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Friday, November 18, 2011

This Chaps My Hide...

as a buyer, I mean.

Recently, I made a purchase on ebay. This is not too unusual, really.( Many people believe in the reality of eBay and it's existence is scientifically provable.) However, the seller happened to be a slow shipper. As in 5 days slow! To top it off, I never heard one word from them during those 5 days.

If you expect to have happy buyers, don't do what this seller did.  I would have been far less annoyed with the slow ship time if I had heard from the seller before that shipping label was printed 5 days later.

Buyer notifications don't have to be long,wordy explanations about how your back is out and you can't stand up straight due to the huge hump on your back plus your dog died and your husband left you because of the hump on your back and you're just selling on ebay to try to feed the 1,000 cats you've hoarded adopted.

No, keep it simple. Most people don't care if you have personal issues unless it inconveniences them in some way. Instead, keep it simple. Just a simple  "Hey, thanks! I'll get this in the mail Tuesday, as stated in the listing. Thanks again!" is enough information.

See, you've done 2 things here:
1.) You've acknowledged your buyer by thanking them.
2.) You've restated facts that should already be in your listing.

At this point your buyer should understand hat to expect and as long as YOU follow through, all should be well and you won't have ticked off buyers, like me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shelf Make Over: Finished!

Remember this shelf I picked up at the thrift shop??

Yep, that's the one.  After about 3 weeks of working on this beast, it's finally done! There must have been a thousand layers of shellac on it, I'm not kidding. It was awful. We sanded and used primer and finally got it painted. Beadboard was painted purple and tacked onto the back. FINALLY, it's done!

This is Miss Bella's play space. Gone are the tacky plastic toy box and beat up wooden one. Gone are all those baby toys no longer played with. We've done quite an over haul. Best of all?? Everything in this picture( besides the purchased beadboard) was either free or thrifted! Yep, everything right down to the thrifted $9 Pottery Barn Kids area rug. 

This is why I believe it is completely unnecessary to buy new when you have kids. All it takes is a little effort and some elbow grease. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frustrations: Just a little venting

I know I'm not the only one who gets frustrated with eBay buyers.  Of course, I prefer to list my item, sell it, ship it and only ever hear from my buyer when they leave positive feedback. Easy peasy, right?

Most of time, it goes exactly like that. Once in a while you get one of those people who 1.) either only looks at pictures or 2.) only reads the listing partially-many times this is only part of the title and then this person wants to back out of the transaction after they've paid.

These kinds of situations give me a migraine because of the effort that must go into getting these people to understand the process and how much they can cost us if they don't get it right when they answer the Request To Cancel Transaction.

I had a person do this recently-AGAIN.  I was sorely tempted to Just Say No! I had to wrestle struggle with my inner disciplinarian and her desire to make an example of this person.(Yes, in another life I would have made one helluva Dominatrix.) However, my desire for good eBay Karma won out over my fantasies of buyer flogging and I was nice and let them out of the transaction. I hope they remember how nice I was about the whole thing. Is a Christmas card too much to hope for??? Probably.

I know if the shoe were on the other foot, I'd want an understanding seller. In this house $30 is a small fortune these days and I couldn't afford to "lose" that much money.  Now that eBay is having issues with it's search function showing items with calculated shipping dead last, every penny counts for sellers as they see their sales drop off or stop dead. Here is an article -and another about it if you've missed this brouhaha gaining speed as sellers notice drops in sales. Just as soon as I get a little energy I'll call and add my voice to the complainers. Might as well, everyone else is complaining lately! Plus, I'm cold so that makes me cranky.

On the other side of my little world, autumn is here in full swing. The other night we made a fire in the pit and roasted weenies and marshmallows. We enjoyed a great time outside and then came in to watch a scary movie in honor of the Halloween season.  Our fire has been going all weekend and it's doing a pretty good job keeping us snug as we cuddle up in front of the t.v. for a marathon of Scooby Doo cartoons.  I've even started looking forward to the Christmas season, which I don't usually care much about.  I guess I'm hopeful that the new year will bring new opportunities.Until then, I'll be right here in front of the fire.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Baby and Saffron Rice

Around here, we buy basmati rice in bulk and make saffron rice. Our kids like it so much that they often want it as a snack during the day. Belle is no exception. We made rice the other day and she sat beside me eating  while I worked on the computer. As you can see, she enjoyed it very much!

We used to live near a delicious Mediterranean restaurant where saffron rice was served in heaping mounds. This is also where my kids developed their love of garlicky hummus. Ok, I admit I nurtured my love of feta cheese at this restaurant, too. Anyway, when we have the rice, it's like we're not far from that favorite restaurant.

I have a large brick of feta cheese in my fridge which is used for many dishes. An easy snack platter of pita, greek olives and cheese is good for movie nights. Bulger wheat salad is a summer staple when yummy garden tomatoes are plentiful.

This is the recipe for saffron rice we started with. We've adapted it to our own tastes over time, but it will get you started.  

Don't be intimidated by what you may read on the internet about how to do saffron rice "correctly". Food snobs ruin the enjoyment of food so often it's not funny.  I'm not pretentious when it comes to food. I'd rather enjoy a meal and a laugh with Paula Deene than suffer an evening with Anthony  Disdain er, Bourdain. So, if you must read, take it with a grain of salt and dive in anyway!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Yard Sale Hordes

Photo taken from the safety of the mini-van while the hyenas paces and hooted. Sorry you can't see all of them, they're behind that van across the street!

I've learned that start times for yard sales vary depending on where you live. In our neck of the woods, sometimes we have them start Friday evening. Such was the case this last Fri. Apparently, it was the only sale in town and it seemed like EVERYONE showed up! Well, everyone with nothing better to do at 5 p.m. on a Fri. evening.

My oldest daughters were shocked at how many people were standing in front of the garage door waiting for someone to push the button. The driveway people stalked back and forth looking and sounding very much like a pack of hyenas. Every once in a while some oldster would let loose with a hysterical cackle, sending shivers down younger spines.

Eventually, someone opened the door and flood gates were opened! People swarmed the tables, some rudeness ensued and the moms with strollers generally hung back because they couldn't get in or feared maiming. That was ok, tho. My girls squeezed in and eventually so did I. I only went inside once I'd claimed a vintage enameled bucket from the driveway. Through all of this the only thing I could think of was that "Yard Sale Blood Bath" blog. The potential for bloodletting was rather high.

The first thing I spied was a blue kettle, which I dropped into my bucket. I was ready to take down any rabid granny who got in my way by swinging my bucket into her blue haired head! You'll be glad to know it wasn't necessary due to some well placed stink-eye warnings.

Eventually, in all the pushing we also claimed wrestled free an antique-ish quilt, Pottery Barn curtains for Miss Bella's new bedroom, a quilt and sham set, a navy blue rubbish bin with magnolias? dogwoods? painted on the sides.

Some of this stuff is destined to be resold on either etsy or ebay. Not sure which, yet. I'm making my first foray into "consigning" items for resale, too. YAY! We made it through a yard sale that was more mosh pit than garage sale and have some treasures to show for it. If pillaging was ever anything like this sale, I have a new found respect for any Vikings in my ancestry.

Oh and I should tell you that I think we'll be linking up with Apron Thrift Girl for Thrift Share Monday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

FINALLY! Running Amok At Rummage Sales

I finally managed to escape leave the kids home and hit some rummage sales this weekend. There weren't very many but I did find a couple of cool things I might sell. Plus, I found a few things for here at home. It was a strange feeling to go to the sales all alone. I wonder if I looked like I was running amok? I certainly felt like I was running amok, all crazed and child-less-ly berserk!

One thing I've been keeping my eye out for is a new area rug. See, we have this landing at the top of our stairs where 4 rooms ( 2 bedrooms, living room and kitchen) branch off. Below is a pic of the space after the addition of the yard sale rug.

This spot needed an area rug to help dampen the echoes we have with all wood floors and ginormous rooms. DONE! We now have a just-right-for-now rug. I am still wanting another one for the screened porch, which is also a biggish space. There are actually a few things I'm looking for to put out here but a rug would be a great foundation, wouldn't it?

I also found a gaming system for my boys. It's a Gamecube and was only $5 and came with 2 games. Of course, neither game was appropriate for them, so we picked up a Harry Potter game for them to play.

My favorite find was a set of tole coasters. I haven't decided what to do with them yet. I think they'd be a great addition to the porch on a table but I still need a table! Maybe next weekend I'll find it.

Just because I love Rhoda's Link Party at Southern Hospitality, we're linking to it! One of these days I will figure out how to add her button to my posts.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Abandoned Chairs

Back before we packed up and moved out here to the old schoolhouse, I asked my hubs to see if the chairs up above in the photo were for sale. Our neighbor had these 4 chairs stacked behind her garage all abandoned and needing loved. One of them is a rocker which matches another rocker I hauled home from the resale shop.

Hubs went over and struck a bargain with the neighbors and hauled them home for me. All I need now is some spray paint. I think I'll keep these the same pastel shades they had been. One was pink, one was turquoise and one was baby blue and one green.

Ok, actually on second thought maybe I should paint the screened porch first? I see lots of painting in my near future.

To Be Painted List:

Bella's toy/book shelf
Motel Chairs

These are the first 3 projects I want to get done. I'm off to the hardware store!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How To Remove Odors From eBay Items

Picture it, there you are with that hard to find item clutched in your hands. You know this item will sell as soon as you get it listed. Not only will it sell, it will offer you a huge return on your investment! WOO HOO! Oh no, wait! It smells horrible! Maybe it was in the home of a smoker or maybe it just picked up strong cooking odors from the people who love to fry up liver and onions every other night.

Whatever the reason, you know you can't possibly sell this cool stuffed animal, lovey or clothing item with a bad smell. This is where Sport Wash comes in to save the day! This is a specialty laundry detergent you can usually find at W Mart. No, not in the laundry aisle, you will have to venture across the store to the Sporting Goods section and look for it there because this is typically sold to hunters to remove human odors.

I've used this successfully on stuffed animals. Yes, I wash stuffed animals in my washing machine. However, I do have a front loader and find this is a better choice for stuffies than a top loader but you can use a top loader as long as you wash gently.

BTW ,be sure to follow label directions because a little Sport Wash goes a long way!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don't you love it when...

you FINALLY find that one thing you've been searching for?? I've been searching for a shelf like this one for ages and ages. My main criteria for this shelf was that it had to be long. I'm pretty sure this was made from the planks of an ancient Viking ship. Solid doesn't begin to describe this thing. I found this at one my fav thrift stores for a song.

Now that we're moving into the new house, we have lots more wall space. Um yeah, you would expect that in a 30 x 40 foot living/activity room, right? My plans for this shelf involve some cute baby access. This shelf is still in an undressed state but is #1 on the list of projects to complete asap.

So, here's what I'm longing to pair with this shelf.

(photo is via the Blik website)

I love this Blik wall decal! I'm going to have to do some serious ebay selling so I can lay hands on this! Everything for this play space will be influenced by this wall decal. This comes in a small 3 ft size and the large 6 foot size. I'd take either one! You can see more Blik here. Happy browsing!

No, I won't get paid for hawking Blik wall sticker thingies.

Sharing with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Schoolhouse Rocks!

I'm just updating with a few photos. This is a pic of the new place, which is an old schoolhouse. My daughter said it reminded her of the house in the Madeline books with the vines and all.

Miss B tearing around the living room in her walker. This space is huge, measuring 30 feet across and 40 feet in length. I'm anxious to see how well I can fill this space so it's cozy and not cavernous. See the windows behind Miss B?? Well, check out the pic below to see what our view out those windows looks like in the evening.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

365 Days

Oh, I can't believe it's been a whole year and a few days since my little Bella was born. Today she decided it was time to take her first unsteady steps. She seemed both surprised and proud as she and we clapped and cheered.

Monday, May 23, 2011

So It Begins...

the selling, that is. If I were completely honest I'd say selling is what I love.

There is nothing I enjoy more than finding cool stuff to resell. Fortunately, I'm able to do a little of it now. I've been looking forward to going back to it after I quit selling in 2008.

I feel like I can post about it on my blog and have even more fun. Most of the finds I post about are for personal use. Notice I say MOST of'em!

At the moment I'm in the process of clearing out closets and selling off what I don't need. When there's a new baby in the house all kinds of things find their way into closets and drawers-so out it goes.

I'm posting a pic of the bistro set that will sold off next just because I like the color of it. This set isn't meant for a family of 7 so we'll sell it off and see if we can come across something just perfect for the back yard. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thrifting Jitters

Unfortunately for me I haven't been able to get much done in the way of yard sales lately. Consequently I'm suffering jitters from not being able to cruise the sales. I did manage to hit 2 sales during the whirl wind week we were between Mayo Clinic trips with the baby.

At the first sale I picked up 2 antique children's chairs complete with chippy green and turquoise-ish paint already on'em. I think they'll go with a small table I picked up last year that needs some trim added to it. No worries, with the high chance of lead, it's not for the kids to use. I also got a vintage Flintstones Bed Rock play set in the original box. As a kid I loved that show so I couldn't pass it up at $2, could I?

The second sale I went to was one I passed by chance. I just whipped around and followed the signs. At this sale hubbs bought a stainless steel pizza oven. You should know that hubbs has a thing for counter top appliances. No idea why, but he loves'em. Anyway, my fav buy was the red metal patio chair! I love this thing so much! I think it's the red color that just cheers me up when I look at it. Besides it was only $7 and I couldn't beat that price with a stick.

I also found a pretty antique baby dress for baby Bella. When I saw the embroidered blue flowers all I could think of was Bella's blue eyes and how perfect the dress was for her. I've included a pic of antiqued Bella Carolyn. Our family would be most grateful if you have a moment to say a prayer (or send good vibes, wishes, whatever-we'll take it!) for Bella to be seizure free and that we'll get word soon from the Mayo with approval and a date for her surgery. Many thanks!

Sharing the thrifty adventures with Rhoda at Southern Hospitality and Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrift Tuesdays

southern hospitality

Monday, March 21, 2011

When Homemade Soda Goes Wrong

So I found a new to me blog called Penniless Parenting. You can find Penny here, she really has a great blog. Anyway, I was reading her blog and came across a formula for making homemade soda. I was excited to give it a try so called in the girls and we decided to have ago.

We decided to use Kool-Aid to make the soda. We added the yeast and let it sit until the bottle was suitable hardened. My oldest daughter volunteered to be the taste tester. She immediately regretted it can ended up coughing and spitting into the sink. Alarmed, my middle daughter and I asked what was wrong?! Oldest daughter exclaims "Mom, I think we just made prison wine minus the toilet water!" Oh yeah, and the dirty socks. We didn't include those in our recipe.

So we reassessed our initial plan and realize that we should have predicted fermentation when we added the yeast. What were we thinking?? At any rate we were able to make several hilarious prison jokes and laugh at ourselves until the tears rolled down our faces. Good times. Good times.

By the way, we don't blame Penny for our results but we DO thank her for the fun!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Thrifting Fantasies

Since I've been contemplating this thrifty obsession of mine lately, the idea of itemizing an ULTIMATE WISH LIST of things I dream and fantasize about finding has come to the front of my brain. I've decided to put together a list and share it here.

My list would include:

1.) Ikea Expedit bookcase

2.) a complete dvd set of Signing Time videos. Since my little Bella was born deaf and we're learning to teach her ASL, these are high on my list.

3.) Signing Time board books.

4.) Waldorf play stand set. I've heard stories of thrifty moms finding these open ended play structures for super cheap.

5.) A Pottery Barn-ish sofa for downstairs.

6.) still thinking...I'll have to come back and fill in some more.

Do you have a fantasy list in mind??

Monday, March 14, 2011

Full Of Hot Air and Balloons

I hadn't planned to stop into the thrift store but I had one my "feelings". You know, the one that says I should stop in because there is something waiting for me. I spotted this lamp almost as soon as I walked in the door. I snatched it up, of course. I've only been looking forever for a nursery lamp.

Somehow I manage to attract the odd birds. This day was no different because as I was looking over my new lamp, I heard a strange old man yell "How did you get that before me? I'd really like to have that! I didn't even see that! Where was it?" He didn't say it in a mean way, it was more like desperation mixed with greed.

Oh, I had plenty of time to reflect on the tone because he followed me to various parts of the store repeatedly lamenting the fact that it was in my hands. Finally he asked me "How much do you want for it?" "$1,00.00", I said. "Cash." He just looked at with me consternation as I mentally willed the cashier to HURRY UP ALREADY. I managed to escape with my prize and I think I'll use it Bella's room. That is unless I decide to go back to reselling and it ends up in an online shop. I miss selling and would love to get back into it again. We'll see.

Sharing with Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday!

Little Flashbulb Moments

Sometimes an image sticks in my memory as I go about my day. Usually I find myself thinking " I wish I had my camera!". This morning I had one of those moments and am glad that my camera was only 3 steps away. I grabbed it and snapped this pic of my Bella as she snoozed away. Already 8 months old and it seems that her first year is flying by. I want it to slow down a little bit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Up! Up! Up!

I've been away for quite some time but I'm happy to say that I've returned!

I've been away from the blog but I haven't been away from the thrift shops. I've made a few nice discoveries for our new baby. Her room is still an evolving work in progress and we'll share it as it is now very soon. We've also moved house so we're still unpacking, sorting, selling and tossing things out.

Sorry that I don't have a pic up yet. I've just experienced PBP or Premature Blog Posting thanks to a baby helping to bang on the laptop.