Everyone is thrilled it is back-to-school time again…
Businesses have sales – and lots of them! Deals for everyone.
Kids 5 to 18– hey! You get to see your buddies again, and everyone loves homework! For college kids – you’re off on your own, tasting independence (kind of), learning amazing things and nearing the point when you can start the rest of your life! Parents… The kids are at school or college!
OK. I know in reality not everyone is thrilled…not even all parents. In my family we have only one college…no more high school, no more elementary school…. It’s such a strange place to be – though we all seem to be adjusting just fine to the changes. I did find myself wandering the aisles of the school supplies at stores wondering if there might just be something we need this year….
Do you remember the first time you didn’t have to go back to school and September rolled around?
Ahhh, the madness of Black Friday is finally just around the corner. Crazed shoppers and deal-chasers have been planning their Friday early morning shopping excursion for the last several weeks. I can truthfully say that I’ve never been up at 2 a.m. on Friday heading to my local mall, but I think that has to do with the fact that I’m not willing to leave my warm cozy home for sub-zero temps and snow.
This year may be different for me though, because I recently received a 40% off coupon for one of my favorite retailers and it’s valid until noon! Heck, maybe I’ll bring my daughter and we’ll make a day of it, complete with a stop by Orange Julius®. PS – my local mall actually has THREE Orange Julius locations, which makes it really easy to fuel up while shopping! We hear it from loyal fans all the time, “My holiday shopping trip isn’t complete without my stop by Orange Julius. It’s part of my holiday tradition!”
What is your holiday tradition? Will you be out and about at 3 a.m. this Friday?
Hypercolor, stirrup leggings, body suits, snap bracelets, Girbaud jeans and Orange Julius® drinks. What do all of these fabulous things have in common you might ask? The mall and my childhood! I hear it all the time from customers , “Oh my god, you guys still exist. I used to get Orange Julius drinks all the time at [insert mall name here]!” Yes, we do still exist and yes we continue to grow today, but that is beside the point for now.
Every time I come across someone who makes this statement, I can’t help but be immediately taken back 15+ years to my childhood. This time of year brings back for me all the exhausting back-to-school shopping trips I was forced to go on with my mother. I dreaded it every year because good ol’ ma was going to make me try on those ‘old lady’ jeans that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing and she would certainly never understand my desire to stop by Contempo Casuals to find an outfit that closely resembled what Kelly Kapowski wore that week on Saved by the Bell.
This weekend, I stopped by the mall with my mom for a few ‘must haves’ and the mall was buzzing with young girls and their mothers attempting the same impossible task that we did 15 years ago. My mom and I couldn’t help but laugh. Granted they weren’t searching for Girbaud jeans (p.s. those still exist www.girbaud.com), jellies or Multiples but we could read the angst on the majority of faces. We strolled past one of the Orange Julius stores and were reminded that the highlight of our shopping trip was always a stop by this one destination because it was one location where we could buy something and not argue. Judging by the line that day some things haven’t changed.
As we left the mall I realized three things were certain. One, as my daughter grows I can only hope that she doesn’t care enough about clothes to go back-to-school shopping each year. Secondly, if she does care, a stop by the Orange Julius store might help ease the pain. Lastly, I missed all the fashions that I loved during my childhood and would do anything to get my hands on a pair of old Guess jeans with a pinch roll!
Who knew February 2010 would be so exciting! We start the month off with the Super Bowl, there’s the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and then we’re off to Valentine’s Day. That’s just the first half of the month and lots of opportunities for parties!
I don’t know about you, but up here in Minnesota we were TOTALLY excited about the Super Bowl possibilities for our Vikings, only to have our hearts broken last week. Still, the Super Bowl is a lot of fun and always an opportunity for a party. At the minimum it is a game-and-commercial-watching-snack-fest! Even those of us who aren’t football crazy can enjoy this game. If not, it’s always a great time to go shopping. Do your part for the economy! The malls and department stores can be pretty quiet during games like this.
Now, the opening ceremonies for the Olympics on Friday, Feb. 12, may not be top-of-mind when considering reasons for parties. But consider the following: the opening ceremonies for the Olympics become more and more spectacular with each Olympics, and more and more folks have fabulous HD-TVs. I’ll bet the opening ceremonies will be absolutely spectacular in HD! If you have an HD-TV, have a party, invite your friends!
I admit, Valentine’s Day can be tricky depending on the status of your current romance. With a little creativity, however, it can be a fun time for anyone: there is the traditional quiet and romantic time with your sweetheart, a party with several couples could be a fun way to celebrate, and have you ever considered having a “Who Needs ‘Em Anyway” party? Everyone loves chocolate and desserts… mmmmm!
With all this party planning you might need a hand with your snacks and treats. Shameless plug, I know, and at the same time, your local DQ® stores and restaurants have yummy novelties — Dilly® Bars in a variety of flavors, Buster Bars®, StarKiss® Bars, DQ Sandwiches, and even no-sugar added bars for your guests who are really watching their figures. Perhaps you and your guests would prefer a DQ Cake or a Blizzard® cake festively decorated for the occasion. A decoration and dessert all in one!
A few years back, my husband and I got up at 4:30 a.m. to go stand in line at the local Circuit City store the day after Thanksgiving so that we could get some fabulous electronic gadget for one of our fabulous children. Traffic was heavy and it was frigid that night/early morning with temps in the negative 30s Fahrenheit.
We got there a little before 5 a.m., which is when the doors were to open, and saw a line of shoppers from the front of the store out to the street. No parking spaces anywhere. By the time we got to the store the people in line had crushed inside already. I dropped my husband off at the door, while I went off to find a parking spot. My husband met me before I had made it halfway to the store. Nothing was available, and he’d learned that people had begun lining up at 10 p.m. Thanksgiving night. What?! We just laughed and went out for breakfast.
I have terrific memories of shopping the day after Thanksgiving as a teen or later with my kids and my mother-in-law, who just loved the crazy crowds. We’d always stop for an Orange Julius® drink, a perfect pick-me-up after long morning of shopping madness. Sometimes we’d find a bargain or two that was just right, but we never managed to finish our shopping. I still like to go out, but now it’s later in the day, when the shops are a bit quieter and there are still deals to be had.
I love it when I find a deal — any kind of deal. Everyone has conversations about things they’ve found on sale…how much money they saved when purchasing the item at a deep discount. I have a friend who points out that we don’t really save anything because we are still SPENDING. He thinks he’s clever and spinning the conversation.
But really – he’s missing the point, isn’t he? A purchase is only a deal because we were often intending to make the purchase anyway. And it’s a Sweet Deal when we get something of real value for a low price.
I might be looking for a new pair of shoes – finding a lovely designer pair that fits the bill for $10 is totally a Sweet Deal! Life is busy and sometimes I have to feed my family on the run, or maybe we just want to go out for a treat… Being able to treat my family of five for less than $20, well that would be an amazing Sweet Deal, wouldn’t it?
That’s why I am so excited about the Sweet Deals menu now offered at DQ®/Brazier® and DQ Grill & Chill® restaurants. I love to go out to eat with my family – particularly when someone else does all the work and cleanup for me! – AND if I can still do that while sticking to my budget, all the better.