china


As many of you may be aware, one of my New Year’s Resolutions was not to shop at Walmart.  So far so good.  And honestly I have no temptation any more to go there.  Sure it’s a little convenient but it’s too high of a “price”.

Now for those of you who are devote Walmart fans, I use to be one, please stay with me.

Last night on the news, in the midst of all the bad news about our economy, there was the “bright” spot of Walmart sales being up 2.1%.  So my question to those reading is, is this what you want?  Do we want Walmart to get larger while other companies go out of business?  Do we want to bail out WalMart when they start to have financial trouble because we are too dependent upon them? 

If you say where will I buy things, here are a few ideas:

Clothes – Thrift Stores, Resale Shops, Independent Shops

Pet Food– Grocery Store, PetSmart or similar store, Local Feed Store

Groceries– Even when I liked Walmart, I found their grocery prices not any cheaper than my grocery store, try local markets, Corner Grocery Store, Farmers Markets, ETC

Household –  I look for coupons and just shop my grocery store anymore.  It saves me a trip which pays for any additional $$ that I spent.  It’s a wash …hahahaha

Furntiure/Decorative– Again try your local Thrift Store, garage sale, or craigslist.  Or save up for some good quality merchandise that will last longer.  Also, try a model home store.  They purchase the furniture from the model homes and pass the savings onto you.  It’s higher than Walmart but quality is WAY BETTER and will last a lot longer which is better than getting something for a year and tossing it right?

Here are a few other stores to go to – Your local Hardware Store and Office Supply Stores.  And don’t forget about ETSY..handmade stuff is terrific there!

You know, depending on where you live, some of this takes a little more time, but is it worth it?  I believe without a doubt it is!!!!  More local stores creates jobs here, creates communities, fosters creativity and equips those who produce it, less to throw out because you paid for quality, spend/ do with less because you are purchasing something that will last. 

Don’t believe me, I can’t tell you how many times that either myself or someone I know purchase something that was not on our list because it was only $3.98.  And guess what?  Not used, didn’t work, in the closet, no one else wanted it, broke, regret, etc!!  How much have you spent at Walmart doing that?  Go for the long run, shop local!

Please consider where you shop and really do something good for our economy.

Have a “Soapbox” Day 🙂

P.S. – There’s always room for another person on this soapbox.  Join me and just say no to Walmart.

I am curious, did you make one?  Do you usually keep yours?

After much consideration I have made mine and believe I will stick with it.  My love affair is over.  I am not enjoying this relationship anymore and it’s time to cut the strings!  I don’t think the love is mutual and so I am not going to enable this any longer.  What is it you ask?  WalMart.  It’s not the place I shopped at 10 years ago.

I have been falling out of love with WalMart for sometime but have realized this is the year to go cold turkey.  Given our economic situation I just felt this is not a company I would like to support any longer.  Here are a few more reasons:

– I don’t think they treat their employees well and their pay is so low they have been reported as handing out Government Assistance Applications to their employees. 

– China factory.  Now I know that everything is made in China but didn’t they use to believe in Made in the USA.

– As a future small business owner, I can’t, in good conscience, support them.  When they come in to town they destroy a small town business’ who could never compete with the tax breaks and volume discounts that a WalMart receives.  And I love those business’s.  That’s where the character is at for me.

– Quality

– I think you actually spend more on things that, usually, don’t last.  It also creates a now and throw away mentality instead of saving for something that is going to last.  “It’s only $2.98”

Well how’s that for a soap box?  I know many disagree with this however this is what I know I need to do, and I love supporting the little guy.  I think our economy depends on it.  Just think, are we ready to bail out WalMart when they have trouble because we have become so dependent upon them?

Have a “Resolved” Day

Do you wanna participate in my month long contest (with weekly drawings)?  Of course you do.  Here are the rules:

1) Answer the weekly question in my comments that week.  One entry is all I need.

2) POST about my contest on your blog.  I will need the direct link on my blog showing the post on your site. 

3) That’s it!!!!  Just wait to see if you are a winner.

Today will be a DOUBLE FEATURE –

BETH MARIE 10 @ ETSY

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6062303

Hi to all,
My name is Beth, I’m 24 years old. I’ve been married to the love of my life and highschool sweetheart, Jeremy, for 4 years (been together 6 years). We have a beautiful daughter, who is almost 2 years old. She sure is handful sometimes but we love her so much!

I started sewing when my fiance (husband now) went to college in Wyoming for a year. I spent everyday with my grandma who taught me how to sew. She helped me make my first quilt for Jeremy and I in a week! Yeap a week, and since then i’ve been sewing like a crazy lady. I have made 6 king size quilts for me, i havn’t been able to part with the big projects i make. I also have made many, many purses/bags, potholders, placemats, table runners, and small quilts and wall hangings.

I started to scrapbook after Jeremy and I had our daughter. I have 4 12X12 scrapbooks of just her already! I fell in love with this hobby. It has turned into much more than just scrapbooking, i make cards, calanders, and much more. In the beginning of June 08′ i made 200 programs for my Brother-in-laws wedding, boy was that a task but i loved doing them.

So I guess you could say that i am very creative and love my two hobbies and someday i hope to have many more hobbies.

Beth will be offering up a set of gift tags.  Just in time for the holidays.  Won’t your packages look great?

CHRISTMAS gift tags/favor tags  handstamped  snowman and MORE set of 16

The other feature today is from ZADYBALL. http://www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=5536688

What is a ZADYBALL you ask?  I am glad you asked.

Here is one right now :   Hoots the Owl - ZadyBall(TM)

That is “Hoots” and he is a best seller with ZADYBALL.

Description
Meet Hoots. He’s looking for a good home. He’s a bit of a night owl, but he’s ready to play any time! Squeeze his adorable face, and he’ll squeak!

Make Zadyball™ your baby’s first toy! Zadyball™ is easy to grab and hold, soft to cuddle, and makes the perfect lovey!
Each Zadyball™ is made with 100% cotton, super soft flannel and stuffed with high loft poly-fil. A Zadyball™ is about 7 inches in diameter with 16 knotted strings, each about 1/2 inch wide and 5 inches long.
***100% MACHINE WASHABLE***

———————
What is a Zadyball™?
———————
A Zadyball™ is designed first of all with babies in mind. They are soft to hold and cuddle, and have lots of strings to grab and rub.
Lots of babies have a “lovey” and many times the item they pick has something for them to rub – whether it’s the corner of a blanket or the nose on a teddy bear. The knotted ends of the strings are great to fulfill baby’s need for something to rub!

Why Babies love them:
1. Easy to grab and hold on to from a very young age
2. Good for teething
3. Soft to cuddle
4. Knotted ends are very soothing to rub
5. Makes a great lovey

Why Toddlers love them:
1. Once a lovey, always a lovey
2. Soft to cuddle (everyone loves soft things!)
3. Easy to throw and catch, especially when you are just learning how

Why Mommies love them:
1. Babies love them and we love our babies!
2. Easy to clean, just throw in the wash!
3. Safe!
4. Soft enough that you don’t have to worry about things breaking or anyone getting hurt when it is thrown around

Here is HOOTS MAKER BIO

 
This is my second shop. View my feedback at alaynacreations.etsy.com

I am a stay-at-home mother of two wonderful children, ages 2 and 4.

When my son was about 6 months old, he had a toy giraffe with a knotted string for a tail. He loved playing with the string, and would rub it to help him fall asleep.

He loved it so much, that I thought it would be great to create something for him that had lots of strings for him to play with. So, that is how the Zadyball was born — out of love for my son.

I hope that you and your family will enjoy Zadyball as much as we have. My four-year-old son still won’t sleep without his!

Learn more about me, my family and everything else at http://alaynacreations.blogspot.com

Now be sure to visit these fine shops and don’t forget to answer the question and post about the contest on your blog/site.  Stay tuned tomorrow for another wonderful “made with love” (not China) product!

 

Question for Week 2 – Has you done a random act of kindness in the last year or has someone done one for you?  Please share about it in the comments and don’t forget to link the contest on your blog.

Have a “Zady” Day!

Today is maybe a “Hot Topic” kind of question or maybe just some pondering.

I would like to know what you all think so you have to comment, k?  🙂

Given our economic status in the world and many traditional “blue collar” jobs going overseas, do you think there will be many careers for children without attending college?

Please comment and if inclined share the careers you think would be available, in the future, without a college education.

Have an “Educated” Day!

As my hubby and I were watching the Olympics last night, we started thinking about the Gold Medal.  What is on the front of it?  It almost looked like it only had gold on the edges.  But then we saw one, who was awarded with the gold, turn it around and you could see solid gold.  But we were still left with a few questions:

 Is it stamped “Made in China”?

             and

 Did anyone check the lead content?

Have an “Olympic” Day!

I’m sure many of you know about all the toy recalls from China.  We receive many products, not just toys,  from China and may not be aware just how prevalent these products are in our stores.  From a business prospective I can understand why a business would feel they need to import from China to stay competitive.  As consumers we demand it.  We want, myself included, a low price.  However, as we are learning, this may come at a different price; working conditions, low wages, and a lack of standard that is acceptable. 

About two years ago, my husband lost his job to this dilemma.  My husband is a trained jeweler who now makes teeth.  He makes crowns, bridges, etc.  He works in a dental lab and they were outsourcing to China.  Thankfully he found another job but the thought is always there that more labs may outsource.  As we learned about the lead in the toys it made me start to wonder about how many people have a crown that may have too much lead or possibly worse.  And I don’t even know if the dentists were informed and could make a decision if this was in the best interests of their patients. 

I know that it is near impossible for us to avoid this trend, but I do believe people need to be aware so that we do not accept inferior products based on the bottom-line.  Here are a few things you can do: 

  • Make sure to check where your products are made (ask about things you wouldn’t think about)
  • Listen to local news regarding this issue 
  • Vote on any legislation that may help keep imported products that we expect here in the United States
  • Inform your stores (etc) what you want or expect 

If you are interested in purchasing things made in the USA this holiday season or any other time look at this website.  I found it and thought it was interesting. 

http://americangoods.wordpress.com/apparel/

 You can also try and buy locally.  Supporting a local merchant is sometimes more expensive but can be worth the extra cost knowing that someone received a proper wage, the product is properly inspected, less transportation to bring the product to you (GREEN), and it helps the local economy. 

Buy local this Christmas.