Friday, November 1, 2013

Start a Stoppage of Spending!

I quit writing on this blog about 2 years ago, and I happened to click on it today and was amazed that I still have people reading it! This made me giddy and I think I may take it up again. Blogging for me is several things, and I have several blogs that accomplish different things for me. I have one blog that is mainly for record keeping which is mostly about my family and has lots of pictures. This blog was a way for me to share money saving tips, recipes, and be creative. Sometimes as a stay at home mom you just need to be heard.

Life has been complicated the past few years. I have 4 kids now and a home which often is crazy, messy and silly. It overwhelms me sometimes though, and without realizing it I stepped away from blogging. Like I said this blog hasn't been updated since 2011. My family blog hasn't been updated since March. Where has the time gone?! Well with a newborn you can just imagine!

I am excited today about something with which I'd like to share! Today we are starting a family challenge to help us to payoff our debt. I love to listen to Dave Ramsey on the radio. I'm not a die-hard listener but if my husband and I are in the car together we usually go to the station where he is on. He really is a smart guy! The other day we were driving to my in-laws house a couple hours away for a long weekend and we were listening to Dave. There was a 25 yr old couple who were calling to tell their debt-free story of getting out from under a mountain of student debt in 20 months, and had only been married a year. Amazing! A few days later we were driving home and were listening to even more amazing stories. So my husband and I decided it was time for us to get serious. We have a mountain of debt we need to get out from under. Mostly it stems from job-losses and medical. We have some bad habits too like eating out too often. Other than that I am a pretty thrifty person. For example, we have really basic phones, I shop at thrift stores more than regular ones, and we haven't had cable since the converter box came around. I have furniture which I loathe but haven't been able to bring myself to buy replacements because we have so much debt!

I was surfing pinterest, which I love because there is so much good stuff on there! And I came across a 31 day Zero spending challenge which sounded interesting. When I clicked to the website livingwellspendingless I found that this challenge was just what we needed! I recommend to all! It has great printables included, and does not just include finance but also organization, cooking, cleaning, etc. I am so excited about it, and I will likely be blogging this month on our challenges and upsets, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Listing Quickly on eBay

I mentioned before that I had found a way to list items much quicker than I had been. I don't know if this is blog-worthy or not, but a friend asked me if I was ever going to blog about it and today is an Awesome day to list, (Ebay announced a "List up to 1000 items free" 1 Day only sale) so here goes!

I used to start with a category, a title, and then fill in all the blanks about the item (of clothing usually), add my picture and then rewrite it all in the description box. Even though I was using a template (or picking up an old listing and changing it) it was taking me forever to list each item. Part of the reason is that loading pictures to the listing is not exactly fast. That can be aggravating. I don't know if it's just my computer, or if it's that way for everyone. These great Sale days would come along and I'd do my relists in a couple minutes but then I would only list maybe 20 new items if I was really working hard. I decided something (or a few things) needed to change.

First off, my goal is to really downsize my inventory. Get these great clothes out of my ebay closet and into the arms of people who would loooove them! So I needed to list, list, list like crazy. At least to save the Free listing "space". Here's my strategy now:

  1. I just listing the title, and fill in the necessary fill-in boxes (pre-owned, size type, size, color, etc, etc).
  2. I skip the picture (for now)
  3. In the description box the first line reads "Picture Coming Soon" and then I list anything that I think is necessary that wasn't covered in the drop-down boxes (ie tulle underskirt, sequins & beads, side zip, etc). There is no need to repeat everything that is already covered in the drop-down boxes, since the listing will show it right above the description. Then I do have an ending that says "No international shipping, ship within 24 hrs of pymt, check out my other auctions, yadda yadda yadda", but all of that was picked up from the previous auction ad and I'm not actually retyping it.
  4. I add my price
  5. I select the # of days
  6. Double check the shipping price I've decided on
  7. I click the list buttons, and I'm done with that listing.
  8. Then I get a box that says the item is listed, and I click "Sell Similar" and more on to my next item.
I have been able to do many more listings that way. Then when I am done for the day I can relax. I go back and revise my auctions and add the pictures when I have more time, like the next day. I usually do 3 day listings, because I think people don't really have the patience to wait till a 7 day auction ends. I know I don't! So if I am listing fast like this, I will select 5 days, just to give myself time to add the picture. I've even had people ask me to add a picture or just click to watch the item until I do. I love it when that happens because it gives me incentive to add the picture. If I don't have time to add all of the pictures and some of the auctions end without pictures, I don't stress. Since my item has been listed, I'm one step closer to selling it, and I can go and relist it and add a picture, and on sales like today's where its free, I'm not losing any money if I didn't get them picture on!

Anyway, I hope this helps someone, anyone. It may sound like gibberish, because I'm excitedly typing (and tiredly its 3:16 am) and my fingers are freezing because my house is freezing with no heat on. I think I'll go to bed for now and get up whe my kids go to school and get busy with a ton more listings! How would it be to list 1000 items I wonder???? Thankfully I don't have that much inventory! Have a great listing day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Humanity Spectrum

I'm no philosopher, but when you witness humanity at its worst and best, I believe it causes you to consider life.

I dropped my kids off at school yesterday. I pulled up next to the curb, temporarily parallel parking. My kids and my friends kids all jump out, I watched as they got through the gates, and headed for their classrooms. Then I prepared to depart by checking the thru traffic that is always moving. I looked to my left and realized that the person who pulled thru traffic as I parked, is not in their car! They pulled in, hopped out and walked their kids to their classrooms, or whatever. I was incredulous! Infuriated! Why would someone do that?! There aren't 2 parking lanes! I sat for 10 minutes in my car until I could safely back out into the thru traffic, and get around her. I was mad and had daydreamed smashing into their dumb SUV.

I drove out of the parking lot, and to the post office, dropped my ebay envelopes in the box and left. I drove about 2 blocks, and prepared to turn right. In front of me were 2 cars. To the right of me was a van, which was kind of parked in a bus loading shoulder.

I was still mad at the dumb person who dared to box me in at the school. I was mad at the school staff for not monitoring morning traffic (not that they monitor afternoon traffic very well either). I'm contemplating this waiting for the two cars to move forward so I can turn right. Then I realized what my mind was not registering but my eyes had been witnessing. 3 men had gotten out of their vehicles to help an elderly woman in a handicap scooter who had tipped over sideways and was lying in the street at the crosswalk. She probably has miscalculated the curb slope. She hadn't even moved, too in shock, or didn't know what to do. These 3 saintly men picked the scooter up, then helped the woman to sit up and then gently picked her up and placed her in the scooter. Then they talked to her, made sure she was ok to go on, probably asking if she needed medical help. They smiled and then ran back to their cars. I had witness a beautiful act of kindness.  A genuine concern for another person. I realized I was bawling as the man in the parked van got closer to me. I waved a thumbs up and wiped my tears. He probably thought I was nuts. I was basking in the kindness and love and humanity they had shown, and it wasn't even towards me.

It made my previous encounter seem ridiculous. My hard heart softened as I realized possibly I was supposed to witness this. Or maybe the Lord was trying to teach me how to be kinder. I believe He knows us and our struggles and yet is constantly trying to teach us. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ loves each of us as a brother, as a parent, and wants us to love each other as well. I am a mom, who wants my children to share their good example and be kind to others. I am not perfect, I don't expect others to be either. However sometimes its easy to forget, and we get mad and judgemental of others. We take things too personally. By thinking of each person as a child of a loving God, it is easier for me to forgive and love others. I hope they would do the same for me. I am a Thrift store Shopper, an Ebay Seller, a Mom, a Wife, a Child of God and I'm a Mormon.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cutting Costs

I usually cut my Scotch scrub pads in half because they are so large and this way I can get twice the use out of them before they get all nasty.
If and when I remember, I even wash them with my rags. But sometimes they get all yucky and mildew smelling and then they are bound for the trash.

Apparently one of my short-lings in the house decided they would help me cut costs. I opened the drawer and found this:

2x1 inch squares (REALLY?!), but no this does not help as I can't keep ahold of them while scrubbing dishes! Looks like I need to recruit some helpers with tiny hands! Good thing I know 3 of them. While they are at it I think I will have them work on that drawer as well. Looking like it needs a good scrubbing!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I should blog about that...

Lots of the times in the past few weeks/months I have come across something, whether in my daily life or on a blog or website and I've had the immediate thought "I've got to blog about that!". As you poor unfortunate readers of my blog who've had nothing to read from me lately may guess, I have let those ideas slip right out of my head, hands, grasp. That leaves me wondering later on what was it I was gonna blog about??


I do hope there have been much more interesting things on other blogs for you to read about though! I know I have! How lame is this? I feel like I'm having the worst conversation with myself "Don't say that!", "That's so lame" on and on in my head. So sorry.

In the coming weeks I hope to post on some fabulous blogs I've come across as of late. As well as some that are long time favorites.

What's been keeping me busy? It seems like every time Ebay does one of its fab sales (there were two in the past week alone) I drop everything to list like a mad woman. This is necessary because of the massive amount of inventory I have allowed myself to accumulate. All while using the same excuse, I need a faster computer...Well now I have discovered a faster way to list items on those great sale days and I have been plowing right through my inventory. (I will share it in a future post!)

See I am a really great shopper, but I don't always love the listing. Honestly, I get caught up in the shopping and then when I get home it can be a bit of a letdown cuz I think to myself where is all of this gonna fit?! I have a entire coat closet filled with my ebay clothes and items. I also don't love the clutter and the space it all takes up. When I list items I end up dragging a bunch out, piling them up in different piles around the room. Then I'm grouching at my kids for getting too near them (because an item with a grubby hand on it is no longer Excellent condition). After a couple hours or days I get really overwhelmed with stuff and have to cram it all back into the closet whether I have made significant progress or not. But... I am over the moon when something gets a bid and sells, because that means something else is leaving my house! So... as soon as everything is listed I will be a happy clam. The "1 cent" sale they had about a week ago, I relisted 113 things and listed about 70 new things. Then yesterday they had a "Zero listing on 250 items" sale. I had previously sold about 22 things (more than 10% yay!). So I relisted the remainder about 160 items and then relisted about 50 more. So far I have 2 items with bids! Woohoo!

I need about 2 more good sales and I will have everything listed and I vow to NEVER, EVER let it get that bad again. I do not want to carry inventory which has never been bid n for months and months. Everything I buy I will force myself to list that week sale or no sale. I have gotten better and better at discovering what will sell and what will not. I also like listing particular items like skirts, I love to list them, they don't need too many measurements, and a skirt is always something someone will be looking to add to their wardrobe. So in the future my inventory will be more streamlined, condensed. But for now, I have a lot to pray for to sell!

So to continue with this most random of posts, I am going to end on a goal/to do list. Things I have been putting on but really need to get done. Yeah, I've been procrastinating other things too ; )

  1. Clean out my Van (after 2 not so recent trips and a lot of daily messes, it really really needs it!
  2. List everything in my ebay closet - one and for all! After all, I cannot go shopping again until I do! S I know I am missing out on some great stuff!
  3. Weed my rock beds (now that its finally cooler)
  4. Declutter my laundry room (why is it so hard!)
  5. Carve pumpkins
  6. Check out pintrest - I have heard everyone talking about it as of late.
I'm sure can add more things to this list, my brain is just not allowing me to at this time, LOL. After all, I don't get enough sleep (I work 10pm to 2am Mon-Fri) - now do you understand why I've been MIA? I have been here in spirit though!!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I've seen a couple of tutorials online recently for these type of necklaces and decided it was about time I gave it a try myself. First thing to do is gather supplies:
  1. An old teeshirt - it can be shrunken, stained, have holes, whatever. The only thing to remember is that it cannot be ribbed. Also I find the best ones are the seamless ones, (with no seams down the sides).
  2. Cutting mat
  3. Rotary cutter
  4. Sewing Ruler or even a heavy book
  5. A Super-Cute helper/model.
Lay out your teeshirt over the cutting mat (I folded mine in half with arms together)

Measure 1 inch and cut into strips all the way up the shirt till you get to the chest where the arms are (You can also several strips from the short sleeve arms.

Take strip in your hands in front of you.

Stretch strip and the fabric will roll into tube.

The tubes from this old Army PT shirt were long enough for K to wrap around her neck twice.

You can wear plain, or multicolor, or even clip on a hair bow or a sparkly brooch for a bit of extra flair! They are lightweight, versatile and fun! We had such fun doing them that we are in the process of acquiring all shades of tees. That led us to garage-saling and found some steals this weekend! For example a ton of Legos for $2 and a ton of Kinex $2!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finding Marie at Goodwill

My sister in law came to visit over Labor day weekend. It was wonderful for me to have some grown-up adult time and shop Goodwill to my hearts content. No one except her enjoys it as much as I do.

When she lived in Colorado, there were Goodwill stores she would frequent to buy and sell clothing on ebay. When she moved to Utah, where there are no Goodwill stores she was feeling bummed but planned to visit me and get some serious shopping in before returning to Utah where she could sell. We've determined she needs to visit me at least once a month and also to get her Goodwill fix.

So, we're in our 2nd store of the day, and she hold up a skirt which was just funky enough to be something good and says what about the brand "Free People?" I say "Yes!" that's a great one! Even though it was Monday ($.99 cents on a certain color) hers was not that color and so was to be $3.99, still it was a great deal. Plus, she's military, and every Monday is also Military Monday (where you get 25% off any color tag which is not on sale). So on we shop....

When we're in the car an hour or so later, I'm going through the bags oohing and aahing. I spot her Free People skirt and grab it to get a closer look.

Yes, it's Anthropologie, FREE PEOPLE, and has 66170 as the RN#. It's in great condition. No snags, no tears, and it even has a drycleaning tag on it. Nice. But what's this? The name on the tag blew me away...

Osmond, Marie 9 of 10.....whaaaaat?
This beautiful lady?

Well, I was too excited, and my sister in law said "Must be someone else, because she lives in Utah". Nope. She lives in Las Vegas, where she performs her own show on the Strip. Wowza! I know, I'm a dork. But seven degrees, or whatever, I am holding a garment that either Marie or her daughter or somebody in her vicinity touched!! (ok there is always a possibility there is another Marie Osmond out there, and if this were a Merona skirt I would fully admit that it was not hers, but FREE PEOPLE is not cheap). Isn't it beautiful? I LOVE GOODWILL!