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Black Friday tips from an Insider

There are two kinds of people who venture out for Black Friday. The first is the ultimate bargain hunter. Then there are those who are going out for the fun of it. Both have different styles and goals in mind. Which ever you are here are some great tips, even if you are in an in between category.

Give the gift of Audible

Is it worth it? My retailers have given up the holiday of Thanksgiving itself. The practice started as retailers began to compete. Every year the store opening and crazy deals have gotten earlier in an effort to beat out their competition. Several years ago some started at 6am. Now they’ve backed into Thanksgiving Day itself. I worked these crazy schedules for years. I can vividly remember my first Black Friday morning. When pulling into my mall and seeing the lines stretched around the buildings in the freezing weather.

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Opening the doors has to be done with great care to avoid being trampled. As I was behind a vast counter, I’ve never been so thankful for the two feet separating them from me. One year they even had a stampeding hoard going up the escalators behind me. I’ve seen the news reports of violence and thought wow I’m glad i don’t live there. Then people did it in my store over $15 toasters.

I decided upon witnessing this i would never need a toaster it waffle iron that much. The danger is just not worth saving $5.00. While I did work this for many years, I’m thankful I’m not giving up my family time anymore.

As you venture out this shopping weekend please remember to be patient, kind, and respectful to the retail personnel who work so hard for you. Many have to now completely give up their family Thanksgiving to be here and ready for your shopping pleasure. Here are my insider tips after so many years behind the counter.

Do you really need it on Thanksgiving Day? While fun, you give up that precious time with your family. Those moments once gone can never be reclaimed. Like several of my close family, and indeed myself coming to close to having no more of those moments I appreciate them more profoundly. I remember my dad’s smiles and hugs, his military service humor. The warmth is given to each other as we spend a relaxed afternoon sharing stories, memories, food, and catching up on experiences. So decide if you really want to give that up.

  • If you are venturing out have a game plan.  You should rank items in terms of importance. 
  • Divide and conquer- Go as a group.  It adds to both the fun and makes it easier to find and get what you want.
  • Coupons and deals – Make sure you know the store policies on both the deals and coupons.  If you find them in the sales ad or online read the fine print.  Some cannot be used until after a certain time or even date.  Lots of retailers give out coupons at the door Thursday/Friday for Saturday and Sunday.  Knowing this in advance makes it easier to both budget and keep transactions smooth in the stores.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.

For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.



Where ever your adventure takes you make sure to bring your smile, your patience, and anything you need such as credit card, photo ID, cell phone charger, phone, and any apps you may need to keep it fun.

Listen to tens of millions of songs on any device anywhere, available for both Prime and Non-Prime members.
Listen to tens of millions of songs on any device anywhere, available for both Prime and Non-Prime members.

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY November 15th

National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day on November 15 encourages us to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Get together a soap and hot water filled bucket, disinfectant, a sponge and a garbage bag. Then you will be ready for the day!

With family gathering and a large turkey waiting to be roasted, cleaning out the refrigerator makes sense. Not only will we need room before the meals, but we also need space for all of the upcoming leftovers. Many dread this job. However, it is an important task none the less.

Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected. hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day.  There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.

Replacing the refrigerator water filter
Replacing the water filter now puts the six months schedule both before your holiday season and before the summer. The times you are likely to use it the most.

Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International found that the meat and vegetable drawers were the dirtiest spots in our kitchens – well with regards to causing disease.

However, those who clean their fridges more often tend to waste more food. There’s plenty of advice available on the frequency of fridge cleaning. Understanding food labels and the meanings behind “sell by” and “best by” dates are also important. These labels don’t necessarily mean a product has gone bad, but that the quality is best by the date on the label. However, “use by” leaves some of us wondering.

Greenco GRC0250 Fridge Bins, Stackable Storage Organizer Containers with Handles for Refrigerator, Freezer, Pantry and Kitchen Cabinets, BPA, Standard, Clear

by Greenco
Greenco GRC0250 Fridge Bins, Stackable Storage Organizer Containers with Handles for Refrigerator, Freezer, Pantry and Kitchen Cabinets, BPA, Standard, Clear

by Greenco

HOW TO OBSERVE #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay

Some suggestions for your refrigeration cleaning are:

  • Empty each shelf.
  • Completely wipe down the inside of the refrigerator.
  • Wash drawers and underneath the drawers.
  • Throw away all expired food.
  • Throw away any moldy food.
  • Get rid of anything that you do not use.
  • Vacuum condenser coils.
  • Vacuum out under the refrigerator.
  • Restock shelves and drawers with good food.
  • Enjoy your nice, clean, organized refrigerator.

Use #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay to post on social media.

Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter (Pack of 4)

by Arm & Hammer
Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter (Pack of 4)

by Arm & Hammer

NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY HISTORY

The home economists at Whirlpool Home Appliances created National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day in 1999 to encourage people to clean out their refrigerator in advance of the upcoming holidays.  At that time, the company even had a toll-free hotline that people could call into for cleaning tips.

November 12th, Fun Holiday – Happy Hour Day

November 12 is Happy Hour Day. So, on this unofficial fun holiday take advantage of happy hours at your favorite bar, cafe or restaurant.

Happy hour with friends
Happy Hour is best enjoyed with friends.

Happy hour is a term used to refer to a period of time during a day when establishments sell drinks and food at a discount. While traditionally offered by bars, restaurants today also hold happy hours and offer appetizers at reduced prices. Usually, a happy hour includes two drinks or two appetizers for the price of one.

Applebee's Gift Card

by Applebee's
Applebee’s Gift Card

by Applebee’s

Please drink responsibly and use a designated driver or service like Uber, Lyft or a taxi service now Z-trip here in Pensacola. Many countries ban happy hours in bars due to the fear that it will encourage binge drinking and alcoholism.

How to Celebrate?

Happy Happy Hour Day! Here are some ways to celebrate this fun holiday:

  • Go out for happy hour with your friends and co-workers and get two of your favorite beverages for the price of one. Remember to always drink responsibly.
  • Don’t drink? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy happy hour. Many restaurants and coffee shops have happy hour prices on appetizers and hors-d’oeuvre. Enjoy these while sipping a non-alcoholic beverage.

Did You Know…

…that the happy hour began as an event in the military? It is believed that the term comes from events organized by a club called the Happy Hour Social for the United States Navy in 1913.

Moon Phase And Planet Earth Galaxy Handmade Pendant Necklace
Moon Phase And Planet Earth Galaxy Handmade Pendant Necklace

It’s a full moon out tonight.

November 11, Origami Day

There’s a birthday coming, and it’s an important one for all you paper folding fanatics. It’s the birthday of Lillian Oppenheimer, the founder of the first origami group in America. She also was instrumental in the founding of the British Origami Society and Origami USA. So if you love the art of folding paper and creating beautiful creations from paper, cloth, dollar bills, napkins, or anything that’ll hold a crease, Origami Day is for you!

DOURA Origami Paper 750 Sheets Economy Pack with Storage -80gsm- 6 inch Square Sheet - 25 Vivid Colors for Gifts

by DOURA
DOURA Origami Paper 750 Sheets Economy Pack with Storage -80gsm- 6 inch Square Sheet – 25 Vivid Colors for Gifts

by DOURA

History of Origami Day

The art of folding paper arose in several places throughout the world, including Europe, China, and Japan. It has accompanied traditions and celebrations of every kind, including funerals, birthdays, and more. The first actual reference to a paper model is in a poem, which somehow seems appropriate given that such things are traditionally written on paper. In that poem, a butterfly design was referenced in connection to Shinto weddings, but that’s just one of many ways that these designs were used.

Easy Origami (Dover Origami Papercraft)over 30 simple projects Spiral-bound – October 5, 1992
Easy Origami (Dover Origami Papercraft)over 30 simple projects Spiral-bound – October 5, 1992

In Europe, it was napkin folding that was all the rage, a tradition which was abundant during the 17th and 18th centuries as a sign of being a good host or hostess. Sadly, this particular tradition was going to fade out and become nearly forgotten until recently, when it’s beginning to see something of a resurgence.

When Japan opened its borders in the late 1800’s, they started incorporating German paper folding techniques and two worlds came together in a glorious union. These days Origami has been used as a beacon of hope, with the tradition of folding a thousand cranes being done for people who are in the hospital fighting cancer, for instance.

Origami Paper 500 sheets Kaleidoscope Patterns 6" (15 cm): Tuttle Origami Paper: High-Quality Double-Sided Origami Sheets Printed with 12 Different Designs (Instructions for 6 Projects Included) Loose Leaf – September 19, 2017

by Tuttle Publishing  (Editor)
Origami Paper 500 sheets Kaleidoscope Patterns 6″ (15 cm): Tuttle Origami Paper: High-Quality Double-Sided Origami Sheets Printed with 12 Different Designs (Instructions for 6 Projects Included) Loose Leaf – September 19, 2017

by Tuttle Publishing  (Editor)

November 9, Chaos Never Dies

Feel like your life sometimes spirals into a chaotic mess? Then Chaos Never Dies Day on November 9 is the holiday for you.

This made-up holiday encourages people to realize that chaos is part of life and that it will never die. So instead of getting hassled by it, just take a deep breath and let go of things that create chaos in your life on this day.

How fitting that this made up holiday is settled in November, just before the chaos of holiday, planning, eating, parties, shopping, and gifting begin in earnest. So much so that many started gift shopping for the next year on December 26th. For those who didn’t start that early or at all I can promise it is easier and a lot less chaotic when not scrunched into a limited two month time period.

Chaos of the holiday season

If you are someone who thrives on chaos, you will find yourself firmly in your element as holiday events ensue. While I can quite happily join the holiday hustle, starting early gives me more time for personal gifting and enduring memory making.

Chaos Never Dies Crazy Busy Mom Coffee Mug or Tea Cup

by The Gift Castle
Chaos Never Dies Crazy Busy Mom Coffee Mug or Tea Cup

by The Gift Castle

Cozy up with a warm drink of the season while acknowledging the chair surrounding you. Pair it with a good book for a relaxing break from your busy schedule.

Chaos Never Dies Day is also known as National Chaos Never Dies Day in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take the day for yourself and do things that de-stress you. Pack your lunch and go for a picnic in the park with your loved ones.
  • Watch a feel good movie or read a book.
  • Take a nap in the middle of the day and remember chaos never dies, so it can wait to hassle you for one more day.
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Our membership program offers special benefits including: * Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

Information on this and many more fun holidays go to https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/chaos-never-dies-day

Common Sense Day

Are you familiar with the saying “common sense is not that common”? Celebrate this rarely used quality on November 4, Common Sense Day.

My favorite saying is

Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden.

Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone's Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)
Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone’s Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)

As you watch the news, surf the internet, or simply read the latest Google headlines, I’m sure most if us have shook our heads, laughed, or the phrase “Really” a utured out loud. Common sense has become both more talked about and something becoming more lacking in encounters every day.

Growing up this skill was taught along with lots of practical skills for life. Our parents taught us about real world living do we could grow and mature into responsible adults. Today the news is filled with stunning examples where for some reason this was missed. Is it because we’ve become more focused on technology? I’d like to think no, however the wealth of young adults lacking these skills that are entering the world should give serious reservations about humanities future.

While this is meant to be a fun holiday, recognize that these skills are being lost at an alarming rate. Have you ever worked with someone who threw away an article of clothing because it’s missing a button? I have.

Common Sense, Thomas Paine
Common Sense (Books of American Wisdom) Hardcover – July 1, 2002

The date coincides with the birth date of actor Will Rogers who was thought to have coined this phrase.

How to Celebrate?

  • Well, what can we say? Use your common sense to celebrate this unofficial holiday.

Most important try to teach it to those around you. They may not say it today, but their future selves will likely thank you for it.

Happy Halloween

Enjoy the fun and be safe.

Happy Halloween
Keep them safe tonight as well.
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