Black Friday shopping, toy test, Secretary of State wait times

DETROIT – Hello!

It's Black Friday, and we're tracking deals at all the malls and big retailers. We're also looking ahead to Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

I'm writing this from Somerset Mall, in fact. It's packed and it can't help but get you in the holiday mood. However, I'm one of those who will shop on Dec. 24.

Something else that put us in the holiday spirit: our trip to the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries. We were able to pull off an amazing surprise for a bunch of families and some adorable kids. It was the highlight of my week. I can't link that story in just yet, but check it out later today on Below is a picture of one of the families I got to sit down with. Such a great family!

If you need gift ideas for the kids, check out our Help Me Hank Toy Test. This year, we switched it up. Rather than having our team pick out the toys for kids to test, we did a "Kids vs. Parents Choice" test. The results surprised us! We aired that first, and then we had the kids do the traditional "hot toy" test, as well.

The kids were hilarious and the parents were fantastic. When we went shopping, one kid chose a $1 Frisbee he wanted to test. We told him "aim higher," so he picked out a $200 trampoline. We told him "aim lower!" It was odd. We set them loose inside the isles of Meijer, yet they really struggled to find one they wanted to test. Too many choices!

I also spent time this week with your Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson. She's working to build the "office/branch of the future" with a goal of reducing wait times. Is that possible? Let's hope so, because a trip to the SOS can be challenging, to say the least. She gave us a peek at this new kiosk being placed in stores all over Metro Detroit. What do you think about this new idea?

See you on Monday. I'll be live from FedEx's Distribution Center. You won't want to miss it!

I'm off to buy my tree this weekend at Eastern Market. Let's hope it doesn't decide to fall over like last year!

Enjoy eating Thanksgiving leftovers, everyone!



Recall of the week

T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods are great stores, but there's a recall issue that affects anyone who's been shopping there since 2014.

Nineteen products are being recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many times, these products are sent to stores and then recalled after customers have already bought them. Some products are clothing or cups, but there are baby things being recalled as well. That's the scary part. A few inclined sleepers are included, too, so please check my page on ClickOn to make sure you don't have any of those in your own home!

Scam of the week

Be careful on Cyber Monday.

If a company is selling the hottest item of the year at a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is. I wish I could tattoo that saying on the back of everyone's hands as they're surfing the web. It's something everyone should remember!

Watch out for false ads leading you into fake websites. Check the web address of the site you're on. Scammers love lookalike websites, so make sure you're buying from a legitimate one. Otherwise, you're giving your financial information to scammers.

Deal of the week

Do I have to pick just one? This is the big deal weekend of the year, after all!

Small Business Saturday is coming up, and we've been reaching out to a ton of communities -- asking what they're doing for the holiday. You wouldn't believe the responses we got. It was overwhelming.

Check our long list of sales and deals here.

If you want to look ahead to Cyber Monday, we got a sneak peek at Walmart's deals.

The Shark ION Robot Vacuum will be half off, costing $230.

Walmart also has an Easy Bake Oven on sale for $30. What kid wouldn't love that?!

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