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All posts for the month December, 2011

Gotta Love Clearance!

Published December 31, 2011 by Sara

This year I don’t have a lot of money to take full advantage of Christmas clearance, but I did manage to get the younger kids taken care of for St. Nick next year. Plus really, what else could I possibly buy anyway? I barely have time to get my Christmas decorations outside, let alone inside decorations, and I don’t need anymore Christmas cards, being as the past 3 years I have not sent any. BUT I will be! I even bought the stamps, so cards WILL be making their way out…LOL Doesn’t help we didn’t get to see Santa till 2 days before Christmas as well, being this year has been a VERY busy year, especially when you add that my van was feeling a little neglected and decided to have some issues with needing some money too. *sigh* And then my kids were sick, my friend’s kid was sick and the time we had set aside to see Santa, he closed his line at 5pm and we got their literally minutes after they closed it. 

BUT we still had fun! We did our usual shopping of the stores, I got myself some Winter Candy Apple hand soap from BBB. I LOVE that stuff! I hope I have enough to last me a few months. I even bought a Wallflower….

And then the usual trip to Candy Cane Lane, which this year, it looks like a lot of people are really going all out to decorate. Another sign that the economy is rebounding slighty. 🙂

But stay tuned for the post about the “actual” trip to see Santa, that one will be hilarious considering the run around I was on…..

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Open For Business

Published December 30, 2011 by Sara

I have been dragging my feet, but finally reopened all my stores tonight. Really hoping to float in some sales while my kids are on winter break and to support my clearance shopping habit. I don’t go too crazy, just get things for next year’s stockings and some odds and ends.

I am excited to announce that I have finally figured out how to make the Leg Lamp 3-D earrings. I have been trying to figure this out for 2 years now but never gave it much thought. So in the next few days I hope to come up with a finished design.

I have been scribbling down notes, not sure which approach may work. But to get it all on paper while the rusty gears are turning……lol

I also have an idea for Charlie Brown earrings as well, but that is all I am saying on that one.

And here’s hoping I will finally get my light switch plates listed….that has been an empty threat for some time now. Lol and also, get a lot of items I don’t want to carry anymore, clearanced out to give myself some room. I may even clearance out some of my beads that I don’t use.

So keep checking back!

Humbling…

Published December 30, 2011 by Sara

I was just looking through my news feed on Facebook, when I came across a post ThinkGeek has made. 

They sent a care package of goodies to a husband and wife that have extremely limited funds, the husband is dying of brain cancer and his wife can’t work due to the overwhelming amount of care he needs. And if that doesn’t already get you choked up, just wait….they’re newlyweds. They were married only 6 weeks, when his diagnosis came in. They now have been married 2 years.  

Ok, I know, that got you right? Here, let me hand you some tissues…..

I have been reading her blog and I can understand all too well her frustrations, thoughts and feelings she is going through. Having to take care of someone you know is dying. Not knowing when it will be your last day with them, your last words, your last hug, your last “I love you”, or the inevitable, their last breath. 

She is simply thankful to have one more Christmas with her husband, one more Christmas she can share it with him and his family. It’s so easy for us to take everything for granted, easy to be thinking of what to buy someone for Christmas, when essentially, it should all come down to simply enjoying the time you have with the people you love. Christmas should never be about material things. 

My family spent our Christmas playing with their new board games, while we watched Christmas movies. I’m shocked I actually got to play Charlie Brown!! LOL This Christmas was the most relaxing, being as I got as much as I could get ready the day before. It was super nice to be with my kids and husband versus being holed up in the kitchen all day. 

But after seeing her blog, made me realize that we all take everything too much for granted. Our health, our kids and our spouses. That they will ALWAYS be there. Everyday we are alive is a gift, every moment we get to spend with our loved ones is a gift. And while my kids have been on Christmas break, I dread going upstairs to work, being as I love being around them. This is going to be hard when they are on summer break, but here’s hoping I will have enough money squirreled away again to take the summer off with them. 🙂 

Smarty Pants

Published December 21, 2011 by Sara

I am so proud of my children! They both came home with their report cards and they are BOTH on the Honor Roll. Julia was seasoned with A’s and B’s and reading above grade level, which floors me, being as last year we had to fight tooth and nail for her to do her reading homework. Well, now the reading bug has bitten and she has decided to start reading “Eclipse”. *Wow* I worry this may be a bit too old for her and she may not understand some things she reads, but she is determined to read it. And I’m not one to discourage my kids, being as we will see where this goes. And so far, she has been reading it for a straight week. I should have Gwen quiz her on the book, see just how much information she is processing. 

Emily, my extremely intelligent Emily. She is ALL A’s. She is performing everything above grade level. Her teachers always love having her, being as they will have the crazy students that act up, speak out and are just ruthless. The teachers are always relieved to have Emily, being as she reminds them why they love this job and give them something to look forward to. 

I don’t have Gwen’s report card, since she is in the middle of exams at the moment. So within a week or so we shall get her results.

I am “almost” done shopping. I just have maybe 2 more gifts to pick up. But in a bit I hope to sit down and take inventory of what I do have and to make sure it balances out. I know my kids don’t sit there and say, HEY she got more than me. But I just want to do a final check just to be sure. 🙂

I finally got to meet the new principal for my kids school and he is truly awesome. I think he is truly what this school needs and is giving the school a breath of fresh air. I was a little dissapointed to have the Christmas program at night, so I bypassed the afternoon show. But the turnout was CRAZY and shocker, I got there 40 minutes early and STILL was standing room only. I did get a seat, being as a parent offered me one, but WOW. I did not expect such a HUGE turnout. But the downside is that only half or 2/3’s of the students showed up. Mr. Vitrano is looking at possibly using another school to use for our programs, but I did suggest to him the bleacher seats that fold alongside the wall. And he said that is an idea and will be looking into those. Another one was knocking the wall down between the gym and the cafeteria. I even explained to him, if it ends up being a cost that doesn’t fit in the school budget, I will totally help out with fundraisers. I would really love to see our auditorium be large enough to accommodate the size of the school, since it was built with it being a small school and we have expanded to 8th grade about 5-6 years ago. I also was shocked to realize I have been an active figure with Manitoba since 1998. I have been around that school for 12 years. It’s going to be bittersweet when Julia is the last to graduate.

And I found out an interesting tidbit about our principal. His brother is a newscaster on WTMJ 4, Vince Vitrano. That is pretty cool and this would explain why the news has been at our school frequently. Which I thought was odd, but now it makes sense. 😉

I probably won’t be blogging again till after Christmas or the New Year, being as I am into final crunch time for everything. And I refuse to be up till 4am Christmas morning….

Vacation

Published December 21, 2011 by Sara

I have all my stores on vacation. I experienced some more problems with my van and shut down the last store that was still open, which was Etsy.

I am thinking I may slowly reopen stores the day after Christmas. Being as I have some things I want to get finished that I would like to list in my stores. And I have a few special orders for friends that I would like to get done as well and also revamp Artfire and Bonanza. MAINLY Bonanza, being as it’s format is not compatible with eBay’s format and it makes my listings confusing. More so when it doesn’t have the option for the buyer to select the color, or earring style. 

I do plan on getting my Packer Cheese Wedge stuff redone. The old style I am not too crazy about and will be discontinuing that style once and for all, since it confuses me when I get orders and would hate to make a mistake sending the wrong style.

And lastly, I will be clearancing out some items that are just taking up space, and this way I can have more room for items that are more popular. 

I am glad to have this blog, being as I can toss out all my plans and ideas and come back to look at them.

Lastly, an eBay change, I will be putting my handling time to 5 days, since eBay likes to put a unrealistic time frame when First Class will arrive. It gives people the impression that it will arrive in the same time as Priority. Which is not the case. First Class takes 5-7 days, sometimes it can be longer, sometimes it can be faster. But buyers are not reading that it says “estimated” and while my ratings are still good, they are not where they should be. I can only attribute it to eBay being as I send out my packages faster than my processing time, which is 2 days and I literally have been busting my butt to make that time frame too and still my rating hangs at 4.8.

Who knows, maybe setting my processing time at 5 days may not be a good idea, but I plan to mention in my listings that is NOT my processing time, it is only done that way to give a more realistic delivery time to buyers. And this way, if they need it faster, they will go Priority Mail.

I have been making a point to have ALL my packages scanned in when going to the post office. But there have been a few occasions when I didn’t. 

BUT have found that if I use Paypal’s multi-order shipping tool, I can have a scan form printed for ALL those packages and then when I walk into the post office, they scan that and BAM, say there are 20 packages, it will scan them all in at once. Which I truly think is an awesome feature and hope to learn this over Christmas break!

But no matter what now, either way, packages will be getting scanned in from here on out, being as this will give the buyer’s the piece of mind that I did drop off the package. But come January, my shipping prices will be increasing due to USPS increasing their prices. 

Thermal Label Printer

Published December 12, 2011 by Sara

I finally caved and purchased one, being as after ordering labels to use with my inkjet printer, were either not sticky enough or they would jam in my printer.

After receiving some orders from sellers I had purchased from. I asked them where in the world did they order their labels. Well that was when I found out they use thermal printers. Which I had checked into last year but decided I would save money by using my printer with adhesive labels. Which now proves to be a in mistake.

Soooooo, after much researching. I finally ordered one! Originally priced at $100. I found it from $52 with free shipping. I did not realize the labels would only be 2 3/7” wide, but after using it, it’s the best investment! For one the labels print the long way, but this is good, being as one of the postal workers said it would be better to have the bar codes sideways on my packages. Well being as these are smaller labels, it has to print that way.

But the upside to having this, I use absolutely NO ink. And I no long have to cut my labels by hand. I even had started to use my guillotine cutter to cruise through the labels I was using before, but now I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

I went to the post office with my packages and had them scan them in. Only one out of 30 didn’t scan, which is pretty awesome if you ask me. Which I am wondering now if that was the one the printer stopped on and pulled it back in to print.

I also am amazed at how fast it prints. I send the label the printer and it prints instantly! Whereas with my printer, sometimes I would wonder what the heck is going on, being as you could hear the print heads cycling ask and forth for 5 minutes and I would be wondering if it ever was going to print.

I was thinking at first this would be a temporary printer until I could afford the Zebra, which refurbished woke be $150 and brand new $300. Ouch! I don’t understand which these are so expensive! But am glad to have found a cheaper alternative by one that looks like it will be here tto stay!

It’s all about saving time, and money. Only downside is this won’t into my international, which is OK. I will still need to order seperate labels for these in the meantime. 🙂

Once Upon A Time

Published December 10, 2011 by Sara

I had seen an ad for this in a magazine and wanted to watch it when it first came on. But I totally forgot.

Now I can’t remember what made me think of it again, but finally looked it up on Hulu and subscribed to the show. And now that I have been watching it. I’m hooked!

I have always been fascinated with fairy tales, even more so when they offer a twist from he original tales we all have become accustomed to.

My youngest Julia has been snuggling up on the couch with me and we watch it together. Now we have something we are bonding over and this is so nice. Usually it’s me, Gwen and Emily. Julia hangs out with dad. And this is a definite change that I hope to see last a long time. 🙂

And we’re having fun guessing who is what character. I am going to be incredibly sad when the show ends, being as Julia and I will need to find something else that brings us together.