Monday, August 29, 2011

99 cent listings on ebay...Results

Things have been busy around here. My husband & I started our job at the new building. Everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. We have also re-done most of our home over the last few months and now have everything back in place and touched up. Photos will be posted within the next two or three days. We have guests coming to our home from Arizona this Friday and the place will be spotless. I will spend the next three days cleaning, cleaning & cleaning!

About a week ago I had listed a lot of my summer items on ebay for 99 cents. I was trying to clear out my summer inventory since we leave for vacation in less than two weeks and won't be back until October.

Here are the results:

-a FLAX top purchased for 2 sold for $1.75. I lost money on this. If I was more patient and had extra storage, I would have saved this for next time.

-a CYNTHIA STEFFE blazer which I purchased for $3.99 sold for $9.99. This one wasn't bad and I made a bit of money on it.

-a golf shirt that I got from my father-in-law sold for 99 cents. This is the problem with these listings, you never know if they will sell for the opening bid or higher. I got this for free so I broke even after fees. Maybe I made a few cents but nothing much.

-FREE PEOPLE skirt that I didn't realize had a rip in the lining until after I was home and the thrift tags were off (my thrift will do exchanges if the tags are still on). I purchased this for $2.99, sold for $4.25. Not too bad, not great though.

-a JAMS WORLD top which I picked up for for $2.99. This sold for $10.01.

-JAMS WORLD pants which sold for $12.50. I paid $2.50.

-a really cool tie dye dress which I thought was SOOOO cool sold for just 99 cents. I paid full price for this - $4.99 so I lost money on this. Goes to show you that just because I like something doesn't mean it won't sell.

-a SEIKO touch screen map clock. I picked this up for 25 cents at a yard sale and it sold for $28! This was my one really good sale.

-Two of my Wii games, one went for $5.01 and the other went for just over $3. These were left over from last week's sale. I was going to keep them but I just purchased another Wii lot so I didn't need more games around the house.

A few things didn't even sell for 99 cents and they will be re-donated to the local thrift store.

Overall I did so-so. It was worth it since I already had the listings together and it was easy to just hit "re-list".

I currently have a bunch of Wii stuff on that I purchased as a lot on ebay for $130. I needed a third Wii for a third TV in our home so we could have Netflix on all three TVs. The lot I purchased on ebay included a brand new Wii with all the cords, sensors and wires. It also included two Nunchucks, two remotes and 7 games. I have the games listed right now. I am hoping to make $60 from the games and nunchucks and one remote (I kept one). Two have bids so far for a total of $13.50. They have over 3 days left and they are more popular games so I am not too worried.

Before putting them on ebay, the hubby & I played one of them. It was called "Just Dance 2". I am officially the WORST person who ever played this game. It was a lot of fun (for me...not too sure the hubby enjoyed it) and I actually ache a bit today from all the "new moves". Ha!

I am winding down now since I don't want anything to sell while away since I wouldn't be able to ship for 5 weeks. Once I come back it will be October and I will start selling autumn/winter and Halloween costumes. I have six bins of items that will need listed and I will be rested & excited to go again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

99 cent listings on ebay are NEVER a good idea. . .

With that said, I am listing a lot of stuff for 99 cents today. Why are 99 cent listings never a good idea? Because there is a chance that your item will sell for 99 cents. And since I don't inflate my shipping costs, this means I make next to nothing (listings are 10 cents for the fee and then ebay takes 10% and paypal takes 3% plus a flat fee of 39 cents). In fact, I don't make anything since I had to pay for the item as well. I have a few items I paid $1 for but some I paid $2-$3 for (and some I thankfully got for free).

But I still do them on occasion. 99 cent listings use to do well when ebay was not as well known and everyone & their parent didn't sell on ebay. Now you have to have something very unique & very desirable to start a "bidding war" (when two people bid up the price).

I am clearing out my summer inventory. I leave for vacation in just over 2 weeks and will not be back until October. I don't want to sell summer items in October and since I don't have the space to store too much until next year, I would rather sell them now.

I almost always lose money on these sales and yet I still hope every time I do one that they will sell for more money than I have in them and I make money. And then they usually don't and I tell myself I will not do it again.

So, I put 17 items on ebay. I paid about $30 for all 17 and paid $1.70 in listing fees. I need to bring in about $40 (before ebay fees/paypal fees) to break even. Of course I am hoping for more since it would have been easier to re-donate these to the thrift.

This may be the last time I list on ebay before we go on vacation and a bit of extra spending money is always a good thing.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The results are in...Wii Games on eBay

From previous posts, you may know that I purchased a lot of Wii stuff on ebay for $120. I had only needed the console & wires/sensors and wanted to sell the rest of the stuff. I listed everyone on ebay. I had 11 games to sell (I kept two from the original lot I purchased), two controllers, one nunchuck and a accessories.

9 of the games, both controllers, the nunchuck and the accessories all sold. They sold for a combined total of $129! This means that when I deduct the 10% that ebay takes from selling on auctions, I netted around $115. Since I paid $120 for the Wii lot that I purchased on ebay, I paid just $5 for my console and 5 games (the two I originally kept and 3 that didn't sell on ebay). Amazing!

I will now be able to watch Netflix on two TVs. I am thinking about trying this again for a third TV we have. Since we are fairly rural, we cannot get cable and satellite in our area is terrible (we have tried it before). Our upgraded antennae only picks up two channels: NBC and a retro channel that my husband adores and I never watch.

I was hoping for the Wii games to sell for $70 and I got $129. This doesn't always happen but two games went fairly high.

One was Mario Party 8 which I didn't have the instructions nor case for and yet it sold for $23.73.

And the other was Sniper Elite which sold for $19.38. Here is the photo I used on ebay.

Day two of the job was great. Things slow down over the weekend and we were able to explore the computer files & see where things were.

Our job is managers at a retirement community. Last night we had an emergency call. We sleep in a one bedroom apartment on-site and although we lock everything up at 9:00 and are usually in our apartments by 9:15-9:30, we are on call all night. The emergency call came at 3:47am. Ugh. Thankfully the resident was okay and just needed help with her husband's oxygen tank. But it was tough to fall back asleep and so we are dragging a bit this morning.

There will be lots of yawning & stretching today!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Almost there...Wii games on ebay

Well, most of my Wii games I am selling on ebay are almost ended. They have from 1-2 hours left for the most part.

So far my total is $109! I paid $120 for the entire lot of Wii stuff and that included the console & all the wires and sensor bar. I am keeping the console and was selling off the games and some of the accessories. This means after ebay & paypal fees that I paid about $20 for the Wii console if the games don't go higher.

Of course they may go higher and I may wind up getting the Wii console for free.

I love when this happens! I am a big watcher of QVC while we are at our apartment. It is the perfect program to "watch" when I am putting on my make-up since I do this around 6:30am and nothing else is on and you don't actually have to watch it.

A week or so ago I was watching and they had on a Today's Special Value of Stri-Vectin face and neck cream. Although I am only 31 and really don't have any wrinkles to speak of (yet), I am a huge believer in applying face cream atleast once or twice a day.

So I purchased the face and neck cream for about $130. I kept the face cream and am selling the neck cream since I knew wouldn't use the cream for my neck. Currently the neck cream is up to $75 on ebay. If it sells for this amount (it has 15 hours left), it means the face cream cost me just $55. I realize this is a lot to pay for face cream but it should last a few months and I wanted to see if it made any different in the tone of my skin.

With working so many hours, my skin becomes tired looking and less bright. I was using a cream that was purchased for about $7 at TJ Maxx and wanted to see if the expensive cream did anything differently. I have only been using it for a few days and have noticed that the skin around my eyes seems a bit tighter. This may be my imagination though.

Our first day at our new building yesterday went well. It is always a bit exhausting trying to learn something different. The staff & residents seem very helpful and friendly and I am sure that once we settle into the job it will be great. Everyone seems very laid back which is something our last building was lacking.

I'll post again later with the results of the Wii games. Do you have something to sell on ebay? Sign up for a user account and you list up to 50 items for FREE on ebay. Usually there is a listing fee of between .25-$2.00 for most regular items (not cars or high priced items). But anyone without a store on ebay can list 50 items a month for free. It is worth a shot - you never know what will sell.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Link

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I literally do not know how to follow blogs at this point. I am blog illiterate! But if someone tells me how, I am glad to follow others blogs!

Selling Nintendo Wii Games on Ebay

I purchased a lot that included 15 games on ebay a few weeks ago. I just needed the Wii system to watch Netflix on a second TV in our home. We live in a fairly rural area and cannot get cable so Netflix is a great option for us.

I purchased the lot for $120. It included the console & all the wires/sensors needed to run it, two remotes, two nunchucks and a ton of games & accessories. I wanted to get atleast $70 out of the games so my cost for the console would be about $50.

I listed each game separately on ebay and so far they are doing well. All but three games have bids and the bids total $75 right now, with one day left.

And...whatever games don't sell I get to keep! A win-win for everyone. I'll post tomorrow and let you know how it went.

On another note, my husband & I start at our new building today. We start at 9am but our usually work schedule will be 7:30am to 9:00pm every day. We also live on-site and take emergency calls during the night so our work day doesn't necessarily end at 9:00pm. Thankfully emergency calls don't come often here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photos of the House & eBay Update

Yesterday was "New Carpet Day" for the rest of our house. Things were scattered and a mess since the two rooms getting carpet needed emptied.

The two guys came and did a wonderful job. They had also installed some carpet for the rest of the house this past October and remembered us. I baked brownie cupcakes as a thank you along with the tip and they were grateful.

The two rooms that were done was the guest room and the third bedroom (we use it as an office). If you scroll down, you will see before & afters.

The carpet was on clearance for less than 50 cents per square foot. We had to call a few Home Depots to get the amount we needed but the carpeting was less than $550 for the two rooms & hallway. And it was well worth it! We went with a darker carpet than what was installed in October. One reason was this part of the house gets more traffic, a second reason is that the carpet in October had been discontinued and a third reason was this carpet does not touch any other section of carpet in the house. Our kitchen vinyl breaks up the two different carpets. Both are Berber and both are the same shade, just one is darker than the other.

eBay update:

-Yesterday I sold a vintage velvet & gold dress for $50 that I picked up for $4.99 this past summer. It will be great for the holiday party season. It was very '80s with a big bow and tiers of crinoline and lame (okay, I don't know how to put an accent in my blog).

-Also sold yesterday was a Quacker Factory top for $14.99 that I purchased for 95 cents and a Tracy Reese dress that I was shocked did not sell for more. It sold for $19.99 and I purchased it for $4.99.

-My Wii games are up to...$62. I'm so close to my target goal of $70 with almost two days left. Whichever games don't sell I plan on keeping.

We are headed back to our apartment today. In case you missed reading the rest of my blog, my husband & I manage a retirement community just outside of Pittsburgh and have a house about 1.5 hours away. We work a week and live on site in our apartment and then have a week off and go back to our home. Last week we transferred our apartment to a new building owned by the same company. Tomorrow will be our first day at the new place which means we have to learn about 200 names - 150 residents & about 50 staff. We are looking forward to the challenge of a new building.




My husband surprised me with this chair a few years ago. I fell in love with it at Salvation Army. I am a big fan of Anthropologie and thought it was very much in that style of furniture.


This took about $90 worth of racks & hanging things from Home Depot and a lot of work - we painted it white & then hung racks & shelves. I'm thrilled with the way this turned out.



(I made the pillow cases & throw pillow and purchased the bedspread at a thrift)


Our hallway opens to three of the bedrooms and the basement door. It used to be dark wood & darker carpet. It was like walking down the hall of doom. We painted all the doors white and re-did the carpet.

A few shots of me that my husband took while I was painted the English server that goes in our kitchen:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Carpet Day!

After staying up WAY too late watching America's Got Talent (why do I do this when I'm normally asleep by 9:30?!?), I was up early again. Today is new carpet day and I am pretty excited. We had 1/2 of our home re-carpeted this past October but wanted to wait until we repainted everything in the other half of the house before we put new carpet down.

The carpet guys will be here around 9am and the house is ready. We have been working hard painting, doing moldings, redoing the 1/2 bathroom, replacing doorknobs, etc.

My favorite part of the day will come later when we put our furniture back. Below are a few photos of the living room. We re-did this last October. The purple was our choice 9 years ago (not the best of choices I admit). Right now it is messy, messy, messy with stuff from out of the guest room and office since these are the two rooms that are getting carpet.

ebay update: The Wii games I am selling on ebay are up to over $55 on ebay with 3 days left. I should hit my $70 goal.




After doing a preview, I realized a naked mannequin was sitting on the floor. I'm sorry if this offends anyone. I use the mannequin for ebay.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Goodwill Finds for Ebay

Yesterday was truly a wonderful shopping day for me. I started off the morning driving the 45 minutes to Goodwill. Since we live in a rural part of PA, almost everything is a drive.

I was the first one in the parking lot and the first one in the door. Do I win a prize? Ha! I almost always go on a Monday which I would think is not a great day to shop since the stores are usually hit pretty hard over the weekend. But, I cannot go any other day. I think Thursday or Friday would be a better day to go if you can swing it.

Here is a list of what I found at that Goodwill:

-A few things for me! I found 6 pairs of Gap pants in my size, all like new. I wound up purchasing just 3 of them since I truly don't need more pants but the deal was too good to pass up. It was like someone cleared out the wardrobe and donated it. Thankfully we wore the same size. I got a pair of tan, a gray pair and a brown plaid pair. Total: $15 ($4.99 each). I also got Nick & Nora PJ pants ($1.99) and gray shorts ($1.50 on 1/2 off green tag day).

-Sheets for our double guest bed at home. Most people won't buy sheets at Goodwill and I completely understand why. But, our thrifts are very clean and I needed sheets. They are in great shape (no pills - yuck!) and are fairly pretty. A purple print. Our current sheets are about 9 years old and needed thrown out.

-Alberto Makali is a great brand to sell on ebay and I picked up a brand new pashmina. There are NO others on ebay. It is stunning - perfect for autumn. This would retail for $150-200. I am thinking I can get about $65 for this and I paid $1.99.

-Worth 100% cashmere zip up sweater in a lovely soft blue with a little pattern. Cashmere usually does pretty well. If you pick it up second hand, make sure there are no holes. Worth is a brand that is sold by sales associates, usually out of someone's home. Worth pieces retail for quite a bit of money. I have sold blazers that have the tag stating they retail for $598 and suits that retail for more than that. I can probably get about $50 from this sweater and I paid $4.99.

-Oleg Cassini red dress. This dress has a ton of beading and would be great for Valentine's Day. Since V-day is months away, I plan to market it for New Year's Eve. It is a sexy little dress that shows a lot of skin. I am thinking this would sell for about $35-$40. I paid $4.99.

-Bebe teal dress with a lot of ruffles. This dress would have been great to list in the summer but I am going to try and list it now. Bebe wearers are usually teens and young adults. You have to be careful when buying Bebe since (believe it or not) it is faked. The most faked items are rhinestone t-shirts/tops with "bebe" written across the top. I am guessing I can get about $25-$30 for the dress. I paid $2.50 (1/2 off).

-R&M Richards two-piece dress & matching jacket set. This name doesn't do super well on ebay. It is usually sold at Ross's and other lower end department stores. BUT, this particular dress really caught my eye. It is a deep blue and the dress has ruffles from the empire waist to the hem which is very flattering on most people. It would be perfect for the holiday season and New Year's Eve and I will market it that way. I plan to get $40 for the set and I paid $4.99.

-Rinascimento dress that was in the children's wear. I paid $1.99 for it. I had never heard the name before but the tag is marked "made in Italy" which is usually a good sign. I could have used my phone to look it up on but since it was only $1.99 and it is adorable. It is actually a woman's dress, strapless with a bubble hem (I love bubble hems!). I am going to price it for $40 and it should sell for that.

-St. John Couture pants. This is NOT St. John's Bay that is sold at JC Penny, this is St. John which is a designer name that is in line with Chanel and Prada. These items do well one ebay and I'm always looking for these labels. St. John has a few labels: St. John Sport, St. John Marie Gray, St. John, St. John Couture and perhaps a few more I am forgetting. St. John is known for their "Santana" yarn which people on ebay usually call Santana knit. My piece are gold satin pants. These are going to be hard for me to sell since I love them and they fit me. BUT, I know I will never, ever wear them. There are currently a pair on ebay exactly like mine. The other pair is new with tags (mine are not) and the tag says they retail for $595. I plan to price mine aggressively for the holiday season. I should get $50-$75. I paid $4.99.

After shopping at Goodwill, I went to Target to return some drapes and I purchased a duvet cover that cost $18. I then left Target and went to TJ Maxx. I got a little something for someone's b-day (she reads the blog and I'm not going to spoil the present) and Meri Meri cards on clearance. 6 in the pack for $1! This is a fantastic deal since each card retails for $5.50. Meri Meri is my favorite card brand and I stock up on them when I find them at TJ Maxx.

Then I went to Home Depot where I found the light for our 1/2 bathroom on clearance for $19 (see my last post).

On the way home, I stopped at a second Goodwill. This Goodwill is smaller and I usually don't find as much. It is just 15 minutes from my house.

Here is what I found:

-Viva Collection dress that was hand painted with pumpkins in a quite pretty design. I had never heard of Viva Collection but this dress has been at the thrift for the last month or two. Yesterday it was 1/2 off which made it $2.50. It is black, long sleeve, longer length with pumpkins. Great for Halloween and the Halloween season. It should sell for about $25 (I'm hoping for more but I would take $25 for it).

-Anne Klein suit for a woman in autumn colors. Again, not something I usually pick up but it was also 1/2 priced. Suits & two-piece outfits sell for $6.99 so I paid $3.50 for it. It is a skirt suit done in a pretty tweed. This suit would have retailed for about $300 and I plan to sell it for $50-$60.

-Allen B. Schwartz suit which was also 1/2 off. Dark gray with pin stripes. The top is a bigger size than the pants which may be a hard sale. Most woman I know wear a bigger size on bottom if they do wear two different sizes. But the measurements are close on both. I picked it up because it is in like new condition and great for the winter season. I think I will get $35-$40 for it.

-Mephisto woman's shoes. Mephisto is a great shoe brand, one of the most comfortable shoes on the planet. These shoes are a metallic gold loafer but they are a TINY size - a woman's size 5. They are adorable however and should bring about $20-$25 since they are new. I paid $2.99 for them.

I didn't do too badly for a few hours of shopping. I paid for all my purchased and then some. Even if a few things don't sell for what I am asking and I have to discount them, I should still do very well with the pieces I picked up.

Six of my Wii games have bids on them. I purchased the Wii and all the games for $120 a few weeks ago. I am hoping to recoup at least 70 dollars of my purchase. So far I have recouped $30 (if the games sold right now) and there are 3 days left so they should bring even more.

Hope everyone has a great day! I plan on doing little things around the house. I had to keep myself from going out today (to different thrifts) since I need to put in the door knobs and touch up paint in the 1/2 bath that we had scratched yesterday.

New carpet day is tomorrow!

Monday, August 15, 2011

1/2 Bathroom Renovation - Complete

The carpet installers are coming in two days and it is very exciting. That means I get to put my house back together! In the mean time, we are busy fixing up the rest of the house so it is okay to put new carpet down.

We have a four bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house. The guest bedroom has it's own VERY TINY 1/2 bathroom since it use to the master bedroom. When we moved into the house 9 years ago, we painted very bright colors. The then master bedroom went ORANGE and the 1/2 bathroom went YELLOW.

After fixing it, the now guest bedroom is a medium gray with a lighter gray 1/2 bathroom. I painted the dark wood cabinet white, pulled out the carpet and laid tile & grouted it gray, got rid of the large 1980's mirror and light and put up the new light, new mirror and new medicine cabinet.

The only thing left to do is replace the vanity top. We are looking for a used one since a 25" vanity top in white is over $50 at Home Depot.

The entire thing cost...$150! I paid $80 for the mirror (I was in love with it), $19 for the light today at Home Depot (it was on clearance since it was a floor model), $17 for the tile, $8 for the grout and $18 for the towels at Target. My dad had given me a TJ Maxx gift card for my birthday and I purchased the medicine cabinet for $30 on clearance.

The paint was free since I already had a medium gray left over from the guest bedroom and white left over from another project. I mixed them together to get the lighter gray. The hardware on the vanity was left over from another project as well.

Here are some before & afters:



Coming up finds at Goodwill today. (one of my finds included a pair of pants that retailed for $600!)

Shopping for Ebay

Almost every Monday I am home I go shopping. It is a day I spend by myself and I look forward to it. I look forward to it so much it is a bit hard to sleep. Clearly I get excited a bit too easily.

Today I plan on going to two Goodwills, Target and TJ Maxx. I have a list of items I need for the house but my excitement stems from finding things to sell on ebay.

Last time I was there (two weeks ago), I found a shirt by Ivan Grundahl. Never heard of that designer? Neither had I! I purchased the top for $4.99 and sold it a few days ago for $51 on ebay. I had found four dresses for $2.50 (they were 1/2 off the original Goodwill price of $4.99) and sold them for over $25 each. After ebay & paypal fees, I mad about $17 per dress for about 20 minutes of work. This is about $50 for an hours worth of work. Obviously I cannot keep this up for 8 straight hours but if you know what sells, it is great money.

I do this regularly. Dresses are one of my favorite things to sell. I take them home, wash them and lay them flat to dry. Then I usually shake them out since I detest ironing. I put them on my dress form (I picked up the dress forms at Wal-mart a few years back) and photograph them against a plain background. My background is actually my living room wall which is a light sand color.

After listing them with measurements, I don't do anything until they sell. It takes me about 10 minutes per listing to put together the description. I have listed 60 in a day but my average is about 20 since I don't usually have stock sitting around. I list my items within a few days of getting them.

So the question is . . . what sells and where do I get it?

I find that right now is a hard time to sell on ebay. It is August and summer is almost over so summer items are discounted in the stores to next to nothing. Autumn is right around the corner but not too many people want to start shopping for it yet. Sweaters & corduroy pants are hard to buy when it is 90-100 degrees. Plus with all the "back to school" sales, ebay is a bit slow.

I usually don't list or sell too much in August as a result. September and October are great months for sweaters, lightweight jackets and of course COSTUMES! Costumes are great sellers on ebay. I pick them up throughout the year along with themed sweaters. I have two or three Halloween themed sweaters that should do well. I also pick up "ugly Christmas sweaters" throughout the year and have about 15 or so to list once November rolls around. I keep these in bins since I don't like to hang sweaters.

Where do you get these things? You truly have to look to find them. I suggest doing a simple search on-line to find thrift shops in your area. Make a visit to each to see what prices they offer and what types of things you will find. My local Goodwills have flat rate pricing. All tops are $3.99, all dresses are $4.99, etc. This is great since I know what I will be paying before I walk in the door. And some thrifts even have sales or coupons.

Here is one of the sweater vests I picked up for $1.50 (vests are $2.99 and this was 1/2 off) for a few months ago.

Okay...I better go get ready for my fun day! I'll post tomorrow what I found.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

I love being home! It means I can wake up and not jump in the shower, get dressed and be at work. There are not too many deadlines when we have off and are at home. The only deadline this week is that we are getting carpet on Wednesday.

Yesterday was the day I did all the things I have been putting off (well...maybe not all of them but a good many!). I grouted the small 1/2 bathroom tile I laid a few weeks ago.

I also changed about 15-20 outlets and covers. This was much easier than I expected and by the time I was done I could do an outlet & cover switch in about 3 minutes. It is just a matter of making sure the power is OFF before you start. I only poked my hand with the screw driver twice and only once did it leave a bloody mess of a hole in my finger (thankfully no stitches were required!).

If that weren't enough, I forced myself to put new doorknobs on the freshly painted white doors. I will post photos after the new carpet comes and our house isn't a wreck.

So I promised that I would post a photo of the present one of our resident's gave us. This particular resident is my husband's favorite (yes, we have favorites!) and she gave us three gifts. She gave us a box of vintage doilies that she made. They are quite pretty and we will be using them at our new apartment. She gave us a cookie jar and then a fun statue/chalkboard to go outside. Here are the last two:


Roosters! This resident did not know what has been going on at our house and I never mentioned liking roosters (because of course I don't) but she gave us two rooster themed items. The blackboard rooster is kind of cute and since we do live in the country, I put him by the front door. The rooster cookie jar doesn't match our beach-themed house and so he is going away. If he weren't chipped I would put cookies in his belly and give him to the neighbors.

For the rest of the day I baked and listed a few things on ebay. I made brownies in cupcake liners which came out pretty darn good.

And then I frosted them with my husband's favorite icing. It is made from four ingredients: peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and milk. I melt 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave. I add in about 1/4-1/3 cup peanut butter and a bunch of powdered sugar. I use the milk to make it a bit creamier. Then I just keep adding powdered sugar or milk depending on if needs to be thicker or not. It is SUPER rich and full of calories so be warned. But everyone who has ever had it has loved it in small doses.

I photographed this on my kitchen counter. My kitchen counter was an ugly cream color from the 1980s and I painted it!

Today I am going to touch up paint and maybe watch a movie or two. We almost always go to church on Sundays when we are home since my hubby sings or plays drums or guitar but today he had off and it is rainy dreary day. Perfect day for laying in bed & watching a movie.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Moving Day


Yesterday was MOVING DAY for us. We moved our work apartment from one building to another that was about 20 minutes away. Since it was only a one bedroom apartment, it didn't take as long as most moves. My husband was good enough to take over a huge van load of stuff earlier in the week so we had the main items at the new place.

Below are a few photos I snapped. On top of my father-in-law's minivan (ours was still in the shop over an hour away) are two double mattresses and my husband's weight bench which is now set up in our new living room. It doesn't look as bad as you would think. Still not great, but he works out every day and needs somewhere to put it. Better the living room than the bedroom.

We were exhausted last night from the long day. Especially since it came after a week of working and saying our goodbyes to staff and residents.

After a good night's sleep, I am ready to tackle more projects back at our home. We are home for the next week and have carpet coming on Wednesday. Our older tan colored outlets all need changed to white (something the hubby is going to teach me) and I'd like to get out for a walk if the weather holds. (It looks like rain today).

I listed a bunch of Wii games on ebay this morning and I hope they do well. I paid $120 for a huge lot of Wii stuff since I needed a second system for Netflix and had planned to sell the 15 games included. We'll see how they do.

Tomorrow I will post what one resident gave us as a going away present. It is one of the most ironic presents I have ever received.


Inside of the minivan:


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ebay Tips


Like I have mentioned before, I sell part-time on ebay. Because my work schedule is awesome I have every other week off. On these weeks I am at home either doing ebay or remodeling the house. A few people have asked me how to sell on ebay and it is fairly easy to learn. It is a great hobby to have, especially if you have extra time on your hands.

I visit many thrift stores in the area. I have also heard of people selling items that they purchased at retail shops (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross's, etc) or at yard sales. I always suggest to a new seller that you start with items around the house. They don't have to bring much money but you will learn how the process works.

For those who want to sell on ebay full-time, I have written a review. I have posted it below. I sell clothing but you can sell almost any desirable item on ebay. Lots of people sell glass wares, home items, children's items, car parts and other things and make money.

If you love to make your items, there is a site called etsy. Etsy is a wonderful site for vintage items and crafts. I have sold on both.

These are some great tips I have collected over the years of selling on ebay - from experience & from the clothing board!

Tip 1: To know if you can support yourself by ebaying full-time, start by keeping a data chart of all information if you are not doing so now. This can be a fancy Excel spreadsheet or a document in notepad.

I started by keeping these records in October, in 2005. I allowed myself to only list for 5 hours a week and kept track of everything. Then I could multiply this number by 4 (for approx. 20 hours of listing a week) to figure out my average weekly potential.

For example, by listing 5 hours one week I made approx. $400. I would then multiply this by 4 for $1600/month. Then $1600.00 times 50 weeks (two off for vacation) would come up with my average yearly income. I wanted to prove to myself that I could make a decent living by ebaying, allowing myself to quit working outside of the house.

Ebay has excellent sales reports & traffic reports for stores as well. They can find the average of a listing for you. I make approx. $12-$17 per piece I sell, before fees. I know if I would want to make $120-$170, I would have to list (and sell) 10 items, etc. Another great way to figure out how much you need to list weekly.

Remember that you probably won't sell 100% of what you list. I would say that the average seller sells between 40% - 60% of what they list. So to sell 10 items, you might have to list 20 items.

Tip 2 would be to check with your accountant. Let them know you will be ebaying full-time. You can usually write off the space for ebaying, computer, gas driving back & forth to mail, etc. Keep accurate records of everything! I save every single receipt from USPS, all thrifts, and ebay. You would be amazed how this adds up!

Tip 3 is to use paypal to print out labels if not doing so at this time. They email the buyer with a delivery confirmation, saving you time & energy (& grief in the long run!) The post office picks up the packages at your HOUSE! No need to go drive anywhere!

I use and love the "Dymo Labelwriter 400" which does not use ink to print. Instead it uses thermal heat. You can buy the labels here on ebay and they work wonderfully with paypal.

Tip 4: Use priority supplies. They are free, and cheap to ship. A flat rate padded envelope (order these from since you cannot get these at the local post office) is just under $5 and a tyvek envelope (up to 1 lb) is about the same. I charge $5.50 usually, sometimes a bit more, which I use for time & tape. People will not buy from people with outrageous handling fees. I do not want to spend $8.00 to ship a t-shirt, why would my buyer? USPS also picks up at your house, saving you time. If I just have one or two packages, I can stick them in my mailbox. (again, save receipts for ink & paper--write-off!)

*Note about priority bags: If you are selling small trinkets or light-weight items, I suggest shipping first class mail. In this case, you can find "fashion mailers" here on eBay to ship these items. First class mail is MUCH cheaper than priority mail and usually gets there in the same amount of time. I use "Corijennin" to buy my supplies & am thrilled with her customer service.

Tip 5: RESEARCH. This is HUGE! Find out what is selling & for how much. For example, I go to my wholesaler's website, find something I'm interested in & then go back to ebay to do a search for how that is doing. If something is cheap but won't sell, it is just going to sit around!

If you plan on thrifting, go to the thrift store and start writing the designers & sizes down. Then come home and see how those labels are selling on ebay. Almost every thrift shopper has purchased something only to come home and find that it won't sell.

Just because something retails for $300 doesn't mean it will sell on ebay. It may be that it is outdated or just plain old ugly. However, sometimes something that retails for $50 is desirable and may sell for more.

Tip 6: Find good sources. Type "wholesale, clothing" into a yahoo/google search and it will come up with pages and pages of clothing items. Start out by purchasing the minimum with a couple & see how you like them. No one will tell you where to get your inventory. You must do this yourself! (sorry!)

Go to local thrift stores, estate sales, yard sales and consignment shops. You may find a gem at one of these!

Tip 7:
Treat eBay like a job. Start every morning by getting dressed. I was homeschooled & my mother would insist we change out of pj's every day. Why? Because if you are dressed in PJ's while schooling, it will not feel like school. I have the same attitude with ebay. It is easy to just crawl out of bed & start. But, mid-day I feel gross & sluggish. So, I have this rule that I will not start me day until I am showered & dress with breakfast in my belly :)

Tip 8: Start a schedule.
This is just an example:

9am-start by checking my emails. answer any questions.
9:30am-print last minute labels for mailman to pick up of items that sold the night before.
10:30am-start taking pictures
11:30-12:00-break for lunch
12:00-start listing. I alternate picture taking with listing for the afternoon, until about 4:00pm.
4:00pm-4:30pm-break for a snack or early dinner
4:30-5:00pm-answer any emails that have come in
5:00-6:00pm-print labels for items that sold that day.

Tip 9: Take good pictures. Hang a white sheet on a wall for a background. Try to edit pictures if you have the software. Take several pictures & look which are most appealing.
*I use a blank wall and a mannequin. If you don't have a mannequin or need to show what the item looks like laid flat, buy several pieces of white poster board. Our dollar store has them for 50 cents. I bought 6 and laid the poster board in a large rectangle. This works great!
*I use "picasa" to edit my pictures. It is a free download & allows you to fix the lighting, rotate/crop and a WHOLE bunch more.

You will also need a decent camera. I use the Casio Exilim 7.2mp -but I always use the LOWEST megapixel available. More than 2 or 3 mp takes to long for dial-up users to upload your photos.

Tip 10: Buy a hanging mannequin. These are pretty cheap on ebay (about ten dollars!) and make a difference. Dress forms are also great for skirts, dresses and tops.

Tip 11: Keep your inventory clean & organized. I have several racks, which are great. If you do not have room, I have heard others using rubbermaid bins. Make sure when something sells, you can locate it :) Label bins by size, by type of item or another system that works.

Tip 12: Keep reading the eBay discussion boards. Those people have a wealth of knowledge! The clothing board people are awesome! They regular post their "woo-hoo" items. These items are things that went for a lot of money. Look for them at the thrift and you will also have a great outcome.

Tip 13: Start a store if you do not already have one. This saves in listing fees. Start about 60-75% of your listings in your store, the rest on auction to pull people to your store. After you have a great client base, you can change this to save more!

You will need to advertise your store in your auctions though. Make sure you don't specifically state what you have, but you can post a link to your store. Example: ebay will not allow you to put "I have Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and Free People" in your listing since this is key word spamming. You can put "Please check out my ebay store where I have so much more!" and then put the link.

Tip 14: Use a picture host. These are usually free or very cheap & save on listing fees.
*I use photobucket. Do a google/yahoo search for "photobucket". They will walk you through how to set up your account. Just upload pictures & copy the middle tag *URL* into the description.

Tip 15: Create or buy a template, and use it. This makes the listing more professional and is very cheap! Search "auction template" to find several hundred to purchase. Buy one that comes with help & from someone who has good feedback.

Tip 16: When you do not know something, do not lie. Find out if something is authentic before listing. If it is found not authentic, eBay pulls the auction. Disclose any flaws in the items.

Tip 17:
Use measurements. Every time! As a buyer, I don't want to wait for the seller to email me measurements-especially if I find the item late in the listing!

For Pants: Waist, Hip, Front Rise, Total Length, Inseam.

For Shirts/sweaters/coats: Shoulders, Bust, Sleeve Length, Waist, Total Length.

For Skirts: Waist, Hip, Total Length.

Tip 18: Try to describe accurately & creatively. Look through current magazines or catalogs to find great wording! I use "Jane", "Lucky" & Coldwater Creek catalogs as three great sources to find out what's hot for the next season.

Tip 19: This is a new one for me-keep an address book specifically for designers. The dollar store has these for a buck. Get one that is little & you can keep in your purse while shopping. For example, under "A" would be Armani, Apple Bottoms, A. Byer, etc. Rate each & keep notes under the designer's name. For example: "Armani-great seller. Look for dresses & flowing tops. These sell well" When you don't know if it sells, just look it up in your address book. If you come across a name you've never heard of, you can jot it down & look it up later on eBay.

Tip 20: Have a smart phone or a cell phone that you can easily look up a brand name on If you don't have one, you can also use a buddy system - someone who is able to get to a computer easily and can look up a brand name and tell you if it is worth buying. This will save money in the long run. I pay about $90 a month for my HTC phone and it has paid for itself several times over when I shop.

Tip 21: Have fun. When eBay stops being fun, you will not enjoy what you do. Remember to take holidays or vacations from eBay. It is a job like any other. It is a bit harder to walk away from because you are in your house, but don't burn out! :)

Thank you very much! Feel free to email me with any questions you may have:

Have ebay stories or thrift shop stories? Feel free to share them!

These are a few photos that I took of my consignment shop when I had it back in 2008. I sold on ebay & at the shop.




Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yard Sale


Every year the retirement community I help manage has a huge yard sale. This year's sale was yesterday. It was a fairly warm and muggy day with a bit of rain. Not a great day for a sale. I am not in charge of the sale but I do help the day of the yard sale.

Organizing yard sales is a ton of fun for me. In fact, organizing just about anything is one of my favorite things to do. If I had to rate it, I would put laying on a float in the Gulf of Mexico at the top, then eating pizza while watching my favorite movie and then organizing. Clearly I need more hobbies!

When I last organized a yard sale I made sure I did a few things. First, I advertised for free on a few sites. Craigslist,, garage and (the last one is $10 and it may be cheaper to run an ad in the local paper).

If you are on good terms with your neighbors, feel free to ask them if they want to join in on the fun and do a multi-family yard sale or a community yard sale. This will bring out more shoppers and perhaps cut down on your money if you are paying to advertise. If you do a multi-family sale, it is always good to keep your items separate and ring up the items according to the person selling them. At the end of the day you don't want to have to figure out which person sold what. Too confusing!

I also put up signs at the local intersections. The sign was simply a piece of white posterboard (I would never do darker colors -they are too hard to read) which you can find at any dollar store that was written on with a black Sharpie marker. If you know it is going to rain, make sure you encase your sign in plastic wrap. I put the signs up a few days before the actual sale since people driving back & forth may come to the sale. Good, free advertising.

Most people do yard sales over the weekend since more people have off weekends. Usually Saturday & Sunday are great days to hold the sale. Times also vary but most are 8am to 3 or 4pm. This is an all day event. Remember, if you choose 8am that people WILL come early. These are the people who are looking for specific items or re-sellers who want to pick the best items you have. You will want to let them know about your 1/2 price hours (more about this later). If you have to pick just one day, pick Saturday. Saturday will be the best day of the week to have a yard sale.

The sign needs to have a few things on them. The fact that that is a yard sale, the dates and times and the address. I don't like when the sign says a ton about the sale, i.e. furniture, tools, clothing, household, etc. Almost all yard sales are a mix of items that people want rid of. You can put this information in the ad but you don't want to clutter up the sign. I usually put an arrow to help drivers know which way to turn as well.

So the sign looks like this:
(p align=center>
SAT., 8/6
123 MAIN ST.

You want to keep it simple. Here are some not so great examples of signs I have found.

This sign is too cluttered. The yellow on white writing is super hard to read from afar (picture driving past this at 30-40 miles an hour) and there is no time. It is hard to even see the day. Also, what is up with the wiggly lines? Lastly, all yard sale sellers think there stuff is fantastic. It doesn't do any good to put the word "fantastic" or "great" on a sign. Yard sale shoppers will drive by slowly. If they see something they like, they will stop.


I love this next sign. It is my kind of humor. But probably not a great sign to advertise things that you want to sell. Also, there is no date nor time. Green would not have been my top color but you can still see the lettering so it isn't the worst color I've seen.


Okay, here is a color that is not great. Red. Red means stop which is great for stop lights but it is a bit harsh on the eyes. First choice would be white, followed by light yellow. How hard is it to put a time on the sign? Who wants a crowd waiting at 6am in front of their house when the sale wasn't supposed to start until 8am? Ummm...not me.


This sign is pretty. It is simple. Too simple. Since people leave their signage up WAY too long (a note to sellers: take down your signs after the sale!), you don't really know when "today" is. Is that really today or was it yesterday's sale that never got taken down. No address. Perhaps it was close and there is an arrow so this isn't all bad. Unless you had to make ten turns to get there and you are lost. In this day and age people use technology to find things - mapquest & GPS are huge. I know I will absolutely get lost trying to find something without my GPS. Simply put the street address. Again, no time.


Clearly this next time was done by a child. I love that the yard sale sellers put their child to work making signs. It didn't turn out too badly either. It is cute. Cute will not help people find your yard sale however. No date...and of course no time.


This sign looks like it has the right information. It even has the time. But it is too cluttered still. This would be hard to read from the road. You would have to slow down to read the sign. So take your time and neatly write your letters with pencil and then go over them with marker.


Okay, so now you have the signs and have advertised. What now? You need to organize and price items. Think of your yard or garage and then think about how you are going to lay out your tables. You can do a horseshoe shape or you could do rows. You need something that will clearly display your "fantastic" items so people can see both sides of the tables.

You don't want everything sitting on the ground so you will need tables. Some people borrow them from family members. Another good place is a local church or fire hall. Not too many people I know own several long tables. Borrow them and a few folding chairs. You will need a folding chair for every person running the yard sale and I like to set up one or two extra for the elderly shoppers. Put a sign on all chairs that they are not for sale.

Once you have the chairs & tables, you will need table cloths. This is not necesarry but everything looks better on a solid color rather than a scratched up table. Use solid colored sheets in lighter colors. Make sure they don't blow off by taping them to the bottom of the table.

Next you will set up your items. This really cannot be done too much ahead of time if you are outside. If you are using a garage, you can do this the day before. I don't particularly care for using JUST a garage though since people driving by cannot get a good glimpse of what you have. If you have to use your garage, start in the driveway and then end in the garage.

Categorize your items. All baby things together, all glassware together. You get the idea. It is nice to have a lower table or a few boxes of cheap kids toys for the shoppers with children. This will keep the kids busy so their parent can shop.

I also usually have a box marked "free". Put old magazines, items that don't have much value, etc. in this box. People that take a free item will be more willing to spend elsewhere. They will feel a bit more obligated to find something to go with their free item.

Set aside from the yard sale items, I put up a refreshment table. You can offer lemonade for free or go with sodas in a cooler and charge 50 cents. If it is hot day, this is usually an easy sale. I have also sold cookies at yard sales and have done well. I love baking so this wasn't a chore for me to do.

Once items are organized, price them. DO NOT PRICE THEM according to the retail price. I have seen shirts at yard sales that may have cost $30 at retail priced at $10. I could go to the local thift store and buy the same top for $2. Unless you truly have designer pieces (which probably shouldn't be sold at yard sales), price your items to sell. You do not want to put your items back into the house at the end of the day. I'd rather get $1 for a trinket and sell it quickly rather than price it at $5 and have it sit there all day.

Common pricing on yard sale items are:
-Baby clothing: 25 cents per piece
-Trinkets, Knicknacks: usually $1-$5 depending on the quality & condition
-Books: 10 cents to 25 cents for paperbacks, 50 cents for hard covers
-Furniture: this is a bit harder. I would price larger pieces for $50 (nice couches, dining room sets, larger beds with mattress/boxspring, entertainment centers), smaller pieces for $25 (desks, smaller sized beds with mattress/boxspring, chairs, buffets, bureau/dressers) and some pieces for $5-$10 (end tables, coffee tables, lamps).

I usually don't suggest pricing your items based on ebay or Craigslist. These items usually sit for a number of days or even weeks or months. You have one or two days to sell as much as you can.

Use stickers to price your items and use permanent marker to do so. You can find yard sale stickers at dollar stores or Wal-mart but I usually use address labels cut in half or some other cheaper label. You will want to place these stickers where they are visible but not where they are impossible to get off. You don't want to ruin the item you are selling.

Before you sticker an item, you should clean it off as best as possible. There should be no dust on your items. You want people to see these items as desirable.

Make sure everything you have for sale is priced. There should be no items that just state "best offer". People hate to try to come up with their own pricing. They think if it is too low it will offend and if it is too high they will be ripped off.

If you have other items in your yard that are not for sale, make sure they are put away. Children's items or yard decorations should not be seen the day or days of the sale.

You will also want to have an empty smaller table next to person who is handling the money. This is for people to sit their items on when they check out. Keep empty boxes, newspapers, bubble wrap and bags underneath. You should be prepared to wrap everything you are selling. If you are selling delicate items, you will want bubblewrap and boxes. If you are selling clothing and toys, you can put these in empty bags.

The person who handles the money should be sitting at the table when customers are shopping. They should be doing something other than looking at the customers. Have this person (possibly you) read a book or magazine. People don't like to be watched when they shop. With that said, you do have to keep an eye on people since there are a few bad "buyers" who will steal and/or switch price stickers.

This person should wear a fanny pack (this is truly the only situation in which a fanny pack is exceptable and you should never be seen spotting the fanny pack ever again). An apron will also work nicely. I do not suggest having a money box on the table.

The cashier should have PLENTY of change. If you price your items in increments of 25 cents, you will only need quarters. If you price your items for 5 cents, 10 centers, 60 cents, etc, you will need dimes and nickels. I don't suggest pricing this way - quarters are the way to go. Have atleast 100 $1 bills with a combination of $5 and $10 bills. Thankfully most shoppers will have smaller bills but there are a few people who will not plan to shop and may only have a $20 bill.

Do not hold items for people unless you know them. Even this is not great but atleast these people can be (supposedly) trusted. If they want an item held, get a deposit and a time they will be back. If they are not back by that time, the deposit will be kept and the item will be back on the market. You can also get their cell phone number so you can call them when this happens.

Have an extension cord hooked up to the nearest electrical outlet by this person. That way if anyone wants to make sure something works they can try it out.

Put background music on. Nothing too crazy. Maybe just oldies or a classical music station.

Put your big items near the road. Anything desirable or that would attact attention should also go by the road. Make sure these items have larger prices with descriptions written out. I usually tape (again, be careful with the placement of tape - you don't want to damage anything) a 8' x 12' cardstock paper to the larger items. Write something like:

oak desk
retailed for $400 at Pier 1

One of the most important things at any yard sale has to be the half price hours. I always suggest this tip. If your sale is only one day, make it the last two hours of the day. If it is two days, you can choose to do 1/2 pricing at the end of the second day.

Let's say your sale is Saturday from 8am to 4pm. You should make your 1/2 price hours from 2pm to 4pm. You should have several signs up stating this. These signs should be large and well placed. Perhaps take a few to the fence or the tables. Somewhere that everyone will see them.

During these times, everything you have for sale will be 1/2 off the stickered price. This will get people to come back. This will also allow you to sell more. Usually yard sales kind of die down after lunch. The 1/2 price hours will allow your yard sale to keep going until you close it down.

And remember...always have a smile on your face. Be happy and friendly without crowding shoppers. You are here to sell your items and make money. (also remember to take down your signs-ha!)

Have more yard sale suggestions? Feel free to comment. I'm always glad to hear ways to organized better.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Stuck in Pittsburgh


The hubby & I were driving from our home to our work apartment just outside of Pittsburgh yesterday. We do this every other Thursday since we have to start work on Fridays.

Well, our minivan was in the shop being painted. (No, we are not switching colors or wasting money on a paint color - our van is rusting and it only has 80,000 miles on it) Luckily we have a second vehicle with a tow hitch since we are transferring jobs this Friday and need to tow our trailer behind it.

We were driving through Pittsburgh and all of a sudden I look back and see SMOKE billowing out of the back. Yes, it was billowing. Thankfully we were close to an exit and I pulled it off the exit and into someone's driveway.

My husband got out and saw that the transmission fluid was running out of the Explorer. Not a good sign. So we are now stuck in some random person's driveway in the middle of Pittsburgh . . . at rush hour. And we were headed back to our apartment a bit early to pack for the big move.

Thankfully we have what my husband calls "connections". He called a few people and we were able to find someone who would come the hour into Pittsburgh with a tow truck and tow the Explorer an hour back home to our mechanic there.

The tow truck driver was also willing to tow his dad's mini van to us so we could continue onto work without a problem.

Can I state how awesome God is to work all these things out? We wound up meeting the people who lived in the house of the driveway we barely made it to. They were very nice and even offered to let us sit inside their air conditioned apartment. We wound up parking at a house only .2 miles from Panera Bread, one of our favorite places to eat.

So we walked the short distance to Panera, ate and then walked back to our van. We unloaded the Explorer and the tow truck showed up with my husband's father's van. I loaded up his van and off we drove. Our Explorer is now sitting at our mechanics.

Unfortunately his father's van doesn't have a tow hitch which meant we couldn't load all of our furniture onto our trailer which was waiting for us at work.

Well...the news gets even more amazing. We found out today that our building is switching vans with the building we are transferring to on Monday. This means we can load up our HUGE van with items and drive it over to our new place - no need to rent a U-Haul or make four hundred trips with the minivan.

Did I lose you with all my ramblings? Probably. But know this, there is a God and He does care.

One last silly, silly thing before I log off for the night.

Today at work I posted on Craigslist that we were having a garage sale. After I posted it, I searched for it and it came up. Directly underneath was a woman looking for white paint since she wanted to do her older daughter's room red and white.

Well, I don't have white paint but I wrote her and said we had a left over gallon of Behr satin paint in red that I would sell her for $5. Turns out she lives a block away. She comes and gets the paint and is thrilled.

When she got home her daughter was home and showed her mom the paint swatch she picked out at Home Depot earlier today. It is the EXACT color her mom picked up from us today. Isn't that random and odd and awesome?

Tomorrow is yard sale day at the building. I'm going to get some sleep so I can shop and have fun tomorrow. Before I go, here is a photo taken today of the husband & me at work.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THE Mirror


So today I was up early again (yup, the rooster) and I got an early start to painting. Because of my work schedule I only have until Thursday to finish up the trim work. My husband and I work a week and then have off a week. During our "on" week, we manage a retirement community and live on site. We are provided a small 1 bedroom apartment, housekeeping, meals and of course pay. Sound awesome? It is! The only draw back is that when we are working, we are on call 24/7. Our office hours are 7:30am - 9:00pm but if something would happen overnight, we are there.

We start our week of work on Friday and work through the following Friday. We leave for our apartment on Thursday afternoons since it usually takes about an hour to two hours depending on traffic.

Getting back to my story...I got a jump start to painting and decided I wanted to go shopping. We live in a fairly rural area so there are two places to shop. One town is about 1/2 hour away and the other is about 45 minutes away. Today I went to a place called Altoona. Altoona has Goodwill (more about this later), Target and TJ Maxx - three of my very favorite places to shop.

Why is Goodwill a great place to shop? Because I make money every time I go! I have sold on ebay for many years. If I had to guess, it would be about 7-8 years now. I find things at thrift shops and then turn around and list them (after they have been washed) on ebay for a profit. I have sold a coat I purchased for less than $10 for over $400. I mostly sell clothing and anything else I know I can sell quickly and for a profit.

At any given time I have between 10 - 150 items on ebay. It truly depends on how busy I am on my week off and what I find.

Today I found a bunch of plus sized sweaters by a company called Quacker Factory. Quacker Factory was started by a great lady named Jeanne Bice. She sold her line on QVC and almost all the clothing was holiday themed. Sweaters for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Halloween, Fourth of July, etc. The more "bling" they have on them, the better they sell on ebay.

I also found a few things for me. I purchased an Express short sleeved top for $2 and a pair of Gap pants for $4.99. These would have cost almost $100 in the mall and they look brand new.

I spent about $50 total and plan to make about $200-$250. This pays for the rest of my shopping day and then some!

Then I went to Target. We are working the 1/2 bathroom and I needed a toothbrush holder, cup & soap holder. I didn't find anything I loved. I really need to love something to pay $15 for a toothbrush holder. Seriously, $15 for a toothbrush holder?!? I was able to pick up a few fun decorations for my husband's birthday which is right around the corner.

Lastly I went to T.J.Maxx. This particular T.J.Maxx use to be a "runway store" which means they had the fancier designers. They still have great designer pieces (I have found Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, etc) and you never know what you will find. I was rounding the corner when I found the PERFECT mirror for the 1/2 bathroom. It is gorgeous and it matches the rest of the bedroom/bathroom perfectly. It was $80 which is a bit pricey for T.J.Maxx but I had to have it. Photos are below.

The rest of my day was spent hanging with the hubby. We touched up paint together and laughed a lot. True love!



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day of Painting


My husband & I purchased our home in May of 2002. Since then we have painted the entire thing...twice. The first time was fresh off our honeymoon to Mexico. We loved the bright colors that Mexico had to offer and so we painted bright colors in our home. Turquoise & Royal blue in our kitchen & dining room, purple in our living room, orange in the master bedroom, lime green in the laundry and pink in the other bedroom.

Since that time our tastes (mostly my taste) has mellowed. When we created a new master bedroom last year out of the addition the last owners had built, we realized it would be a good opportunity to start choosing colors all over again. And so we did.

The master went light blue with a white walk in closet and gray master bathroom. Our living room went a pretty sand color. We left the kitchen alone since we still love the colors of the ocean. The other full bathroom also went pale blue and the guest bedroom went gray with a lighter gray 1/2 bathroom.

These last few days I have been working on the rest of the house. The office is going from pink to...white. It was a hard choice to make and we went back and forth between yellow and blue but eventually when with plain all white.

I am also painting all the brown wood baseboard from the 1980s to a fresh white. It is taking four coats of paint which is a lot of work! More photos to come but here are a few.

Here are a few of our "before" and "after" photos:







Dining Area:





From a large, open space to our master bedroom: