Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Things I never thought I would say as a mother...

Wow, this week was a funny week. There are a few phrases that I said that I never thought would come out of my mouth.

Here are my 2 favorite ones...

1. Parker, can you please put away your gun?

2. That's right Andrew, we don't put poop in our mouth and eat it.

I'm sure that I'll think of some more things I've said, and I'm sure this is not the end of the never-thought-I'd-say-that communication.

I would love to hear yours. Leave me a comment.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My family all went to the park for dinner one night last week, and being the competition type, my husband decided to show everyone this yoga move and see how many of his sisters-in-law could do it with him. This is how it went down. (or maybe I should say up!)
(left to right - my sis Natalie, hubby Jeff, sis Emily, sis-in-law Wendy)

My sister Natalie stayed in for a short time, but still came down first. Emily and Wendy never even made it up to the full headstand. Jeff, of course, was so happy that he could hold the pose the longest.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh what do you do in the summertime - when all the world is...wet?

We just had a rainy day awhile back that would have put me in the nut-house - well, if it weren't for these empty boxes I had laying around.

So, what did they do - made BOX CARS!

My kids totally had the greatest time ever with these boxes. It was a total Mastercard commercial (you know, the ones where they get the best toy, the best book, and all the kid wants to do is play with the cardboard box it came in - priceless)

The car turned into the robot, you see. (Can you tell he was excited about going to see the new Transformers movie later that week?)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garage Sale Succes!

Now, most of you may not usually see blog posts about garage sales. But, this one might peak your interest.

See, I had a garage sale this past weekend, along with my sister and a friend. Together we filled 10 tables, had 4 canopies (because it poured rain!), and put numerous boxes, storage containers and items under all 10 tables. We even had a separate hanging apparatus for the adult clothes for sale. Plus there were 3 desks, 7 office chairs, 3 lamps, 5 bookshelves, and 3 computers. And it all fit into a 3 car garage! It was truly amazing.

The best part of the story is how much we made –
Together we made over $1200!!!!!

And I took a good chunk of that change home with me - $848.25 of it, to be exact. Wow, huh?

I've had several people ask me how I could have made that much money. After much thought, I have decided to share of few of my tips.

First, here is my disclaimer (sorry, I'm married to a law school graduate):
I have had a garage sale every year for the past 8 years, and have made $200-$400 each year. This year was a little different in the fact that we had some office furniture from our magazine business that brought in quite a bit more money than I would have made usually.

This is a long post, so you can come back to read later if you need to. I'll understand.

  • There are 2 parts.

    PART 1

    Preparing for a garage sale:

  • Go thru EVERYTHING in your house. I mean everything – from your kid’s toys and clothes, to your bathroom and linen closet. From your garage to your storage unit/shed. From your kitchen to your home office. This process will take you at least a month. Pick a day to go thru one space. You should allot at least 2-3 hours per space. If you try to do it all in one day, you won’t get it done, and then your house will just be a mess.
  • Place your garage sale items in storage bins. When you go thru each space, place a storage bin next to you. This will be easy to know what you are planning on selling, and easy to transport and store until your sale.
  • Make a commitment that you will be honest with yourself. If you have multiples of it, sell it. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, sell it. If you haven’t used it in the last year, sell it. If you haven’t seen it in the last year, SELL IT!
  • Price your expensive things online. If you have something that is worth more than $20, look it up online and print out what you find. Then keep your papers with that item when you price it for the sale. Also, you could go a little lower on the price to show that you are giving the shopper a good deal. It’s always handy for the shopper to see that it’s really worth more than what you have priced it at with an Ebay printout.
  • If you think that someone won’t buy it, you’re wrong. Garage sales are funny events. I’ve had items at garage sales that I thought were so dumb to have there, and someone bought it in the first hour! I’ve also had things that I thought would FOR SURE sell, and they ended up being donated. My rule of thumb is this – if you don’t want it anymore, put it in the sale. You never know what people are looking for – and you can always donate anything you don’t sell.

    Part 2 – Garage Sale Do’s and Don’ts

    Here are the do’s for the garage sale itself:

  • Do place ads anywhere you can. Newspapers, Craig’s list, thrifty penny, etc. Get the best deal that your money will buy. You want a lot of people to come, and if they don’t know about it, chances are they aren’t going to just drive by. A good visible ad will catch their attention, and bring in money.
  • Do invite neighbors to join in. You can organize it by street or subdivision. The more people holding sales, the more buyers you can attract. Give them plenty of notice (like a month). You can always split the cost of advertising too.
  • Do put up directional signs. Place these at least 2 days before your sale. If it’s a subdivision sale, place the signs at least 5 days early. For a personal sale, you’ll want a sign at your main entrance, and then a sign at every crossroad that buyer would drive by. It should direct them to your house! One of my pet peeve’s is entering a subdivision and then not knowing where to go. Ugh! Make sure you put dates and time too. No one likes to search for a sale that was last weekend.
  • Do use tables. Most people will not get on the ground to search thru stuff on a blanket. If you don’t have enough tables, at least flip boxes over or use storage bins with the lid on. It’s a lower version of a table, but it’s more appealing to the shopper. If you want to rent tables, they are usually pretty cheap at your local party or event rental store.
  • Do put a price on everything. It’s a lot easier for the shopper to shop if they see a price on it. If you’re not sure about the price for an item, write down your best guess for what you might pay for it if you saw it at a garage sale. Then if you see someone looking at it, tell them that you’ll take less if they really want it.
  • Do have a FREE box. I’ve seen a garage sale where stuff is marked at 5 cents. It’s not worth it! There is usually a lot of junk we collect – fast food toys, miscellaneous odds and ends that are not worth the time to price. Dump them into a box and make a sign on the front that reads FREE.
  • Do have a money box/bag and change. Many people will stop by the ATM on the way to do their garage sale-ing. I’ve seen people come to me with 20’s, 50’s, even 100’s at my garage sales. Stop by your bank the day before and get at least $100 in change – dimes, quarters, ones, and fives. Remember to subtract that out when it comes time to figure out how much you earned.
  • Do greet people as if they are coming to your “store”. They are a customer, and a friendly face can win them over far more than a good deal.
    Have grocery sacks for multiple items. We all have a ton of the white plastic sacks we don’t use, so get rid of them here. Offer your shopper a sack for their goodies.
  • Do negotiate! People love a good deal – why do you think they are out garage sale-ing? If they ask you if you’ll take a lower price, make a deal with them. If you think it’s too low, go up a little from their offer. If it’s reasonable – say “Sure!”

    Some don’ts for your sale:

  • Don’t put anything out for sale that is less than 10 cents. If it’s worth less than that, put it in the free box. You can always bag a bunch of little toys and mark the bag for 25 cents.
  • Don’t leave your money unattended. You might think that this is a no brainer. But you can get carried away - especially when there are a lot of people at your sale. You might be talking to someone, or welcoming them, negotiating or rearranging items on a table. No one wants to have their money stolen. Keep it in your hands or stand by it at all times.
  • Don’t argue over a price. If you are negotiating, be pleasant. You want them to buy your stuff, so it’s best to keep your happy face on!
  • Don’t let your stuff come back into your house. If you don’t sell the item at the garage sale, don’t keep it. Take your stuff right to Good Will, Deseret Industries, Savers, etc. right after your garage sale.
  • Don’t get discouraged. A garage sale takes a lot of time to put together, but it can be well worth it. It’s a good feeling to make money and cleanse your space at the same time! Remember, a clutter-free space is a clutter-free mind.

    Send me some of your stories or tips that you have found to work.
    To your garage sale success!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Andrew's candy search

Ok, we have been potty training with absolute great success for a week and a half. Only one accident to date. Wahoo!

I've been giving Andrew a treat whenever he goes potty on the toilet. I know, you are supposed to give them stars or stickers, or whatever, but this is what's working. So be it.

So the other day, I came downstairs to find a chair next to the counter and this in front of it...

This is a picture of a partially chewed Viactive calcium chew from my vitamin cabinet. He obviously didn't like what he had tasted and just left it there.

Then, I went into the play room to see where Andrew had gone. And this is what I found...

This is Andrew fast asleep with the SweetTarts candy in hand. The funny thing is that he hadn't eaten any of the already-opened package. He just couldn't wait to get candy, but then he was too tired to eat it!