Sunday, April 29, 2012

CLOSED - May Giveaway: $50 Gift Certificate for The Nail Fairy

My MAY giveaway is for a $50 gift certificate to The Nail Fairy. The giveaway goes through May 14 at 12:00 noon EST. The certificate is good through July 19, 2012 and although it does not apply to shipping, orders over $49 get free shipping.

The Nail Fairy is a website that has nail shields. Here is the their website: LINK. 

Each "nail shield" retails for $15 and stays on your nails for up to 14 days! Nail shields are simple to use. 

Here is how they work:

The Nail Fairy nail shields are designed to be easily applied in a salon or at home.
Step 1: Clean nails with nail polish remover or alcohol. (Clean, oil free nails are one of the most important steps of the application)
Step 2: Cut and file nails to desired length and shape.
Step 3: Buff top of the nail and push back cuticle.
Step 4: Match nail (finger or toe) to the nail shield that best fits.
Step 5: Peel off nail shield and warm with a blow-dryer 10-15 seconds or until soft and flexible.
Step 6: When warm, press the shield onto the nail.  Apply firm pressure around edges to adhere the shield to the nail.  Use rubber cuticle pusher to seal the shield around the cuticle.
Step 7:  Trim the top with scissors and file off remaining shield using a downward motion to remove excess.
Step 8: Apply heat and pressure to the shield again until it is sealed to the nail. (Repeating this step several times helps create a tight seal to the nail surface and increases wear time)
Optional  Step 9: For active users you can add a small amount of nail glue to the free edge to better seal the nail shield. 
How to Remove:
Use hair dryer to heat for 15 seconds and slowly peel from the corner of your nail

And here is how to enter the giveaway. With each entry, please leave a comment with your email.
1 entry - comment on this post about which shield you like best
1 entry - comment on any other post 
1 entry - become a follower or let me know you are a follower
3 entries -  post a link to this giveaway on your blog

Good Luck!


Recent Ebay Sales

Yesterday I was in bed all day due to my knee surgery on Thursday. My knee was propped and iced and I had the computer in bed with me. I stopped all my ebay listings and then re-listed them. Some got the prices lowered, a few got higher prices and all of them now come with a 14-day return policy.

I hated to do this but ebay is pushing sellers to accept returns. They are offering a 20% discount for sellers that offer 14 day returns. I am currently getting the discount and it amounts to $100-$200/month. I cannot imagine having that many returns but we shall see.

Here is what sold yesterday:

1. 14K gold butterfly pin. I found this pin stuck on a jacket at Goodwill. I didn't realize how much it was worth until I purchased it and brought it home. I listed it late last night for $167 and it sold within minutes.

2. Talbots brown & tan zebra skirt. I have sold a few of these and they usually do between $13-$20 depending on the size. This one sold for $17.

3. J. Jill skirt in a pretty floral print. This skirt had a lot of watchers and I'm not sure why. It sold for $15.

4. Talbots two piece outfit. This set was 100% camel hair. I probably shouldn't have bought it but it was at a thrift that gives all their profits to a great charity. I paid $3 for it and sold it for $16.

5. I was in LOVE with this piece. I tried it on every few days to see if I could use it in my own wardrobe. The answer was always no and it finally sold yesterday. I am kind of bummed. I will miss seeing the bright colors. The maker is "Daisy's Creation" and the entire jacket was done in embroidered flowers. It sold for $57.

 6. Ann Taylor LOFT summer dress, sold for $15.

7. Athleta set of 2 skirts. If you ever find yoga pants or athletic wear, first check to see if it is Lululemon. That has a major following. Athleta also does well and is owned by the same group that owns Gap & Banana Republic. I put these two skirts together in one listing since they were the same style & size and they sold for $33.

 8. Lands' End cashmere sweater, sold for $14.43.

 9. Belldini animal print top. I really loved this one and thought it would go for more. It sold for $14.43.

10. Tahari has several lines. Their lower line is Tahari by Arthur S. Levine and unless something is special, I usually leave it. I picked up this dress since I liked the shape and the belt. It sold for $22.

And now some things that didn't do as well as I had hoped when I purchased them.

These two pieces went for $2.99. I purchased them at a bag sale at one time or another and thought they would be worth the little I paid for them. They hung around and yesterday I lowered a lot of a bunch of stuff to $2.99. Here is what sold last night:

1.  This giant puffer coat. It seriously weighs 3 lbs and would keep someone super warm! It was huge on me or I would have kept it. It sold for $2.99.
3. Talbots gray pants. I think the low price had something to do with the pleated waist. Sold for $2.99

Oh well! Live & Learn!


On a different note, I will be posting my "before" photos either Monday or Tuesday. I had wanted to do it sooner (like today!) but I can barely stand up so the photos would look funny. I'm a little scared to see what the photos look like but I am committed to losing weight this time!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I am going to lose weight!

This is going to be a hard post for me since I am going to be completely honest.When I got married, about 10 years ago, I was thin. Too thin according to the doctors but I had a lot of stress in my life. I am 5'8" and I was wearing a size 0 or 2.

Fast forward to after our honeymoon in Mexico and I weighed 123 lbs - I had put on over 5 pounds on our honeymoon. After that I took a "split shift" job at a day care. I worked early mornings, had off for a few hours at lunch and then came back to work the afternoons. I remember weighing 128 and I was going to Curves trying to get back to my honeymoon weight. This now seems ridiculous to me since I would love to be 128!

After the day care I worked at BMW and I sold cars. It was a small dealership and I worked with just one other lady. Right across the street was this amazing place that sold fresh bread and then they would stuff it with cheese. For those of you who don't know me, cheese is my weakness. We would walk over almost everyday for lunch. I was then 134-138. This is me around 138: 

When I quit BMW, I opened a consignment shop. It was right down the street from Subway and it required a lot of sitting for hours. I didn't get enough exercise and I was at 142lbs. 

I was stuck at 142lbs (again, a fairly healthy weight for my body) for quite some time.

In 2008 I was an egg donor. Something went wrong with the operation and I was in the hospital for 10 days. I put on a lot of water weight from the swelling and was over 150lbs. I got out and lost a few pounds but was closer to 146 back then. 

Then my husband & I started managing the retirement community and although I did try a bit harder, my weight stuck in the mid to upper 140's. 

Today I weighed myself and I am 150lbs. I am sharing this with you so to keep me motivated. My "goal" weight is 138-142. 

Right now I feel heavy and "blobbish" as I call it. In the last 10 years, I have put on 32 lbs. Now a bit of it was needed but there is no way I needed all 32 lbs. 

I am going to do something about it this time. I have tried walking lately but my knee was too sore. Now that I had the knee surgery (and it will take time to heal) and with two vacations on the way this summer, I feel this is a good time to try. 

On Facebook I have friends from my high school youth group posting their "before" and "after" shots. Here is one of them: 

This was my sister's best friend growing up. Doesn't she look awesome? Well about 10 people in her church started Isogenix about a month ago. They all lost weight and said it was an amazing thing to try. They have been posting about it for the last month and I am finally going to give it a shot. 

Isogenix is a company that produces natural products to help with weight and other health issues. They have vitamins and supplements and overall it seems like a great company. 

The 30 day cleanse is what I purchased and it was $323 with taxes & shipping and membership.  This boils down to just about $10 a day and the product is 100% guaranteed. If you are not satisfied with the taste, results, etc, you can return it for your money back. 

Since I knew all these people losing weight and they are all Christians so I know they wouldn't be lying AND it has the money back guarantee, I ordered it. 

Basically the system has you drinking two shakes (you can choose chocolate or vanilla - I chose chocolate) with any kinds of added fruits or vegetables you want plus 400-600 calories a day. Here is what my day will look like: 

8am - Fiber One Granola Bar (I need these for more fiber in my diet and they are yummy) -140 calories
10am - Shake & fruit
1pm - Smart One (Weight Watcher's brand) turkey & mashed potatoes - 200 calories
4pm - Shake & fruit
6pm - Tyson grilled chicken -150 calories
8pm - Raw carrots & salt - 100 calories 

This menu will continue for 30 days and I may change the type of Smart One meal or the carrot sticks but my calories will be around the same. The shakes have about 240 calories each plus the fruit and my diet will be around 1200-1400 calories. 

Every 7 days I will do a cleanse which means just the shakes. These may be the hardest days but everyone says you feel like you have so much more energy after a cleanse. 

I realize this post is going long so I will wrap it up. Want to know more about the cleanse? 

Here is a link about the system: LINK

I will be posting my "before" photos later today. Want to sign up and do it along with me? Feel free to contact me: EMAIL ADDRESS

Here is the link to "my" website: LINK. 

Yes, I get a bit when you buy the cleanse. Your membership is free with the order and then you can make money with each program sold. When you get to the page, choose the correct language and then go under the "products" system. Scroll down to "systems and packs" and go to the 30 day system. 

The price will be higher until you start to choose which items you want. Here is what I went with: Chocolate Isoshake, packets of the shake, powder Ionix and the liquid cleanse. 

This will show a cost of $386. But when you go through with the ordering it will change when you sign up for the auto delivery and the cost will be around $323. You can cancel the auto delivery at any time (even before the first shipment). 

I will do my first official weigh in on Tuesday and start the program on Wednesday. I am pretty excited to start and although I know it will be hard, I am willing to try it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Recent Ebay Sales

Here is what has been selling over the last two days. I had a "sale" in my store where I marked a lot of items 20% off. You can do this for free when you open an ebay store (basic stores start at $15.95/month) using Markdown Manager. 1. Talbots Pink, Black & White skirt in a size 18W. Sold for $18.39.

2. Ann Taylor Brocade skirt in a size 8. Sold for $15.99.
3. Ann Taylor black dress, size Medium. This one was well made and had ruching at both sides of the waist. Sold for $18.39.
4. Sweet Pea for Stacy Frati - this brand doesn't do super well on ebay. There pieces are made of a nylon mesh and usually have raw hems. I do better with dresses but picked this top hoping to do well with it. Nope, it sold for just $7.42.
5. Coogi sweaters do well for me. I picked two up at the local consignment shop when they put all their winter stuff on clearance. I got both sweaters for less than $4 and the first went for about $30. This one sold for $27 yesterday. Before listing Coogi, make sure it is authentic. The ebay discussion boards helped me verify this one was.
6. Forever 21. I am able to pick these dresses up cheaply. Although they only bring $12-$20, a profit is still a profit. This one sold for $17.
7. Pendleton. I mentioned that the blanket pieces do well and I sold one. This one was a smaller size (collectors like the bigger sizes better) but it was in great shape. It sold for $31.
8. Talbots dress. I have recently sold a lot of Talbots. This dress went for $14.43.
9. Another Talbots dress & matching jacket. Sold for $19.62.
10. Chico's basket weave jacket. This one was in their smallest size (0) and it sold within 24 hours of listing. Sold for $30.
11. Another Chico's piece. This time a skirt. Sold for $19 within 24 hours of listing it.
12. Talbots dress, sold for $20.
13. Another bag sale piece. These Talbots pants looked like a good buy. I usually don't do well with pants and these were no exception. They sold for $3.51. Ha-ha!
14. Another Talbots dress. This one had a large bow at the back of the neck and was so pretty. It sold for $28.
15. A sweater by the Anthroplogie brand "Moth". This was a simple sweater that I wouldn't have picked up usually. However, it had the original Anthropologie tag. It sold within 24 hours for $16.
16. Two Talbots Jackets in the same color & size. These sold to the same buyer. Each sold for $11.54.
17. Chico's Travelers black slinky pants, size "2" (fits approx. M/L). Sold for $15.
18. Sparkly pieces do well for me in plus sizes. This set was a size 2X and although it had missing beads, it went for $29.


For those of you who don't know, I had knee surgery yesterday. It was arthroscopic surgery where the doctor went in to my left knee and cleaned out scar tissue. He had a name to it - something with a "P" but I forget what it is already. Taking pain killers will do that to you. Ha!

The surgery was successful and I slept a lot yesterday. It will take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to heal and I will find out if I need rehab when I go back to the doctor at the beginning of May. Right now I am hobbling around on crutches and staying in bed a lot.

Here is a photo of the knee before surgery. The doctor initialed it so he would make sure to operate on the correct knee. That is my husband's hand and I am not sure what he is doing.

I will have to put off shopping for ebay inventory at least until next week which is killing me. I have nothing to list and of course there is an ebay listing sale going on. You can list anything you want, for any price you want, fixed price - for free. The listing sale goes through tomorrow and here are more details: LINK.

I will be doing another post later today with my recent ebay sales and then another about a special cleanse I am going to be starting in May. I actually know people that have lost 15-30 lbs in one month just by doing this cleanse and eating healthy. It is about $10 a day plus the cost of a meal or two and I am excited about it. But first I must nap. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Recent Ebay Sales

Since I am going for knee surgery tomorrow, I am going to get in one last "recent ebay sales" post. Here is what has sold on ebay during the last two days: 

1. Chico's Travelers turtleneck in their smallest size: size 0. Chico's doesn't okay if you can find unique pieces. This was actually one of my own pieces but I haven't worn it in awhile since I now don't dress up for my job (ebay). Chico's has boutique sizing: 0 (XS or S), 1 (M), 2 (L) and their 3 (XL). They use to have a size 4 and you may come across this. The size 4 almost always does well for me. Sold for $20.

2. Express dress. I have literally had this dress for months & months. I think I purchased it in December and have just kept re-listing it. I thought it was so pretty. It sold about a month ago and the person didn't pay (ugh!). I re-list it for a higher amount and it finally went for $14.43.

3. Another Koi scrub top. I got this one home and found the hem had been unraveled and it showed just a bit more wash wear than I originally thought. Rather than re-donate it, I listed it with a section about all the flaws. It sold for $12.99 which is much more than I paid for it.

4. CAbi is another brand with a following on ebay. The funkier pieces do well for me. CAbi has their style numbers on the tag. You can google the style number and find out (usually) what the piece was called. This top went for $20.

5. Talbots dress. I found this one at the thrift and it was new with tags. I am in love with the back which is the photo I will post here. It is linen which always does well for me in the Talbots brand. Sold for $40.

6. J. Crew t-shirt. This was hanging in my closet and I never wore it. It sold for $12.99.

7. Talbots linen/rayon blend dress. This one sold for $17.

8. Jones New York black cocktail dress. I thought this one was SO pretty but for some reason I didn't get many watchers. I kept lowering the price and it finally went for $14.43. This was more than I purchased it for of course but I probably will think twice before picking up another Jones New York item.

9. And lastly...a bomb item. These are items I pick up that when I get them home I think "why in the world did I buy this?". This happens quite often but I can usually still make money. These pants were for my first bag sale and so I got them for maybe 50 cents or so. The brand is Pendleton which doesn't have that much of a following (unless you have an item that looks like a blanket - then there is big money!) and I realized the length had been altered to a 26" inseam. This is a cropped length on most and most people don't wear their plaid wool pants cropped. These were headed back to the thrift next month so I am glad they sold . . . for $3.20. Ha-ha!

Here is an example of an item that actually DOES sell on ebay...a vintage blanket jacket: LINK 

Pendleton blanket back packs also do well: LINK 


So now I have to decide if I want to shop or if I would rather list the items I got while shopping yesterday. Since I won't know what time my surgery is until later this afternoon, I don't know how much time I will get tomorrow. I may just stay home and list today since hubby is off to his college alma mater (I had to look up the spelling of that word, BTW) to work out and then go shopping at Wal-Mart. I drove right past WM yesterday but my knee was killing me and so the nice guy I married said he would go today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to get people to pay when selling on ebay...

For every 6-10 items I sell on ebay, it seems I have atleast one person who doesn't pay.

There are a few ways to get people to pay.

1. The first is to make them pay immediately. You can do this with any fixed price listing. There is a little box to click when listing your item that states "Immediate Payment Required". This means that if the person wants the fixed priced item, they must follow through with a payment or the item will not be sold. Of course this only works for items you are listing for a fixed price.

2. For items that are listed as an auction, the first option is not an option. When the auction ends, ebay automatically sends the buyer an invoice. If the buyer doesn't pay within a day or so, I manually send another invoice.

Here is a screen shot of how to do that:

Be sure to state in your listing when you expect the buyer to pay. My terms of sale include "Payment due by paypal within 5 days". Some people expect payment within 7 days, some within 3 days. Make it reasonable but state it clearly in your listing.

On the 5th day of non-payment, I send another invoice.

3. If something goes unpaid for 6 days, I open up a case. You can do this from the My Ebay page. Choose the option "Resolve a problem."

Choose the option: I sold an item and haven't received my payment yet and then follow through the pages to open a case.

When you open a case, the buyer will get an email letting them know. If they don't pay by the fifth day, you can close the case and they get a "strike" on their account. The strike doesn't really do anything but it sounds bad.

4. If you have an item that went for a lot of money, you can send them a real invoice in the mail. I did this recently and was shocked when it actually worked. To get the buyer's address, click into the sold item's listing.

I then make up a simple invoice in a word document and print it out. You could also click "send invoice" again and then just print that screen.

I put a handwritten note on the invoice I print that says "Please pay immediately. Log into your MyEbay and pay with Paypal." and I circle the amount they need to pay.

5. If all else fails, close the case. You can do this on the fifth day after you opened it. This will allow you to get back your ebay fees and then you can re-list them item.

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Snow!

Well, today is April 23. One more week until May. Which means it should be warming up. And it was for awhile. A few week ago it was up to 90 degrees! And just three days ago it was almost 80 degrees.

The weather man was staying 12-18" and when it is all done, we may get that much. Right now we are at 6" of snow on the ground here in PA and it is still snowing. Schools were cancelled and everything was shut down around here. The roads were terrible this morning as I slowly drove to the thrift store.

We are supposed to get another 2-6" by tomorrow morning. It is a heavy snow that is breaking branches on trees.

I made the hubby put in the a/c unit in the bedroom and I packed up the heavier coats and sweaters weeks ago. That will teach me to be on top of things!

And since it is Monday, here is a link up: