Category Archives: Shopping

Giving Tuesday: Helping Women In Need

Cyber Monday is great–but why not wait until Giving Tuesday to put your money in hands that make a difference in the world? #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement driven by individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and communities around the world. Now is the perfect time to talk to you family and friends about how you can use the holiday season to help those who are less fortunate or in greater need. If you still need something under the tree, check out a couple of our favorites below:

ppf00303_1_6Planned Parenthood, offering many women’s health services in addition to abortion, has a wide variety of shirts (and other products!) for sale. We love anything that supports women during their time of need, but we have to say the “Wicked Jezebel Feminist” shirt is our favorite!
From their website: “The official t-shirt of virtual reality experience Across the Line, an immersive virtual reality experience that places viewers in the shoes of a patient entering a health center for a safe and legal abortion. 
Across the Line is part of ongoing efforts by Planned Parenthood to reduce stigma and change the conversation around safe and legal abortion. Using real audio gathered at protests, scripted scenes, and documentary footage, the film is a powerful hybrid documentary-fiction depiction of the toxic environment that many health care providers, health center staff, and patients must walk through to provide or access health care on a typical day. “Wicked Jezebel Feminist” is a phrase shouted by an anti-abortion protestor in the film experience.”
Check it out here.

thinxIn this office, we celebrate any product that makes the week of our periods easier. We celebrate it even more when it helps other women around the world. The easiest way to understand how THINX underwear works is to visit their website, but we want to emphasize that, once you make the switch, you may never go back. Also, for each pair of THINX underwear purchased, the company sends funds to their partner organization AFRIpads in Uganda. This organization trains women to sew and sell washable, reusable cloth pads at affordable prices, turning local women into entrepreneurs. The investment is worth it, trust us. And, today (11/28) and tomorrow (11/29) each purchase of full priced underwear you purchase will result in a $5 donation to Women Thrive Alliance. Save $10 on your purchase by using this link.

 

Be Happy!

Looking for the perfect gift for the type-A personality in your life? We’re talking about the ones who have pro/con lists scattered throughout their notebooks, whose weekly planners are more organized than your entire life… you know, the Rory Gilmore identifiers. Well, luckily there’s journal made with exactly them in mind. 52 Lists for Happiness, by Moorea Seal, is a “year-long journey to your own personal joy, one list at a time.”
The book contains four sections: reflect, acknowledge, invest, and transform. It contains 13 listing prompts with extra space to create your own lists. This is enough to last the reader a whole year. The journal also includes challenges for the reader to seek their own happiness and to take action in their life. Some examples of these prompts are as follows:
“List what makes you happy right now.”
“List the simple ways you enjoy being kind to others.”
“List one achievement, big or small, every day this week.”
Personally, we can’t wait to get started making our lists. But, you don’t have to take our word for it! There is a science to this recommendation. Gratitude journaling has been found to make individuals feel happier and more optimistic. It even helps with health and fatigue. If one is suffering from depression or anxiety, a study published in Behavior Modification, states that journaling can decrease symptoms significantly. It can also help improve professional performance and self-awareness in those suffering from burn out, according to Harvard professor Teresa Amabile.
Whether you just love lists and want this book for yourself, or you know someone who is a journaling junky, or you know someone struggling with finding their happiness, this book is a golden opportunity for the perfect, well-thought, holiday gift and it’ll last them entirety of 2017!

 

Written by Nicole Brobston

Local Holiday Shopping: Rustic & Refined

The holidays are right around the corner, and Pam Burgess of Rustic & Refined is ready to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Located in a beautiful 1940’s Cape Cod home, Rustic & Refined’s ten themed rooms include antiques, hand-`painted furniture, florals, seasonal decor, and much more. Pam has nine years of experience in choosing items for her customers in Salem, Virginia. In a business that is increasing in popularity, that knowledge is invaluable.

photo-sep-20-2“I am a picker at heart,” she explains. “I travel the East Coast and find those one-of-a-kind, unique items. Most of the furniture comes from estate sales. There is a thrill to the hunt—finding that special something that someone comes in, loves and buys is an amazing feeling.”

Pam becomes part of the story for every item that she sells. She refinishes certain pieces of furniture, creates floral arrangements and wreaths, and most importantly, she connects customers with new treasures for their homes.
I found a gorgeous buffet in West Virginia,” she recalls. “A couple bought it and used it as a sink in their bathroom. It’s always fun to think about what people are going to do with an item or where they are going to put it.”

photo-sep-20-3Of course, with multiple DIY shoes on HGTV and Pinterest right at the fingertips of everyone with a smartphone, the market for repurposed items is booming. Pam recently visited a Flea Market Extravaganza boasting 3,000 vendors. Knowing what will sell and what customers are seeking is a valuable asset. In addition to knowing her market in Salem, she also looks for specific treasures.

“I carry a little pink book that I try to put people’s names in and what they’re looking for,” she says. “When I find something that fits, I send them a snapshot. If it is what they want, I buy it and bring it home.”

Pam’s friend and colleague, Beth Shearer, has been with her at Rustic & Refined since day one. Together, they work to keep the store open five days each week and find the best home and gift items for their customers.

photo-sep-20Join us for Rustic & Refined’s Holiday Open House Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 5. Visitors will enjoy light refreshments as they tour the ten decorated rooms and shop for gifts and decorations.

“The main room will have a heavily white-flocked tree. There will be a 9-foot tree in the big sunroom. The entire house will reflect a Christmas theme,” says Pam. This is a great opportunity to purchase your holiday decor and perfect unforgettable gifts for everyone you love!

Visit www.facebook.com/RusticandRefinedva1 for more information on store hours, location, and contact information.

Purchasing With A Purpose

Of course, we all like to find that one gorgeous piece of jewelry or decoration for our homes, but it is important that we consciously spend our money on things that make a difference. With that in mind, check out two of our favorite product lines that are making the world a better place!

both-candlesFirst, the Starling Project by Sterling McDavid is a series of candles that can fill your home with four unique and wonderful scents. What makes this candle special is every time you light it, you are reminded of the deeper purpose behind it. Starling Candles are an entirely American made product whose sales are donated to key philanthropic organizations, like UNICEF. These donations go towards providing solar energy for communities in under-resourced countries.
According to The World Energy Outlook 2015, 1.2 billion people are without electricity. This contributes to poor hygiene and a dependence on unsustainable energy. Unsustainable energy is the leading cause of air pollution; which is a factor in over half a million infant deaths, with poor hygiene resulting in 1.4 million children deaths. Solar energy would provide energy alternatives, cleaner air, and cleaner water in turn saving those lives otherwise lost to air pollution and poor hygiene. One little candle could be the beginning of a change. This candle can make a difference and so can you.
So far The Starling Project has raised over 100,000 dollars which have all been donated to provide solar energy. For more information on how you can help, visit www.starlingproject.org.

songa_shop_bracelet_600x600_luna1-478x480_1024x1024Another awesome retailer, Songa Designs, is also doing its part in making a difference. They create high quality accessories that empower women. Songa Designs is an employer of women for women. According to their website, it is typical for women in developing countries to rely solely on their husbands for income—rendering them completely dependent. Songa Designs seeks to create jobs for these women to grant them their independence. They believes in fair wages and economic independence for all.
They have a number of different bracelets, necklaces, and baskets for sale on their website. Any purchase benefits women in developing countries find their own economic independence. They seek not perfection, but meaning and fulfillment, and their pieces are more than accessories. They are art with a greater purpose. Songa means, “The Path Forward.” Let’s walk together.
We like to buy, but now we can buy with purpose; consciously spending on things that make a difference.

Visit our Facebook page for a chance to win a candle or bracelet of your own this month! Don’t forget to pick up our October issue for more of our favorite fall items!

Written by Nicole Brobston

Fall in Love with Magnolia Home at Grand!

As we declutter and redecorate our homes this fall, we can’t help but notice that something is missing. There are things that need to be updated and replaced. It is time that our furniture reflects our new minimalist values with a touch of elegance. This realization couldn’t come at a better time—as Grand Home Furnishings now offers a variety of pieces from the Magnolia Home collection by Joanna Gaines.

joanna_pailMost of us know Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper, a show she hosts with her husband, Chip. Together, they renovate homes for families and reveal the true beauty of each family’s story through the very walls in which they live. So, it is no surprise that her Magnolia Home collection reflects the same values and mission that you see within these renovation projects. With that in mind, if you haven’t had the chance to preview some of these pieces for yourself, be ready to fall in love.

The traditional dining set in this collection is a statement piece that will become a staple in your family memories and traditions. Not only that, guests will remember it for years to come. The combination of colors and materials will help pull lighter shades from your walls and decorations to open up the room, while darker colors add just enough accent to set it apart.

french_inspired_youth_bedroomrsHowever, don’t just limit yourself to changing up the dining room. Gaines has thoughtfully designed six furniture categories that portray her well-loved style: boho, farm, French-inspired and French youth, industrial, primitive, and traditional. And the best part? Grand Home Furnishings will carry pieces from EACH of these categories! They will include dining room, living room, bedroom, youth bedroom, accent pieces, storage pieces, and even an accessory line. You may just find yourself redecorating your entire home before the holidays. The good news is, you won’t be the only one—and these are purchases that you will cherish and use for years to come. After all, your home is the space where you come to unwind. Realistically, it is your most important investment.

“Home is the most important place,” explains Gaines. “My passion is to help people create beautiful and meaningful spaces in their home. This isn’t just about designing furniture, this is about creating timeless pieces that help tell your home story.”

Of course, you may be thinking that every home’s story is different—and you are right. Every family’s history is unique in its own right, but every once in a while you find collections like this that can capture those beautiful nuances and reflect them for generations. Magnolia Home characterizes a design style that appreciates the uniqueness of vintage elements and creatively combines them in a simple and fresh way that is family-friendly and comfortably livable. That is something to which we can all relate.

The Magnolia Home collection is now available in all Grand Home Furnishings locations (except Summerville and Bristol). You can find more information on their location and the collection by visiting www.grandhomefurnishings.com. Also, visit www.magnoliamarket.com to learn more about Joanna Gaines, her family, and the new season of her show!

Back to College Essentials

The end of August calls for many exciting things: the symbolic end of summer, last minute vacations and of course the infamous start of a new school year. For some, this is the start of a new college semester. College living isn’t always the most comfortable years of your life. It usually consists of small dorms/apartments and super-size boxes of Ramen noodles (they have helped me thrive in college). However, finding ways to make your college space useful and livable is the key to a great experience. Downsizing is difficult to do after living in a large space for a while. Finding products that help you minimize while still maximizing your living space is essential to campus living. Here are some products that can help you utilize your new lifestyle:

 

1450957343998GreekGirl Beauty Protein Powder (As featured in our August issue!)
It’s important to stay healthy at all stages of life, including college. However, its tough to maintain a good diet with pizza everyday around campus and dining halls with unhealthy choices. Protein powder can be the perfect solution because it offers all the nutrients you need in a meal. It also never goes bad and takes up very little space!

Storage Ottomans
Finding multiple uses for an item can make things much simpler. Storage is the number one concern when it comes to downsizing and it can be tricky trying to fit your life in a small space. A storage ottoman is a good resolution because it’s seating for a guest and a place to put books or shoes. Utilizing the purposes of things in different ways in your new home can make the place more practical.

Lap desk
It’s vital that you take full advantage of the space you have so putting useless furniture, like a desk, in the room isn’t a way to maximize the space. Instead of a desk that you will most likely rarely use, try a lap desk. You can sit on the floor or your bed and do work and store it out of sight when you’re done!

32305708_000_aDry shampoo from Farmaesthetics (As featured in our August issue!)
Dry shampoo is a go-to when it comes to busy college schedules. It absorbs the oils in your hair to make it as fresh as it was days ago. It also doesn’t strip your hair out like shampooing does if you wash your hair every day. Throw a can in your purse for a hair boost wherever you go!

Phone charging purse
Once again, finding products that have more than one purpose is a way to maximize your lifestyle. One product that I have found useful is a purse that can charge your phone. Never go a night out again and worry about your phone dying! These are also perfect for people that are on the go every day.

Written by Stacy Shrader

Summer Wedding Style

Prepare yourself, wedding season is just around the corner and you know what that means… your mailbox is about to get stuffed with invitations. Whether you’re just going for the party or you’re going because you’ve been friends for ages, we have your go-to advice on what to wear!

First, do a once over on the invitation for a specified dress code. This is usually at the bottom of the invitation or sometimes even on a separate card. If you don’t see a requested attire listed, then you can go by the time of day for which the wedding is scheduled. The later in the day, the more formal the occasion! If it’s a noon wedding, it’s assumed it’s going to be casual unless otherwise noted. However, if it’s 5 o’ clock or later it’s considered a formal wedding. Or, if the dress code isn’t listed and you’re just not comfortable assuming what the couple wants, ask!

Now, you know what the dress code is but, what on earth does it mean?! Calm down, we got you covered. White tie is the most formal dress code that you’ll see. This means that men should be wearing a tailcoat, white vest, white bow tie, and white shirt. For the ladies this means a floor length ball gown. You don’t see this dress code very often any more, but you never know!

Black tie is what you are more likely to see for a formal wedding. A dark colored floor length gown or formal cocktail dress is appropriate for the ladies, while the fellas should be dressed in black tuxedos with a black bow tie. Formal attire, or evening attire, is usually requested for a wedding that takes place in the evening, but is less formal than a black tie wedding. Dressy separates for the ladies are totally acceptable for a formal attire wedding! The men in attendance should wear a dark suit with a conservative tie.

Lastly, casual is what you would see for an afternoon wedding or an outdoor wedding. This is also what you would most likely wear to those ever-popular barn weddings. Casual for men means a button down shirt with khaki colored slacks. A sports jacket is optional for these occasions! Ladies, this is your chance to debut one of those sundresses you bought on sale last fall!

However, no matter the dress code, be sure to dress in a way to keep all of the attention on the newlyweds! This means leave your white dresses, light-up bow ties, red gowns (yep, red too!), and feather boas at home! Pay attention, ask questions, and raise a toast to the married couple on their big night!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Healthy Snacks: Brussel Bytes!

Looking for a healthy alternative to traditional, salty road snacks? Try something outside the realm of cheese doodles and pretzels this summer, and take a look at Brussel Bytes from Wonderfully Raw Gourmet Delights. These up-and-coming veggie bites can be found along the shelves of any Target or online through Wonderfully Raw’s website.

The bags ring up at $5.99, and are available in three flavors: Cheezy Herb, Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch. The variety of savory and sweet tastes provide customers with the option to satisfy any range of cravings–not to mention these veggies are chalked full of healthy Vitamins A and C.

cheesyfront_81f18979-c7d5-4af7-87c7-66b7323706d0_1024x1024Perfect for that extra boost while you’re out and about, settling in after a long car ride, or on the Amtrak to the city, Brussel Bytes are organic, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly. They are made with organic kale, carrots, pumpkin seeds and brussel sprouts.

Throw them in your lunch box before work or take them on a hike with friends one afternoon. Each bag provides two servings, making it a great snack to share with a hungry travel partner.

Brussel Bytes excludes additives, preservatives, stabilizers and artificial flavors from its snacks. They are made with all natural ingredients, and because of this, snacks will reach an earlier expiration date than other comparatively preserved snacks. If the snacks are not satisfactory, Wonderfully Raw Gourmet Delights will replace the product free of charge to guarantee freshness.

 

Written by Emily McCaul