Black Friday–Are You Ready?

black friAh, Black Friday–the day after Thanksgiving. What is it for you: a shopper’s dream or the worst nightmare ever?

Have you noticed that Black Friday has been creeping further and further back towards, ahem, Thursday?  What do you think they will call that? Gray Thursday?  Here in Minnesota, I have a vision of thousands of parka-clad shoppers waiting in long lines outside stores and shopping malls to get the truly fabulous bargains offered during this crazy time! Each person holding a thermal paper plate of mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and turkey. Okay–we are not there yet and the bargains are pretty good if you have stamina and a Plan.  The major component of the Plan is your Christmas list of who you need to get gifts for and a bottle of water.

Are You Ready?

Armed with your Christmas list, experts advise that you go directly to the departments where your items can be found. If it’s a store you aren’t familiar with, some people visit it  before Black Friday so you can easily find the best route on B-Day.

Avoid browsing and try not to buy anything for yourself. Time is precious on this day, and there are always mobs of people trying to grab that last sale item on the rack.

Black Friday does offer great deals and Rich Chicks has some tips for you. Don’t even ask how we came up with these tips–let’s just chalk it up to field experience in combat retailing.

* Check out the newspapers the week of Black Friday for sale items.
* Clip out any coupons from the newspapers as well as online coupons that can be utilized in stores.
* Check each store’s online website to determine what items you will be purchasing.
* Check out what time the stores will open and close. Keep in mind some stores offer sales for a few hours only.
* Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
* Try to pay for items with cash (use a waist pouch or a neck pouch to store the cash). Bring a bottle of water – it can get awfully hot!
* If you have to pay with a credit card, use only one card and pay off the balance as soon as possible.
* Take someone with you so that you can both shop for the items on your list.

In any case, stay focused on your mission; stay vigilant about those around you, and stick to your list.

After you stagger back to your car with your packages, take a moment to plan your Victory Celebration. Reward yourself  appropriately (yes, you get to decide what is appropriate for surviving Black Friday)

And me? Umm–on-line shopping is starting to look really good…

Crave and Thanksgiving

CRAVE Restaurants and local community service organizations, such as Rich Chicks are partnering to provide an exciting opportunity for working families. Again this Thanksgiving, the owners and staff of CRAVE  are serving  a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner to those who might be going through difficult times. This is a great meal on Thanksgiving at an outstanding restaurant.  Read more about Crave and their other generous community involvement events

 CALL TO MAKE A RESERVATION: 952.933.6500  All reservations must be made at least one week before the holiday.

When you call, let Crave know:

  • How many are in the family, and the number of adults/children
  • Time slot you want to attend
  • *reservations are first come first serve

 Thanksgiving Day: November 22, 2012
 CRAVE will be serving 500 guests in two shifts:

 11:00am-1:00pm (250 people) and

1:00pm-3:00pm (250 people)

  Location:  CRAVE in the Shops at West End

 1603 West End Blvd.

St. Louis Park, MN 55416

Project Elf 2012

Our favorite project of the year is BACK!  Are you in?

Project Elf is a Holiday surprise to families that have recently moved out of the homeless shelter.  We pull together a team of Elves to gather supplies and gifts and then sneak (with the families permission) into their house on Christmas Eve and make a very special holiday delivery. This is no small process because often we are moving in furniture, hanging curtains, setting up beds, filling closets with new outfits, stuffing stockings, and filling  cupboards.  Our Elf team has just six hours to get everything done and get out of the house before the family returns. It is a magical experience for the family to come home to a BIG surprise while they were out Christmas Eve day.

We need your help before the actual day to gather items from friends and family. The actual day (December 24) we need a crew to load, unload, set up, clean and organize, and people to manage the delivery stuff as it gets assembled. LET US KNOW WHAT ELF PART YOU WANT TO PLAY! We will keep you updated with a weekly ELF Update as the gathering happens. Contact

The Families

The families we are helping are clients of PICA’s Project Secure. You can read about PICA and its programs here.

Got Fun? It’s Cheap and Healthy

One of the best ways to improve your life is to have more fun. Learning to take time to have fun is hard sometimes. In this busy world, there are always a million things you think you have to get done–NOW! What if fun was a priority in your life–so important that you put it on your calendar? That’s right, schedule some spontaneous fun.

Your Inner Child
Now’s the time to let your inner child become your outer child.
The health benefits of adding to your fun quotient are well-documented and with a little planning, surprisingly cheap. What is fun for you? Create your inner child fun list of things you already love to do and things you would llike to try.
In Case Your Funometer is on Empty…
There are lots of ways to add fun, so if you can’t think of fun stuff because you’re out of practice,  here’s 30 fun things to do and Simple Dollar has over 100 things to do during a money-free weekend. Not all of them are my idea of fun, but maybe I need to broaden my funometer criteria.
Buy a Good Joke Book and Share It
No kidding–telling jokes is fun and silly–be sure you get your silly on as often as possible. It’s easy to forget how much fun silly is! There are lots of joke books out there–grab one and just open a page and read a joke out loud–even if it makes you groan! Kids love jokes too and there are lots of kid joke books too.
So, got fun? Located your silly spot? Learned a new elephant or knock-knock joke? Got that kite out and ready? Great–I’m so proud of you!

What Do You Love?

What makes your heart take off like a rocket or skip a beat? I was thinking about February, with the emphasis on hearts (National Heart Month), valentines, and love in all its many forms. I realized that what I love and who I love are very connected.

  • Adventure was a gift from my sister, who always created birthday surprises for me–I had to be willing to go anywhere without questions. I was never disappointed.
  • Fireworks still dazzle me. On the Fourth of July, my mother would drive out to the middle of a field outside the small town where we lived. It was very black out there in the middle of nowhere. We would sit on the car and wait for the sky to explode with sparkling fire. And it did.
  • I love to read. My grandpa was the one who read to me all the time. Not always from a story book, often from the newspaper or western novel. Even the backs of cereal boxes were pretty interesting reading.
  • I love to write. My grandmother wrote wonderful letters to everyone and insisted I could write, too. She edited the first newsletter I wrote when I was five and distributed it to all her friends. And here I am today, writing this newsletter…
  • Baseball has always been near and dear to my heart, and that is because my Uncle Bill played on our town’s softball team. The whole town went to the games. It was wonderful fun getting to see the kids from other towns—we would play our own games, too. The Saint Paul Saints have that little town feel, with fun as the major goal. I love that!

These are just a few of the people I love and what they brought to my life. So what and who do you love?

Brain Spa and Intention-Setting Party December 14, 6 to 9 pm

Rich Chicks has been doing some version of the Brain Spa for many years. Originally, it was just a small party to do a quick review of the year and set a few goals for the next year. It’s a much bigger party now, but it’s still that simple–a break in this year’s madness to celebrate and be grateful for what you have in your life and plan a bit for how you would like next year to look. You NEED to come to this year’s Brain Spa– it’s a fun mental health priority!

At the Brain Spa, you can:

  • Have a relaxed evening with other intelligent, interesting people
  • Check in with friends you have met at classes or other events
  • Relax with beverages and snacks!
  • Be yourself–we love that
  • Reflect on the year just ending (if you were at the Spa last year, you got the letter you wrote to yourself a couple of weeks ago).
  • Network with new friends
  • Set some new goals if you want to
  • Write a letter to yourself that will be mailed back to you November 2012
  • Fun (voluntary) exercises to spark your creativity
  • Short coaching session, if you like

Give this gift to yourself and a friend  Early Bird Rate $15.00 until November 29!

Free Fancy Thanksgiving Dinner for Those in Need


Hello friends we are doing it again! A Fancy Thanksgiving for those who could use a little love. Here is the official press:

Thanksgiving dinner is a tradition that can really stress out an already stressed budget. We all know friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members that are going through tough times and are struggling to make ends meet, and it’s time that they got some uplifting news. CRAVE Restaurants,and local community service organizations are partnering to provide an exciting opportunity for working families this Thanksgiving.  The owners and staff of CRAVE have generously offered to feed a complimentary Thanksgiving dinner to those who are going through tough times but would really appreciate a great meal on Thanksgiving in an outstanding restaurant.

We are choosing to work with our community partners who also hold a prosperity belief that offering people tools to lift themselves to a better place is the best way to help those who are trying to keep their heads above water. Today our tool is a random act of kindness for a family that could sure enjoy a FUN experience.

What we are looking to do is have your agency locate the people that would benefit from this experience and pass this information along to them. Please work with them to assure they will be attending, and help us give them and their entire family a fine dining experience to lift their spirits.  CALL TO MAKE A RESERVATION: 952.933.6500

Thanksgiving Day: November 24, 2011

CRAVE will be serving 500 guests in two shifts:
11:00am-1:00pm (250 people)
1:00pm-3:00pm (250 people)

CRAVE in the Shops at West End
1603 West End Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416


*reservations will be first come first serve
If your agency would like to make group reservations on behalf of your constituents, or if you want an indivdual/family reservation,  please let us know the following information:

-How many are in the family, and the amount of adults/children
-Time slot they want attend

All reservations must be made at least one week before the holiday.
Do you need fliers for this event to hand out? – email and we  will have some dropped off-  or contact for more information. The virtual fliers will be ready Tuesday, which we can email to you–just let us know.

YES  you can: Pass this on to those you know and organizations that serve the public.

WHO  is a fit: People on a fixed income, elderly, disability, unemployment, students of all types, people who ran out of unemployment, anyone using social service agencies, under served youth, foster care, military, low income, underemployed, ect…  This is for the WHOLE family to enjoy.

If this reservation is for YOU and you feel weird about taking a gift like this: Don’t be afraid to come and enjoy a great event.

Rich Chicks will will be there all day and we are including agency staff to come with their people. It is such a wonderful event and one of very few that both staff and clients can just relax and have a great day. Dress up and have a great day.

If you have a shut-in list let us know  in advance so we can work some of our magic.  We have a little room for delivery but it works best to have you deliver to your own shut-in list. We still have to add reservations for shut-ins but I have to that. Not the phone reservation line. FYI If there is a snowstorm that day- volunteers will not deliver.

BONUS: we are adding FREE holiday photos so you can have a picture taken that you can download to use in your holiday cards.


I don’t think we celebrate often enough. Maybe we think only “special” occasions on a calendar are to be celebrated. And what about some of those days on the calendar? Ever wonder who thinks up some of the holidays you might see on the calendar? Here are just a few coming up on October 15:

  • Charlotte’s Web Birthday 1952
  • I Love Lucy Day 1951
  • National Grouch Day

See more

Seeing this calendar made me realize that I could just make up a holiday! What the heck, if we can recognize and celebrate grouches, anything is possible. I decided to go ahead and make up my own holidays to celebrate, and you should, too. Here’s a few of mine:

Say Yes Day. Maybe I’ll make this one a week–it has such a glorious ring to it. I will say yes to new things more often. I will think Yes!

Say No Day. I will say no more often so that I can say yes more.

Organized Chaos Day. I will start with the big closet that I haven’t seen the back of since 2001. I will take everything out and look at it. I think this will be both painful and funny as heck–and yea! Stuff is gone.

Toss Make up I Hate Day. Do you have a drawer full of cosmetics you bought and hate? Samples you got and never used? Why do I still have this stuff? Was it because it was expensive or has a cool container? I don’t know. It’s all going. Celebrate your spacious drawer! What might go in there now?

Take My Pennies to the Bank Day I hate pennies–they are heavy and I seem to collect a lot of them. I put them in a jar and always never remember to take them to the bank.

Now I will have a special day to do that–and prevent a nation-wide penny shortage. Do you hoard pennies somewhere? When the pennies are redeemed, it’s time to celebrate!

Just Be Day. That’s it–just be. No plan, no appointments. A date with myself to do nothing. Let my thoughts catch up with me and blossom.

I hope you thought of some cool holidays for yourself? Did you? What are they? I’m still coming up with more–now all I have to do is figure out how to work them into my calendar. Oh, wait, maybe that’s another celebration. National Put Important Things on the Calendar Day.