, we welcome your feedback on YELP!

With all these SPECIAL DISCOUNTS, shoppers, (not to mention our regular weekly sales), there’s NO EXCUSE not to shop at the ALI thrift store!

Get your China in Irvine

Do you have the kitchen blahs? Do you leave your dirty dishes sitting on the counter for days because, well, you’re tired of looking at those counters? Find yourself gazing wistfully at pictures of exotic appliances on Pinterest? Dream about a kitchen remodel?

 

Perhaps because we spend so much time in them, kitchens are the most popular remodeling project. But they’re not cheap! The 2014 U.S. Cost v. Value Report shows the average cost of a high-end kitchen remodel is now $62,183! In some parts of the country, you could buy a whole HOUSE for that!

For those of us who are tired of our kitchens but don’t have $62,000 lying around, we have a solution. Don’t change your kitchen – just change your dishes! Serving meals on a brand-new (to you) set of china is an affordable way to cope with the kitchen blahs. And right now at the ALI thrift shop, we have an AMAZING selection of china, with many complete or nearly-complete sets. The prices are too varied to list here, but DEFINITELY less than $62,000. Come in and see for yourself! “Grand Buffet” by Charter Club: 12 white plates edged in gold (these would be a great buy for your holiday entertaining).

English Ironstone dishes from Alfred Meekin, white plates with blue rims and matching blue cups and bowls: These would be great summer luncheon dishes – 11 lunch plates, 11 dessert plates, 11 cereal bowls, 10 smaller fruit bowls, 12 cups, 13 saucers.

AND if you like to mix and match your china, we have a number of 3-plate sets (dinner plate, salad, dessert) from Villeroy & Boch, Dansk, Wedgwood, and Royal Albert.

REMEMBER, EVERYTHING AT THE THRIFT SHOP IS ONE-OF-A-KIND. IF SOMETHING ON THIS LIST INTERESTS YOU, VISIT THE SHOP QUICKLY OR IT MAY BE GONE!

"Poppy Trail" by Mattox:  Antique-looking blue flowered dishes, partial set.
“Poppy Trail” by Mattox: Antique-looking blue flowered dishes, partial set.
"Wheaten," by Noritaki (vintage 1950s pattern):  An almost full service for 12!
“Wheaten,” by Noritaki (vintage 1950s pattern): An almost full service for 12!
"Sabrina" by Sango:  Blue and light green pattern on white, and almost a full service for 8.
“Sabrina” by Sango: Blue and light green pattern on white, and almost a full service for 8.
"Victorian Flowers," by Sarma Studios of Japan:  8 place settings PLUS an 8-piece canister set, soup bowls and soup tureens, coffee and tea pots, casserole dish, and more.
“Victorian Flowers,” by Sarma Studios of Japan: 8 place settings PLUS an 8-piece canister set, soup bowls and soup tureens, coffee and tea pots, casserole dish, and more.
White dishes from Crate & Barrel:  8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 6 bowls, 5 mugs.
White dishes from Crate & Barrel: 8 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 6 bowls, 5 mugs.