Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Visit from Shannon Vannatter and GIVEAWAY!

I’ve loved clothes and shoes for as long as I can remember. As a child, I paid close attention to what women wore and dreamed of how I would dress when I grew up. But I’m very thrifty.

I used to say if I had the money and somewhere to go, I’d dress like a modest Dolly Parton. Over the years, I decided it doesn’t take that much money and I do have somewhere to go—church. 

Over the years, I’ve accumulated a large wardrobe, but most items I found on sale, Goodwill, or consignment stores. I rarely pay full price and usually only when I have a gift card, so it’s not my money I’m spending.

I consistently wear lace skirts, blingly jewelry, and organza blouses to church. And shoes. I have heels to match most of my outfits. My theory—why just have white and black when you can have red, yellow, pink, aqua, orange, and peach.

When my husband answered the call to preach, my style of dress didn’t change. I’m probably the only preacher’s wife who wears high-heeled leopard skin boots to church, but I gotta be me. Besides, the ladies from the church bought them for me. In a round about way.

Several years ago, the church ladies learned that Catos is my favorite store. Every year since, they’ve gotten me a Catos gift card for Christmas. Even with the gift card, I usually shop off the clearance rack. Unless I find something I really, really like.

Most of my shoes come from Payless Shoe Source and Catos, usually off the clearance rack. My jewelry comes from $1 Jewelry Galore and a local store, Linda’s collectibles. Most of Linda’s jewelry is from $1.25 to $2.50.

I did get out of control once. Y’all probably think I still am, but I’m really not. Before I got published, a speaker at writer’s conference encourage us to reward ourselves when something good happens with our writing. When I got my first writing contract, I rewarded myself with a pair of shoes. Then after I got through my first round of edits, when my first book released, second, and so on.

Six books later, I had shoes running out my ears. I stopped, but went through the same cycle with jewelry. Same result. Anymore, when I need a reward, I eat a ice cream sundae. I only buy shoes or jewelry if I get a new outfit and don’t have that color. Or if an old pair of shoes wears out. When I have a dress or shoes I no longer want, I donate them to our local Rotary club. Every year, they gather clothing for kids who can’t afford to go to prom.

Yes, I have thousands of dollars in clothes, shoes, and jewelry. But if I’d paid full price for the lot of it, it would be tens of thousands. When someone compliments me on my aqua pumps, it’s the highlight of my day when I get to tell them I only paid $7.00 for them.

I’ve included pictures of a few of my favorite finds.
The thistle organza blouse came from Catos after Christmas clearance several years ago. It’s my favorite color and I only paid $10.00. It was originally marked $39.95. The off white lace skirt was $12.00 at a consignment store and I got a black one too. They still had the tags on them—$ 65.00 each.

I paid full price for the bronze shimmery sweater. But at Catos, full price is only $27.95 and I used the gift card the wonderful ladies from church got me this year. The leopard boots were another Cato’s find the ladies bought me. They were originally $39.95. I got them on clearance for $19.95.

I used the Christmas money my parents gave me a few years ago to buy the shoe organizers. I stacked three of them to hold my collection in our walk-in closet. My husband got me the jewelry armoire for Christmas one year. When my necklaces outgrew it, he found me a spinning tie rack at a flea market.

So lets hear from you. Answer any question below for a chance to win a print copy of my latest release, Rodeo Family:

Are you a bargain shopper?
Do you have a favorite store?

Do you have any ideas to share for organizing jewelry or shoes?


She's beginning a new chapter in Aubrey, Texas, away from her abusive ex-boyfriend. As she picks up the pieces of her broken life, Tori's surprised at the helping hand the church's new song director, Brant McConnell, offers her, and at the warm emotions he inspires.

Brant is drawn to Tori. And as their friendship grows, so do his feelings for her. But Tori is still hounded by her past, and the walls she's built around her heart are high. Can he convince the wounded beauty that he's exactly the kind of man she needs—and deserves?

Central Arkansas author, Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife. She lives in a town with a population of around 100, if you count a few cows. Vannatter won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in the short contemporary category, The 18th Annual Heartsong Awards 3rd Favorite New Author and #1 Contemporary Award.

Her ten titles are with Heartsong Presents and she’s contracted for five more. Her books are available at christianbook.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, harlequin.com, and barbourbooks.com. Learn more about Shannon and her books at http://shannonvannatter.com and check out her real life romance blog at http://shannonvannatter.com/blog/.


Between the Pages with Katrina said...

Laura, I am a bargain hunter also. To be honest, this didn't occur until after I had children and realized I didn't have to pay a lot to dress them nicely. I also buy off the clearance section. My daughter is now a bargain shopper. It pleases me when she comes home bragging about a new find. I live in a rural area so I don't have a favorite store to shop, but just look in each store I shop. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love your fashion sense Shannon Taylor Vannatter . You make bargain hunting look easy and really it is. I am also a bargain hunter and will not over pay on clothes, shoes, jewelrey, etc. either. With a family that includes my husband and myself and our 12 children I have to be thrifty. All of my clothes come from thrift shops, consignment shops or yard sales.If a clothing item is not on sale it's not bought by me. Alot of clothing I get out of season and a really big discount and save them for when they are in season. There are so many beautiful clothes and shoes with excellent name brands at thrift shops. I enjoy making a day of it on Saturdays going around yard saling. I buy Christmas presents this way as well. I buy all year round when see a sale on what I know someone will enjoy. It saves me the stress of having to go out and shop during the busy holiday season and saves me money as well.I store shoes in the plastic dividers on the back of my closet door. Some of my jewelrey I keep in the very small ziploc baggies that way it does get lost in my jewelrey box or the earrings get seperated. I enjoyed reading your book excerpt and shopping tips. I hope to be able t read your book soon.

Glenda A Bixler Reviews said...

Hi...what a great article...it's a good merge with your book activities! Me, I'm scrooge nowadays...retired and enjoying not having to dress professionally after so many years... I was always dressed for "the next job that I wanted" so rarely wore anything but some type of suit...Now I'm enjoying the opposite! Glad to hear you didn't lose your fashion interest when heading to church...LOL

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hi Katrina,
I've always been thrifty. I guess because my mom has always been too. I live in a rural area too, but Catos and Payless are only thirty minutes away. And there are a lot of consignment shops and thrift stores close too.

My husband always asks why I tell people how much I paid for something when they compliment me. Because I'm as happy about the compliment as I am about the price.

Hi Deanne, I love shopping out of season. After all that season will come around again until the Lord comes back.

I love Goodwill and the Humane Society ten miles from us, has a thrift store. I feel good shopping at both places because I find great deals and my money goes to a good cause.

12 kids. Wow. That would make you thrifty. I don't shop yard sales much because I'm not a morning person. But I have scored some finds when I venture out later in the day.

I love the ziploc idea. I never thought of that, but will be getting some. I hate trying to find the other earring.

Shirley said...

I grew up bargain shopping and sewing. It's amazing what a little reworking can do for a thrift shop find sometimes. A trick I learned from my mom is to check the keyrings for possible remakes into necklaces.
Thank you for the giveaway and taking time

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Glenda, I worked in a business setting for several years - at a bank and the corporate offices of a large fragrance company. I enjoyed getting to dress up for work. Looking back, that's probably when I started putting more into my church clothes, when I quit working to be a stay at home mom. Now, I work at home, writing in my bathrobe. So when I go somewhere, I like to look nice.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Hey Shirley,
I wish I could sew clothes, but I just don't have the patience. I used to add lace or bling to the clothes I have, but I don't have time anymore.

I do sew home decor - bedspreads, curtains, and toppers. They're not as precise as clothing, so it doesn't frustrate me.

Great tip about keychains. I never thought of that.

Cynthia A. Lovely said...

Love those leopard boots! Yes, bargain shopping is wonderful. You often find such unusual things and not the typical off the rack dept. store look-alikes. Plus the added benefit of saving money. Through garage sales I stumbled across someone who goes thru her closet and sells clothes every year. She's a die-hard shopper and has lovely clothes, designer labels, great condition. Cashmere sweaters for $10.00. I call her my "personal shopper" and attend her sales annually. She has definitely added to my wardrobe!

journeystojoy.net said...

One of my favorite shopping places is the CANCER RESEARCH DISCOUNT STORE about a half hour from my home here in MI.
The store is in a place where HIGH-END shoppers drop off clothing and costume jewelry - some never worn with original price tags still in tact - the prices are phenomenal and I can afford several tops or pieces - also knowing what I've spent ALL goes to the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RESEARCH - all volunteer staff and very little to no overhead for store and utilities (also provided by separate donations) - WOULD LOVE to win Shannon's book!


Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Oh Cynthia, I wish I had a personal shopper like that. I usually do find things at yardsales even though I don't venture out at the crack of dawn. For some reason, it seems like most people don't look at the clothes at the yardsales I've had.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter said...

Wow Joy, that sounds like a great store. I love shopping in places like that where you know you're money is doing a good thing. Makes the bargains even more fun.

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