Shop Local and Let’s All Stay Off The Fiscal Cliff, okay? See ya at DownEast.

Holy cow everyone. We’ve got a week.

Just. One. Week.

You ready?

Have you been recycling old shirts, chopping up boxes and turning cake pans into stars? Have you found awesome deals on line and scored some great deals? I hope so.

But if you’re like me and still have a few items on your shopping list (plus the never ending need for more of those staples), make a conscious effort to save money AND support your local businesses.



Because I’m an official in my city and can tell you how much local businesses drive our economy. I’ve seen first hand how money spent in local stores impacts our communities several times more than online sales. You want more money for roads-schools-police in your neighborhood? Shop local.  You want lower property taxes and bond costs? Shop local. When Main Street shops get overlooked, the recovery for all of us is slower.

And stop – before you go there – I’m here to myth-bust about local being more expensive.  Shopping local isn’t just a noble idea, but a savvy way to save. You really can get awesome deals. Really.

Bottom line: you gotta hit DownEast.

Yes, they’ve got amazing deals on up-scale catalog furniture—they’re famous for that and their selection rocks.


But I’ve got four – FOUR – great reasons to swing by THIS WEEK and in 2013 even if you’re on a shoe string budget like me and not in the market for a new couch:


DownEast has the cutest, comfiest, most affordable stand-up-in-the-wash-like-a-champ clothing staples like camis and layering tees that everyone needs.


Finding affordable clothes that are actually modest and cute is getting harder and harder. That’s why I’ve fallen in LOVE their in-house DownEast Basics line.


I have two daughters who are crazy tall with wicked cases of plumbers butt. Since I have yet to make camis and tees successfully out of cardboard, these were at the top of  my list. Plus it buys me a little more time with those shirts that are getting a little too short. See?


Baby girls was ticked when I told her it was time to retire her favorite black tee. Add a DownEast lace cami and problem solved.

Ah, way better.

This lace one was under $5 and layering tees are 2/$15 right now. Yeah, I’m stocking up. Mr. Thrive loves the price and everyone at church and school appreciates that my girls are no longer mooning them.

DownEast also has designer denim and accessories for 60-80% off what your kids want you to fork out at the mall. And when those cute jeans that you or your daughter want are high two figures (or even three), slashing that price by way more than half gets your attention very quickly. It’s all name brand stuff, but the prices are so low that I’m seriously not allowed to say them out loud … or in print … or even show you pics. I’ve been in their stores several times over the last few weeks and can tell you I checked it all out … and saw the prices … and maybe drooled a little bit since we’re Rock What Ya Got at our house and I’m not used to having “cool” stuff be in my price range – ever.


So don’t worry about the mysterious hey-I-can’t-tell-you-the-brand-names-thing. Let’s just think of it as the designer blinged-out denim Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. Or the designer blinged-out denim brands that I could tell you about, but then I’d have to …. well, you get the idea.

2. DESIGNER from-the-huge-catalog-companies LINENS, HOME DÉCOR, and KIDS STUFF

(wait … that’s probably #2, 3 and 4. 🙂

DownEast gets the overstocks, seconds and discontinued items from some of the biggest catalog and department stores.  Monogramed 300 thread count sheets with the wrong letter or kids backpacks with the wrong name.  No biggie. Five minutes with a seam ripper and you’ve got sheets-curtains-bedding-backpacks-suitcases-lunch boxes-pillows-you-name it for half of what you’d spend on the cheapy generics at the box stores. Yeah, half. At least. And the quality kicks butt.


I’ve been on the look out for new sheets for my girls’ room after kid #6 went all Edward Scissorhands on us, but I have completely struck out at thrift stores and online. Again, cardboard is not an option so I’m looking for cheap. Yup … found a complete set (flat, fitted, shams) at DownEast  for thrift store prices. Perfect color, too.



Do you need stockings still? Or are you thinking that you’ll need to replace them next year if you can find a good sale after Christmas? They’re 50% right now. That means stockings like these are $2.50 – $5 each. They’re thick and heavy and will last for years to come. My favorite is the red and white striped wool number.

But confession: no one in my house is named Jean-Luc.

These were $30 in the catalog and I snagged the 100% wool yummieness for way less that I could have found the fabric even with a coupon (under $5!). Since I don’t have any old wool sweaters or friendly sheep around, this worked out handy. And kid #4 who has a thing for snowmen? Snagged that one for him for $2.50.

I also found this ridiculously cute Santa sack for under $5.


And confession … it’s not the right name (although you may just find yours!)

But … you got it. It’s a cinch to cover or remove and I know the kids are going to freak out when they see that Santa left his sack at our house.


I’m a THRIVE-r so I went straight for the clearance and sales racks.

Holy cow. Can I just show you my score?

Kid #3’s backpack was a $10 clearance find from Wallys. It was made out of paper (apparently) and lasted us all of four months. I found this extra-thick-padding-and-reinforced-seams backpack AND matching lunch box with the easy-washable-so-you-don’t-get-the-funky-sour-milk-smell liner that she’ll love. Catalog price for the backpack alone was $40. DownEast had it for $11.99. Catch one of their awesome sales and you’ll pick it up for 30-50% off that like I did. And the lunch box? Picked that up for $3.


But kid #3’s name isn’t Gaby. Or Sophi. Big whoop. My seam ripper took care of both in just a few minutes. I could even just cover over the stitching with a cute applique or name tag. Such an easy fix.

Or how about this crazy-cute sleeping-bag-blanket-roll? I’ve seen these in popular children’s catalog and they’re $80+.


Yup … a mere $80. Kid #6 really, really wants one of these for Christmas. Thanks to DownEast’s low prices + great sales, I got the whole furry puppy head, sleeping bag and paws for less than a Pillow Pet. Of course no, my daughter isn’t a Paiyton. I’m going to turn on White Christmas after the kids go to bed and take care of that. I’ll have that name off before anyone gets their life saved by Phil Davis. Easy peasy.

I even did something for myself that I haven’t done in months … I bought a new shirt. I had big, big plans to hack apart a sheet and refashion the heck out of it, but I’m running short on time and wanted something special to wear to church for our Christmas program. I figured I’d grab a cheap-o shirt at the thrift store … or Wallys … or Tar-jay. Instead I found this $10 number that looks awesome even when I’ve been caring kid #6 around all day.


I may have worn it three days in a row over the last week already. I get compliments all the time which is a really big deal for me. Not because I’m vain, but because I usually am so focused on making sure the kids are covered that I never take care of me. Any other moms out there guilty, too? And while I’m so proud of how my kids look at Christmas or Easter, I usually sit next to them in something worn out and frumpy. This year I realized how important it is to treat myself with the same kindness and respect that I give my family. If it was important for my family to look nice for the holidays, it should be nice for me to as well. Finding a shirt for myself that didn’t make me feel like I was “taking away” from my family’s needs made me float. Turns out stick-to-the-basics pricing can still be cute, too.

So skip the traffic at the malls and box stores.

Skip the expense of rush of shipping online.

Check out DownEast for those Christmas items still on your list and save yourself some of that well earned money.


*Disclaimer: I received a gift card to shop at DownEast, but all opinions, stories about my daughter’s plumber’s butt, plans to watch White Christmas, hygiene-pushing  “hey-I-really-love-this-shirt-and-seriously-live-in-it” confessions and civic-geek passion for shopping local are 100% mine.

7 thoughts on “Shop Local and Let’s All Stay Off The Fiscal Cliff, okay? See ya at DownEast.”

  1. I LOVE Downeast and only wish I were still close enough to shop there. When my daughter moved to her big girl bed I found gorgeous sheets from Pottery Barn Teen that we've loved for 7 years now and they are still going strong. Best part? They were literally 25% of the initial catalog price. Love, love, LOVE!

    • Micha,
      Ah, a fellow DownEast groupie! I had never heard of them before moving to Idaho and quickly realized that EVERYONE shopped there, especially the high school and college kids with a taste for name-brand jeans. I'm just glad to be able to find the Wally-World prices with stuff that's actually cute.

  2. Love this post! I think I'll head up there right now!!! I do have to say that I love the pic of you in your new shirt, you look awesome with your hair blowing in the wind and all sorts of professional photo shootness happening! Love it!

  3. Nike, I Love your blog. Found it on Google while searching for DIY projects. You are so creative and hilarious. Great work. Added blog to my bookmarks…I will be back. Stay fab. 🙂

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