shopping local with Amber

December 21, 2011

Hi there! Amber here… I tried something new for my Christmas shopping this year and I would like to tell you all about it! (Well, not ALL, about it… some of my friends and family read this blog and I want them to be surprised when they open my gifts!)

I decided early on in November that I would only shop LOCAL and USA-Made this season. And boy oh boy, did I challenge myself! At first, it was really quite frustrating to go to a store and flip over a product and read “Made in China”. Did you ever notice how most things that surround us are made somewhere else!? Next time you’re out and about, take a peek at what’s in your cart and where it came from – you might be surprised!

After making my list and narrowing down where I would go and who I would shop for at which store, it really became fun and more like a treasure hunt. It was so exhilarating looking under my tree and knowing that ALL of my gifts came from independently owned shops OR that they were made in the USA!

Shop local this holiday season!

Some things I learned while shopping…

  • Even big box stores have USA made products. When I would check out, the employee would ask if I found everything ok, and I’d usually respond with “I found this product made in the USA, but I wish you had more USA made products”. Even putting a little bug in their ear is good. My hope is that they will hear that a couple times this holiday season and make the case known that people are interested in USA made products!
  • Locally owned shops have things Made in China… I did buy a game at Creative Kidstuff that was made in China, but since they are owned locally and only have stores in MN and IA, I still supported the local economy and kept my money here vs. elsewhere.
  • Shopping online doesn’t keep any of my dollars in the community or even the state! So that option was completely out!
  • By shopping at small, family owned stores like PaperHat, Patina, Vintage Glam, and The FlowerMill, I am helping the community be unique and keep creative, local businesses here! And they are so fun to shop at!
  • Most products that are made somewhere else have “Made in China” or “Made in Vietnam” in teeny-tiny print on the back of it. Products that are made here, proudly have the “Made in USA” logo on the front!

It was fun and very rewarding knowing that I did my part of shopping local. Not only did I stay on budget and support local businesses, my friends and family will all get something fun and unique this year!

I made some of my gifts this year too... my little niece will LOVE her play food I made out of felt!


When you spend your dollars at an independent, local business, you keep more money in your town by supporting your community’s social services, schools, your public library and local non-profits… How so?

Locally-owned businesses return about 80% of each dollar to their community (whether it’s to their employees, accountant, lawyer, local handymen, graphic designers, local artists…etc.). And each dollar spent at a local business will return up to five times that amount within your community through city taxes, employees’ wages, and purchases of materials, supplies and services at other independent businesses.

On the other hand, chains and franchises give back around 20% to the community. hmm…

Overall, it was a great experience and I’d really like to do it again next year. I’m hoping there will be even more shops and places to try!

Happy Holidays!

You’ve seen me toting my shiny, red bag around everywhere… so I took a peek inside it this morning. Would you have guessed these things?chapstick


1. Chapstick. I don’t go anywhere without chapstick. I choose the Blistex medicated. It feels good on my lips, AND has an SPF of 15. I do love  my sunscreen products!

 2chocolate. Dove Dark Chocolate. Holly and I joke about taking our ‘hauthaus vitamin’ everyday after lunch; ie. dark chocolate. I recommend everyone do that! And hey, there are numerous reports that say it’s actually good for you too… lowers blood pressure and has great antioxidants!

women's health3. Women’s Health. I always try to have the latest issue with me. I read it cover to cover when I get it in the mail each month, making notes on the pages, tabbing my favorite recipes and exercises, and I love sharing new facts and stories I read about with everyone! I’m sure they love it too… 🙂


sunscreen4. Neutrogena Sunscreen. With an SPF of 70! I like this kind because I can put it on and it doesn’t feel like I have it on. It’s not oily or shiny. And it has great protection. I stock up every summer with this stuff.


book5. Here’s the Story… by Maureen McCormick. I picked this up at Barnes and Noble the other night. It’s an interesting read. Lots of expected and unexpected things that this gal went through. I’m about half way through it. I would reccommend reading it if you were ever into the Brady Bunch or if you want to laugh and gasp all in the same page.


Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

cheers, amber

opening party

May 18, 2009

haut haus girls

 Friday May 15th, we opened up the2009 ASID Showcase House with a bang. There was wine, cocktails, and appetizers floating around… and in keeping with the mid-century modern theme there were even little SPAM toasts with cheese! I didn’t have any, but I hear they were a delicious treat! 

Our sponsors were also there; Cambria, Rubble Tile, The Galleria … there was even a model wearing a dress made of Cambria! 30 pounds of Cambria beads. It was definitely a sight to see.

The house is open now from May 16th- June 14th. We hope you will stop in and say hi- we’d love to chat! Check out for details.