Monday, July 26, 2010

More Great Finds!

Call me a thrifting whore (you know, like "label whore"...but thrifting whore...) if you will, but I just can't help myself.  I went to Salvation Army to see if I find any great end tables, since last time someone bought the most amazing ones, that won't leave my mind, RIGHT before I walked in.  Would you believe that happened to me again?  As I was approaching this vintage end table, the lady ripped off the tag and took it to the register.  Boooo.  So, I sighed and went to the back where the frames and mirrors are (I am looking for a ugly mirror with wood trim that I can paint white for my renovated half bath), and I see an amazing, big, beautiful globe.  I have been wanting a globe forever, but can never muster up the $30+ bucks for a small one (even at Homegoods, the small ones are pricey).  I couldn't believe it. I was boosted for sure.

Then I looked for a mirror and didn't find one, but I found this print with a beautiful blue, that is going to match the blue accents in the living room I have planned. 

Sorry it's kind of blurry.  But anyway, both of these for $16.  Voila! I should do this for a living, someone should hire me.  Need any help finding something cheap?  Holla!

All You Need to Know About Yard Sales


1.  Post on craigslist (under garage sales), your local newspaper and definitely make signs to help guide people along.  Many people specifically look for yard sales under some type of ad, but there are many who just see the signs and show up that way.

2.  Have your prices set, mark some more pricier things with tape and the amount.
My mistake: I did not do this, and therefore stressed myself out by making up a price quickly in my head because I kept thinking to myself, is this a fair price?  Am I making it too low?  Especially when many people are there at once and everyone is asking, I was not able to keep a good eye on people and therefore, items came up missing...a.k.a yes, someone stole some things.

3.  Get $20-$40 from the bank in 1's, 5's and 10's.

4.  Stay firm.
My mistake: I am a huge pushover.  I definitely sold things for way too cheap.  Of course you want to make money and don't want to price things too high, and most things should be negotiable, but if you do a good enough job of advertising your yard sale, someone will show up who won't mind paying $2-3 for a brand new shirt with a tag on it.  If the person puts something back because they felt the price was too high and you really want to get rid of it, obviously offer it for a dollar cheaper, but try to stay firm and make sure you yourself, are being reasonable.

5.  Be Prepared- people are CRAZY.
My mistake: People bombard you with questions, and people will steal.  Keep your eyes pealed for the thieves.  It is helpful if you have someone helping you with the yard sale who can also keep an eye out.  This also means take down your signs when you are all packed up. I hadn't taken mine down yet and one of the crazy families came back at 6:30, asking me if I still had a photoalbum.  I felt bad for the guy as I felt he had a mental problem, but at the same time we were pretty freaked out about it.
Side note: It was SO hot, it felt like 115 degrees, so we almost decided we were going to have it inside, since we have no furniture on our main floor, we are SUPER glad we did not do this.  If you are moving, maybe, but def don't do this if you are not, and hurry and take those signs and ads down.  There are crazy people in this world, you never know.

6.  Write down on a notepad what you sold and for how much, and have a calculator handy. 
My mistake: This is another good reason to have someone helping you.  I really wanted to do this and had it planned, but wasn't able to because my lack of good planning...also, my huge pushover/make people happy type self didn't want to  piss anyone off by making htem wait so I could write it down.  I regret this, as I noticed some stolen items.

7.  How to get money for the unsold items- Either take it to goodwill or salvation army and get a tax write off, or keep the good things and sell on ebay or craigslist.  OR, find a flea market in your area and hold the items until then and buy a space to set up a table.

All in all, lessons learned:
- I need to stop being a pushover.
- I need to prepare better next time.
- People are insane.

***Crazy stories:
-  Two ladies, one old hippie seeming lady and then just a cranky lady seemed to have ran ito eachother a lot at different yard sales.  The old lady kept telling me I had wicker furniture on my ad and where was it, I told her over and over it was not me.  She insisted it was and that I erased it.  The old lady did not like the hippie lady and told me she would probably steal. The hippie lady came back and asked me about some gold earrings and who had bought them, and the old lady said "why didn't you just ask me?!" the hippie lady responded, "because last time I asked you, you said 'you didn't want to talk about it."  They started awkwardly beefing. 

- The one crazy family who consisted of a young crackhead looking daughter, her mom and dad (and had the returning visitor, the dad), kept telling me over and over about the dad, he had a heart attack and he had surgery, please just give the item for $1 (on numerous items). They said they were homeless and I was doing it for the homeless (they clearly were not homeless).  They told me the clothes were washed out, and that I said .25 cents per item, which I NEVER did, I replied the shirt she was holding was brand new and had the tag still on!  They bombarded me when I was trying to add things up, and I just so badly wanted them to leave.  And then again, the dad came back at 6:30 and wouldn't understand we did not have any of the items anymore.

-  Then there was a lady who lived in a richer neighborhood, who talked and talked, said she had 5 kids, and her youngest, the 5 year old girl said she wanted to be a stripper.  I asked her how the daughter had heard about that and she said she didn't know, they don't even have cable tv, she is just "sassy."  Um, ok...if that's what you want to call it.

So, all in all, I made $43, it wasn't much of a success, I blame the hot, hot weather, my lack of preparation, and mostly, my inability to be firm with my prices.  Maybe if I ever do it again, I will have better luck next time!  I at least learned a few things about myself.

P.S.  A BIG thanks to a pregnant Angela (from The Budding Librarian) and Juan for coming out to help in the heat and allowing for an item to get stolen.  We enjoyed your company!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Favorite Postsecrets of the week:

This week, there were so many that I loved!  I picked several, and there are several many more that I didn't pick to share even though I loved, because they are a bit inappropriate to share, but that is the point when you are looking at these secrets and enjoying them.  I love that freaking blog and what it has done for people.

I don't wear contacts, but what a great thing to do when throwing them away, something I probably would have never thought of appreciating myself.

The husband is right, but I still kinda liked this postsecret and thought it was cute.

12 Money Savings Tips

12.  Find and Use Coupons- If you get the newspaper or even the Valupacks in the mail, really go through it and keep the coupons you think you may end up using.  If this is not an option, go to, put in your zipcode and find local coupons.

11.  Use Coupon Codes for Internet Shopping- Anytime I make a purchase online, I google the store + coupon code.  For example, say I am buying shoes from, I will google zappos coupon code, look through the several results, and most likely you will at least find free shipping.

10.  Sign Up for E-mails- If you have an old email that you check sometimes but don't use as your primary email (for example I had yahoo back in the day but now am an avid Gmail user), use your email to sign up for the stores you often have to sign in for to make an online purchase.  Even if you don't utilize the internet for your shopping, if you sign up for emails, you often get sent coupons that you can print and use in store.  I highly recommend using a different email, because you will get emails often.

9.  Put the left over from your paycheck in your savings- When you get paid again, if you have any left over money from your prior paycheck, throw it into your savings.  You'll be suprised at how fast it grows

8.  Get Money Direct Deposited into your Savings- Lots of people say it, if you get direct deposit, deposit $50 or more into your savings from your paycheck.  It may seem like a lot, but you won't miss it.  If it is too much indeed, do $20 or less, the point is doing anything will add up.

7.  Utilize Craigslist and Freecycle- Say you need a cordless phone, some moving boxes, a new dishwasher, some tile to re-do your bathroom floor, maybe a record player, the list can go on.  The point is, you can find all these things on Craigslist and Freecycle for cheap, if not for free.  You can find great deals on materials and appliances especially on Craigslist because often times people have left over materials when they remodel a home.  Their company has often already paid for it, and the workers don't mind extra money so they sell the left over materials for cheap.  As for appliances, with so many foreclosures these days, the people (God bless their heart) who have to go through the foreclosure often times take the appliances and sell them because they are often in need of extra cash themselves.  I once saw a perfect condition, stainless steal dishwasher, fridge, and stove all for $500!

6.  Buy Generic Brand- Some people are picky with foods, but often times a store brand loaf of bread will taste the same as Wonder Bread.  If you are picky about generic food, getting a generic brand of Ibuprofen instead of Advil will end up saving you some dough, and they really are the same thing.

5.  Never buy cosmetics, beauty supplies, or cleaning supplies from a grocery store- My wonderful Mama has taught me great things when it comes to money as I have grown up.  The funny thing is, she told me all the things I know now when I was way too little to care, but I remembered them.  One of them was to always buy things like shampoos, conditioners, lotions, soaps, and cleaning supplies from places like Target or Walmart.  At the grocery store, these things are always way overpriced.  Sometimes you can even find good deals on foods at Target and Walmart as well.

4.  Don't buy junk food-  When you are at the grocery store getting your weekly or monthly groceries, try to avoid getting snacks like chips, cookies, or other unnecessary junk.  Yes we all need it sometimes, but maybe allow yourself one item like this per visit.

3.  Make a phone call- Every 6 months, call your phone/cable company and see what deals are available.  Or, let them know that you found a better deal at a competing company, often times you will get a great deal.  Make sure you do this with your credit cards as well, except obviously you are asking for a better APR.

2.  Be Green- And not just on Earth Day.  Be better about turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and making sure all lights are off when you aren't in the area.  Unplug things like your cell phone charger and turn off your computer.  Use cold water for washing your clothes.  These little things will not only end up saving you money on your electricic and water bills, but you are doing your part in helping the Earth.

1.  Pack a lunch-  At any job I've ever had, it has always amazed me how many people buy food or soda for lunch as much as they do.  Michael used to always want a drink other than water and would buy that or lunch.  One day, I sat down with him and made him calculate the last few two weeks of extra food and drink spending, and he had wasted about $40.  Say you're not even spending that much but maybe $50 a month, that's $600 a year you are wasting.  Plus, all that food you are eating out isn't good for you!

Don't just pack a lunch for work, but if you take a day trip to the beach or an amusement park, it is a good idea to pack some snacks and lunch so you don't buy as much food as you might.  All the food at amusement parks, concerts, or other day trips are usually overpriced.  Granted you will most likely have to go to your car to eat it (as you usually can't bring food in), but hey, we all can use some extra walking.

How do you save some extra dough? Please share your tips!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Sunday!

This weekends yard sale finds were:

-a bright pink fabric storage box
- a tan fabric magazine holder
- a yellow vase
- a yellow tea pot
- antique picture frame
- antique map covered photo album (that will go with a photo box I have quite well)

all for $7 (from two different yard sales).  God, I just love finding great items for cheap!

Friday, July 16, 2010

SpottieOtties on Diapers: Pampers vs. Huggies

First, let me just say I give mad props to those who use cloth diapers.  I wish I had taken more time to look into it and make a final decision of cloth versus regular.  If you are a mom to be, I now know there are many great websites that give you tips on cloth diapers.

Before little Dev was born, I had received a couple boxes of Pampers Sensitives at my baby shower.  Since that is what they provided at the hospital, and I had plenty free ones at home, that's what I used for quite some time.  Eventually the time came where I ran out of the diapers I had and it was time to get more.  I was really pleased with the way the Pampers Sensitives smelled, their sticky mechanism, and the overall hold up, but I decided to give the Pampers Dry a try as well.  I thought those held up even better with less leaks.  Next, we tried Pampers Cruisers for my fatboy, and were pleased.

 {Picture courtesy of}

Now that our wallets are getting thin, and Devin is no longer a newborn with sensitive needs, we decided to give a cheaper alternative a shot.  While we were at Costco, we decided to give Huggies a shot.  The diapers definitely don't have that nice smell to them, and they hold up alright for leaks, but I do have one major complaint.  The Huggies end up smelling sooo much faster.  I mean, Devin will barely pee and it just smells like he's been in it all day. 

So that is my final verdict, I think Pampers are the way to go if you are going to be unfriendly to the environment and not do cloth diapering.  I still have time to give other brands a shot, I will keep you informed.  If you're a Mom, which did you prefer?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wannabe Toms

Still no Internet at la casa, but I pay a lot for the iPhone monthly, so I might as well utilize all it has to offer! (By the way, I have a like/hate feeling toward Apple).

Anyway, I wanted to share a buy I never saw myself buying.

We were at Target getting a temporary cheapo pot and pan set, among other random house items, and I found myself being drawn to the shoe section. I tried on the Toms replica shoe, and loved it! I had seen the trend (from last summer- but I never knew bout em till recently to be honest) thanks to many new and lovely fashion blogs I follow and thought they were cute, but wasn't sure I was interested in pulling it off. They looked cute and there weren't many, but they were $17 and super comfy!

Black rimmed glasses would be super cute with a messy bun, jean shorts and a cute tank or tee.

Hopefully I'll have internet from tommorrow on for more posts!

Still No Internet

I miss blogging! We had Internet ordered to be ready before we moved and here we are, still nothing. They promised to priority overnight it.

Anyway, I do love my home! I can't wait for it to be more homey instead of I just movedy. I also can't wait for visitors!

Anyway, I got a couple pics when the modem arrives, for now I'll post a couple of my big little man, and then get back to working on my iPhone.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Officially Official

Finally!  The day has come tomorrow, we will be home owners!!  I can't wait.

So what does this mean for SpottieOtties?  It means I suck and will probably not be blogging a lot this week either.  I may do a couple before and after progress blogs of things we are doing.  We just have a super busy week ahead of us and I wish I could fast forward to my first weekend with everything in place.  But, I know we have a lot to learn and will enjoy the journey a long the way.

I just can't stop dreaming about cooking, relaxing on the deck in summer nights or playing with Devin in the fall seasons to come!  So, stay posted and keep checking back.  I may not be able to blog as much as I'd like to, but I will probably have some progress photo filled blogs!

P.S. I didn't have the yard sale because I had NOTHING ready.  I am hoping to have that ready to go next sense in selling myself short and having the same thing happen that did last week.  Keep checking back!