5 Favorite Gift Ideas this Friday

5 Long Distance Gift Ideas for Toddler Girls

Guys, I need help.  What the hell do I get a 3 year old girl for her birthday?!  My little niece is turning 3 a day before I turn 29 (coincidentally, I turn 29 a day before MY aunt’s birthday!)  Since I’m doing well if I make it home once a year, it has resulted in me a) not knowing my niece well, b) wanting to spoil her a little and c) an unprecedented urge to drive my brother bonkers with some sort of off the wall present.

Her first birthday was a Build-A-Bear with a voice box in it that played a (fairly) annoying song.  Which once she figured out what it did, she would press it and dance over and over and over.  Last year, since we were in Maine at the beginning of July, we had a little battery operation four-wheeler delivered.  It was especially fun since we got to see her ride it, despite Scott’s best efforts to “soup it up.”  I was pleased even more, when days after we left, my brother sent me a picture of little tire tracks all over his lawn.

So you see, I have a fairly big tradition to continue.  Here are some ideas for small children when you live so far away.

Disney Princess Gift Card

1.  Disney Gift Card- I honestly think this is my most brilliant idea ever.  She thoroughly enjoys Disney at the moment, and I am forever trying to get big brother to bring her down for a visit.  Especially now that we’ll be so close to the theme parks.  Even if we are not living in Orlando specifically.  A little research has shown me that a Disney gift card is reloadable and able to be used for anything Disney-sanctioned.  By this I mean, it can be used for theme park tickets (still expensive as hell even if you’re a small child), resort packages, Disney crap in the Disney stores in the parks, and if all else fails, online and in person at Disney Stores.  I feel it is something that could be useful and fun for her, as I can continue to add funds to it until they come visit.  How great (for me!) would it be for her to run around Disney, able to get whatever (within reason) crap she wants?  Also, there are no inactivity fees or anything like that associated with it.  It just needs to be used sometime.

2.  Woodzeez-  I took a picture of these things the other day in Target while I was exploring back up ideas that provide a little more instant gratification than a gift card.  I promptly texted Brother and asked “WTF are these things?!”  Apparently he had to check with his niece who is a few years older, to be informed “they’re owls.”  He said there is no show or anything to go along with them, so I’m pretty sure that means that my niece is not interested.

Baby two peice bathing suit for toddler
How freaking cute is this thing?! {via}

3. Clothes- Brother has dropped hints as far as her size, and telling me she’s got enough toys.  Generally I listen and can understand / appreciate not wanting to deal with even more toys.  I know she’s growing like a weed and could always use clothes.  But fun is that?  I remember getting clothes as a child, and pretty well refuse to be that aunt.

Sofia the First Duplo Lego set

4.  Legos!  Totally breaks the no toys thing, but come on, it’s Sofia the First! (affiliate).  The only thing that is holding me back is that in a couple years, she’ll get to enjoy REAL Legos!  Plus it’ll fit the irritating-to-my-brother rule when he steps on one in the middle of the night.

Candy Land Disney Princess edition

5.  Board Games- Because playing games with her Dad will probably be a better experience than playing games with my brother.   I wonder how many times an adult can play Candy Land (affiliate) before they want to hurt themselves or “lose” the game.  We may find out.

Linking up with Coffee with Caitlin / Bright on a Budget / Della Devoted / Cup of Tea, The Farmer’s Wife / September Farm, Meet @ the Barre, and A. Liz Adventures / Carolina Charm / Hello! Happiness / The Good Life Blog

5 Photos on Friday

I very much wanted to do a 5 on Friday post for Father’s Day- with memories and all that crap.  But I fail.

Instead, pictures of 5 (in some way, shape, or form) fathers in my life!

Happy Father’s Day to these Guys!

My Dad! Half of the reason I requested a mitre saw for Christmas- I am his kid

Best Father-in-Law EVER! That’s his official title!

Grampy! With the baskets he makes.  And the other half of the reason I got a saw.  I’m also his grandkid.
Brother! It would have been weird for me to post a picture of his kid…

Husband! No, this is NOT a pregnancy announcement!  But he loves those nubs!

eBay Tips from a First-Time Seller

7 Beginner eBay Tips from a First-time eBayer

Well the results are in for the first items I’ve ever sold on eBay!  Here are a few tips that I learned along the way.

1.  Google your items for the correct specs if there are differences.  This was most useful for me on the iPods- it turns out Apple has a support area that lists all the different generations of products.  I just did a Ctrl+F to put in the Model number on the back.  What came back was more information than what I ever wanted to know about the iPod.  The eBay “Sell similar item” feature has a bank of products as well, and will auto-import most specification.  On a couple, it didn’t have the screen size, so I was able to pull the “official” word off Apple.com

2.  Take Good Pictures & Mark Damage.  Great pictures are a must in the blogging world.  However, it surprises me how much they’re lacking in the depths of eBay.  I wouldn’t say my pictures are phenomenal by any means, but they were much better than most others I saw.  Especially since I wasn’t accepting returns (I want this stuff GONE!) I took extra care to mark any damage on the photos, no matter how minor.  I made sure to put a disclosure in the listing as well, letting people know to check the pictures and ask me any questions they’d like.  Even though I wasn’t offering returns, the items are/were backed by the eBay guarantee.  Which means I have a credit card on file with them, in case any buyer decides I wasn’t truthful with my listing.

3.  Estimate shipping.  This was by far the hardest thing for me to figure out.  Short of going down to the post office and seeing what exactly this stuff weighed, I had no way of knowing for sure the shipping cost.  Then it still depends on where it’s being shipped to.  Finally I decided I’d take a conservative estimate.  Don’t listen to what eBay says similar items have shipped for- 3oz might be right for an iPod nano if you’re sending it in an envelope with not packing materials.  If this were something I was doing as a business I’d make more of an effort to learn the cost from the get-go, or at least over time realize how much it may run me.  Or get set up with a scale, since you get an “eBay discount” for paying for shipping online.

4.  You WILL get Messages almost Immediately.  Like within minutes of the listing.  They will be along the lines of “Will you accept this amount as a Buy It Now? Let me know.”  The first one I got I was like, “Well crap, maybe!”  But then I looked into the potential buyer.  They’re selling the same things as a Buy It Now for 3 times as much!  eBay also points out that you shouldn’t accept an offer via private message.  Last, I thought-  If I were going to accept a Buy It Now price, then why didn’t I just list it as that, instead of an Auction?  All of these are reason to say “no thanks!”

5.  Follow Up Questions in a Timely / Polite Manner.  It kind of goes hand in hand with the above.  Respond to all your messages as quick as you can.  If they were the ones about the the “Buy It Now” price, I’d just say, “No thanks, I’d like to see how it does as an auction.”  One item, I noticed a spot on the screen as I was packing.  Seriously, it wasn’t there when I was taking pictures for the listing!  I immediately contacted the buyer (who had been very quick to send payment!) and let them know.  Then spent half of the evening trying to get pictures of this uploaded to eBay.  Turns out there’s a size limit- but they don’t say that’s what the problem is when upload fails.  I wound up giving an almost 10% discount on the item and gave the option of a complete refund.  I put a note in there with it let me know if there are any other issues- I’d accept a return in this case.

6.  You May not get (M)any Bids the first Few Days.  I did a 7 day auction, and though I haven’t sold anything on eBay before, I do (did) have an inkling of how things work.  I didn’t get any bids on any of them until there were only 3-4 days left.  Perhaps I should have just done a short auction time?  Probably.  But don’t freak out, because people will bid.

7.  Remember Why You’re Listing.  In my case, I was listing these things that are perfectly good, but we haven’t used in a long time for a number of reasons.  My bottom line thought was, “I’m making more money on it now, than I was by having to move it for a 400th time.”  Obviously if you’re trying to make a business off of selling things on eBay, then your thought process will (or at least it SHOULD) be different than mine!

Has anyone used eBay to sell their used items? Any other tips I should look for the next go-round?

Weekending | News

So I posted Thursday, lamenting about changes, news, blah blah blah.  Then never came back.  Not even Friday for my favorite things.  I just decided to start fresh this week, and hopefully after having got caught up on some sleep, I can keep up a little better.

Only a little better though, because Sunday consisted of us watching Impractical Jokers most of the morning, and my reading.  Finally stumbling upstairs, after my second cup of coffee, to work on this little slice of internet heaven.

Saturday, however, things were full throttle.  We visited the Capital Forest Museum first thing, then stopped off at Walmart for some packing tape and a few other things.

A little sneak peak of the Shaker House at the museum… My original “weekending” post had a lot of pictures from the museum, so I decided to make its own post tomorrow.  

That afternoon, we started in cleaning up our guest rooms.  You may think this is because of my New Years Resolution.  Especially since I have sucked at them lately.  But it seems the universe decided to give me a little kick in the ass to get things going.


We found out a few days ago, that Scott has gotten a promotion!  He is the new Territory Manager for Orlando, and we will be relocating!  Now, Orlando is not one of my most favorite places- we lived in Kissimmee when we first moved to Florida when he was training for his job.  However, the territory extends east, all the way to the Space Coast.  The beach is one of my favorite places, so it’ll be quite fun I think to be with in (a closer) driving distance.  Especially since we’re approaching that time of year when it’s too hot to do anything in Florida but sit on the beach / play in the water.

We’re excited, and overwhelmed at the same time.  Hence the “woe-is-me” post on Thursday.  We’ve been taking it little-by-little, doing a lot of internet research.  Getting out house on the market and sold is the first step, so finding Realtors has also been up on the list.  As is cleaning the house and taking pictures for when we do actually get it listed.  One of my biggest pet peeves when looking at houses on Zillow etc, is all the crappy pictures.  We figure we need to make people want to drive this far out of town to see the house and property, and that ain’t gonna happen with sucky pictures!

However, the cleaning/ picture taking is proving to be a slow process, especially when all I want to do is sit on my butt!  Unfortunately, what we did get done this weekend is the easiest of the easy.  So, more motivation is needed ASAP!

Linking with B Loved Boston!