One of my favorite holiday traditions is baking sugar cookies. The warm, sugary, buttery smell of cookies fresh out of the oven always brings back memories of my mom, sisters, and I baking plates upon plates of cookies for our neighbors during the holidays. Of all the cookies we baked, sugar cookies were my favorite to make. Together my family and I would mix the ingredients to make the dough and after patiently waiting for them to bake in the oven and cool completely, my mom would frost them and my sisters and I would cover them in a multitude of colorful sprinkles. Every year my mom would use different cookie cutter shapes and my sisters and I would try out a variety of colored sprinkle combinations.
Since moving to the Seattle-area a few years ago, I have slowly started building up my supply of kitchen necessities. One item I haven’t bought yet, are cookie cutters, because I usually go home for the holidays and end up making cookies with my family. This year, however, I will be spending the holidays in Seattle with my boyfriend’s family. To keep the holidays feeling like the holidays and to introduce my boyfriend’s family to my family’s delicious sugar cookies, I have decided I need to get my own cookie cutters.
After looking around at local culinary stores and online, I realized that cookie cutters are expensive! I mean $5-10 for a snowflake cookie cutter?! I don’t think so. I want to make wonderful holiday memories this year, but I’m also trying to save money where I can this holiday season. To do so, I took a trip over to my local thrift shops in search of fun, funky, and retro cookie cutters.
After searching the kitchen supply isles, a few times, I found a t-rex, heart, and sweater cookie cutters that were perfect! While these aren’t particularly holiday themed shapes, they are definitely the fun and funky cutters I was looking for.
While I’m off to bake delicious sugar cookies and share my holiday traditions this year, remember to stop by Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop and see what goodies you can score to round out your holidays. With the selection changing daily, you never know what you’ll find!
“The Closest Thing to Bliss is Helping Another Person!” I recently came across these words in an online photo from a conference on Social Good. I think they are worth contemplating and repeating and repeating, especially as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
Every day that I volunteer enriches my life, and (I hope) helps others. Recently a friend and I have been volunteering for Rebuilding Together Seattle. We have taken on a project for a senior woman who needs a number of home repairs and wants her home’s interior painted. My friend handles most of the repair work while I handle most of the painting.
I started painting her bedroom last week. It had been many, many years since it had been painted, so the colors had all faded to a bland yellowy gray color. She wanted some warmth and sparkle for her bedroom. So I suggested white ceilings and bright white woodwork/trim. I told her she could pick the colors for the walls. She was excited to do that and picked a very pleasant and bright rose color (“Sugarplum Dance” by Valspar).
When the room was finished, I stepped back and looked at it from the perspective of living in it (instead of checking for missed spots). And I was astonished by the change. The room felt so alive and inviting! She is very pleased with the result.
At the end of the day, I was very tired. Climbing up and down a ladder and getting up and down from the floor (painting baseboards) is not so easy for me nowadays. But I was filled with a great sense of warmth and contentment about how I had spent my day, and enlivening a room and perhaps a life.
Next week, I am moving on to paint her sewing room, which will become a soothing but bright yellow (“Joyful” by Olympic). I expect the new coat of paint will transform that room as well, and I’m looking forward to making it happen for her.
Volunteering is such a great opportunity to pay forward all of the kindness I have received in my life. I highly recommend it. There are so many great organizations that are in need of new volunteers. VolunteerMatch is a great place to find them. Here at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, we could benefit from even an hour of your time. If you are interested in volunteering with us, just give us a call at the shop (425-825-1877) or visit the Volunteers page on our website to get more information.
Feeling the bliss,
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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