Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Free Gifts To Share!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on December 23rd, 2011

It’s that time a year again and if you’re like someone I know (i’m not mentioning any names…) you’ve waited ’til last minute to do your holiday shopping. Well, let me make it easy for you. I’ve got FREE gift ideas to share with you and it all starts with the most precious gift you can give…..YOU!

Did you know that you can actually be an eco-friendly gift?

1.  Make coupons that offer your time or services. For example, “This coupon entitles you to a special dinner for 2 lovingly prepared by me.” This coupon works great for friends or relatives that don’t cook. Or, “This coupon entitles you to 2 hours of book keeping services.” If you know what services someone really needs, then taylor made coupons makes them extra special.

2. Know someone with an office? (of course you do!) Check out this adorable business card holder  that was given to me  by a friend who created it special just for me. You can do the same with just a few pieces of cardboard , some glue and colored markers. 

3. Visit a lonely neighbor. Whether they’re down the street or across the hall, go knock on their door and say hello. Yes, even to the cranky guy that never smiles at you when you check your mail. Ever think he’s cranky because he’s lonely? Bring a plate of cookies to sweeten him up!

Your time and attention to someone less fortunate is the most precious gift you can give and …it’s FREE! Nothing feels as good as knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Give the gift of time…….The gift of YOU!

Happy Holidays!


Decorating with Flea Market Finds & Yard Sale Sensations!!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on July 13th, 2010

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and hit the yard sales and flea markets for great decorating finds. And what better way to help the environment and your wallet! It’s a great way to recycle items that would eventually end up in a landfill and finding great deals is good for the soul and easy on the budget! With a little imagination, you can turn trash into treasure with just about anything! Here are a few ideas to get you going:

  • Repurpose an old, slightly beat up dresser with fresh paint or stencil and use it as a T.V. stand or night stand in a bedroom. Or, try placing it in your kitchen for exta storage for table linens and special dinner ware.
  • Create some mood lighting with an old glass lampshade and a candle. Look for a vintage colored glass lampshade, place the candle on a small dish and place the glass lampshade on top. You’ve just created a one of a kind lighting piece! The amber colored, dimpled glass piece I used here, creates an interesting textured shadow effect.
  • Picture frames can be turned into many beautiful new items. Install a mirror, fabric, wallpaper, or even a new picture to give an old frame new life. Here, I framed an old record store promotion poster of Mick & Keith. Feeling crafty? Turn your old frame into a serving tray. Place a piece of whimsical fabric or wallpaper under the glass, hot glue some wooden handles on the side and voila!
  • Old wooden doors add architectural interest to any room. In the bedroom, they make great headboards. They can also serve as a dinning table or coffee table. Just leaning one against a blank wall will create a nice conversational piece, adding texture and interest to the room. You can also repurpose old windows. For example, gather a couple of small pictures say, from your vacation, and glue each one to a piece of heavy cardboard. Now hot glue or nail the cardboard to the back of the window.You now have a very unique picture frame that you can hang on a wall of use as a coffee table top!
  • Decorative boxes are one of my favorites! Use them to store your old VHS or cassette tapes, remote controls, or pictures. Odd numbers like 3 or 5, make an interesting arrangement. If you’re lucky enough to find vintage hat boxes, you won’t have to decorate them yourself. However, if you’re feeling crafty, you can always decorate your boxes with shelf paper. Most shelf paper is self-adhesive, just cut it to the size of the box. Try stacking the boxes next to a side chair or place on a table for an added decorative touch.

The key to decorating with great yard sale and flea market finds is to keep an open mind. Try not to get hung up on what the item was originally used for, but rather, what you can do with it. Think outside the box. By doing so, you’ll create one of a kind pieces and give your home a more unique, personal look. Also, get out there early and don’t be afraid to haggle-that’s half the fun! And remember, it’s only a good deal if you love it and can create something useful from it. So, put your creative thinking caps on, get outside and have fun!

*Photo Credits: 2 picture window frame is property of  and the glass lampshade photo is property of Colleen Kennedy.

Make Everyday Earth Day!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on April 19th, 2010

By now, I’m sure you’re aware of the various Earth Day celebrations and events taking place in your community so, I won’t list them here.

Instead, I’d like to talk about how we can make Earth Day a daily celebration and not just something we do one day a year. Earth Day is not just about celebrating the planet but honoring it and we do that by the choices we make everyday. In my last organizing blog, 7 Tips for Better Organizing, I mention how being organized is a process and a matter of habit. If we take that same mentality and apply it to Earth Day, then slowly, everyday will become Earth Day. Here’s what I propose:

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT OUR HABITS How are we shopping, eating, cleaning, traveling, consuming?  Can we recycle more? Can we consume less? In each of these areas we need to look at our actions and see if what we are doing is helping or hurting our environment. We need to explore alternatives and find eco-friendly solutions. I think one of the biggest change we can make is to consume less. Before we buy am item, we need to ask ourselves, do we really need it? Would my life suffer without this item, or could I actually get along without it? Also, are the things we’re buying supporting companies that are doing good in this world or are we supporting companies that continue to pollute our environment? For example, fair trade products help local families earn a decent living while supporting sustainable practices.

THE LARGER PICTURE What we do today, effects how we live tomorrow. It has been said that it takes 30 days to change a habit. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. It takes commitment, dedication and honesty. It’s a process that begins with small steps. Let this Earth Day be a new beginning, like New’s Year Day. What small step will you take today, tomorrow and the next day to make our world a better place? Honor  Mother Earth, our home, by changing habits to support a healthier, happier lifestyle. In the end, we’ll all be the better for it!

Me & Ed Begley Jr. at LA’s Go-Green Expo

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on January 26th, 2010

Me & Ed at the Go-Green Expo 2010This past week-end I had the pleasure of hearing the Guru of Green, Ed Begley, Jr. speak at the Go-Green Expo in Los Angeles. Besides being a top rate actor, he is also a top rate environmentalist. Ed has been dedicated to preserving the environment for over thirty years. He has written two books on living an Eco-Friendly life, Living Like Ed and his latest book, Ed Begley Jr.’s Guide to Sustainable Living.  He has also criss-crossed the country speaking about the benefits eco-friendly living  at numerous events.

At this week-end’s Go-Green Expo event, Ed spoke about what’s happening to our environment and what we can do to help. Two things he said really stood out. The first being, “incremental change”. That is, take every small step you can because they all add up and they really do make a difference. You don’t need a lot of money to make a change, you just need to start. Change your light bulbs, your shopping habits, your consumption habits. Change the way you think about the environment and don’t be afraid. You know, there are people afraid of change because they think is too hard or too expensive, but it isn’t. Here in Southern California we made a change to clean up the air. As Ed pointed out in his talk, we have more cars on the road today in LA than thirty years ago and yet our air pollution levels have decreased. Why? Because we made a change and it wasn’t scary, it wasn’t expensive, in fact, it was good.

The second thing he said that stood out for me was to “complete the recycling circle”. That is, recycle and buy recycled products. Now that’s what I’m talking about! I’ve been stressing this for quite some time now. It’s not always necessary to buy new. You’ve heard the phrase, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”? Well, those treasures can be found at your local consignment shop, second hand store, antique shop and on Craig’s list, Free Cycle and in your newspaper’s classified ads.  For items like furniture, home accessories and even clothes, there are green options out there. I’m not saying you should never buy new, just think before you do!

For a more in-depth look at how you can conserve resources and live a more Eco-Conscience life, check out Ed’s newest book, “Ed Begley, Jr.’s Guide to Sustainable Living”. As always, there’s a ton of great info. on his web sites:

Thanks Ed, for your inspiration and for being your gracious, kind self!

Easy Green Shopping

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on December 23rd, 2009

Here’s a few last minute gift ideas:

  • Eco-friendly shopping bags. You can find them just about everywhere these days. They’re smart, stylish and inexpensive. Use them as a gift or in place of wrapping paper. Put a toy inside for a child and the bag becomes a little gift for Mom too!
  • Make a donation to a charity in a loved one’s name. Find one that they can relate to be it animals, children, or a cancer foundation. This type of gift touches more people than just the person you give it to.
  • Bake cookies, pies or breads. This is one of my favorites! A little old fashion but a whole lot tasty!! This year, I  used holiday tins left over from last year to put my cookies in. It’s a great way to recycle the tins and who doesn’t love cookies?

Whatever gift you give, make it from the heart and they will love it. Try not to get caught up in all the hoopla. Sometimes the best gift you can give is time. So for my last suggestion, I’ll say this:

  • Plan some time with someone whether it’s lunch with your sister or a beer with your brother maybe tea with your mom, as long as it’s time well spent it will be the best gift of all.

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy to you all!