Archive for September, 2007

Thrifty Thursday: eBay

Gymboree Girl Detective

You’ve found what looks like a great deal for kids’ clothes…2x your bid in clothing. Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on $100 worth of clothing for $50? And hey, look, it’s Gymboree! That stuff costs an arm and a leg, this is a killer deal! Woo, yay, hoohaa!

Hold on there, Nelly. Did you read the whole ad? That’s two times your bid in RETAIL price. If that still sounds good, then go and check out Look for the proper size and style you want for your little prince or princess, then calculate the prices. If you bid on one of these popular 2x your bid auctions, you will not be getting a huge amount of clothing unless your bid is very high.

If you can afford to place a really high bid, then you’re in luck. But for those on a tight budget, I suggest looking for other auctions. It would be very disappointing to place a low bid and only receive one item. There are plenty of auctions for Gymboree clothing, plus other quality names like GAP, Baby GAP, Disney, Healthtex, and The Children’s Place.

Keep a shrewd eye on the shipping and handling. While I am willing to pay more for a large lot since it takes the seller time to package the items, even if they are reusing an old box, drive it to the post office, and pay postage. I think about the washing and folding, then packing when I look at their shipping and handling rate. For many clothing items in one lot, I don’t mind paying $15 to $20 for the s+h. More than that? I skip it unless it’s a really, really nice lot.

One more tip…try some misspellings of what you’re looking for. Also, don’t go directly to the proper section. Try typing in your search in the All Categories choice. You may find things in odd areas! I once found a lovely lot of clothing for a low, low price because it had accidentally been placed with socks. Go figure!

Posted in Finance, Home Budget, Smart Buying | 2 Comments »

Wednesday Works

Looking For Jobs

So many parents are working at home these days. Thanks to the internet we can stay home, take care of the kids, or spend time with our partners without that daily nine to five grind. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into working at home, I’m going to be linking to some opportunities here each Wednesday. Don’t think that staying home means lounging in your jammies and eating bon-bons, because here’s the honest truth…

If you are going to stay at home and work, be it freelance writing or sewing your own designer diaper line, you will have to work, work, work. Keeping up with clients, meeting deadlines, posting and selling product. You will probably work harder than you ever did outside of the home, but it can be the most satisfying feeling in the world to know you are working for yourself.

This week I offer some links to freelance writing jobs. Two links are to collections of jobs and two are to single postings I have found to be encouraging.


Deb Ng’s Freelance Job Blog

Telecommuting Jobs

Banks.Com Writing Job

A Blogging Contest

Posted in Parenting, Computers and Technology, Career Minded, Writing, Websites | No Comments »

Tuesday’s Tunes: Kid’s Songs

The Laurie Berkner Band
My children love Laurie Berkner. I love Laurie Berkner!

The Laurie Berkner band has tunes kids will love. Crazy little songs that are perfectly aimed towards small children, many parents may be familiar with the band if their kids watch the Noggin TV network. The band members dress in colorful clothing that isn’t too bizarre and really show a great understanding of children and their thoughts.

Even a baby can enjoy this music. I know this for a fact because my 11 month old does his silly baby dance when we pop the DVD in. The simple songs have a beat that even makes this mom want to dance! They capture the imagination of children with lyrics like…?Laurie has a pig on her head, Laurie has a pig on her head, Laurie has a pig on her head and she keeps it there all day!?

What kid doesn’t want a pig on their head? For some reason, all of mine do. It must be a fashion trend in the pre-school circles.

There are some very sweet songs, too. My 5 year old loves it when I sing the Band’s ‘Moon, Moon, Moon’ song at bedtime. Just don’t plan on the kids getting right to sleep if you pop the DVD or CD in at bedtime!

If you want some great tunes for your kids, check out their site, Laurie Berkner Dot Com. Safe for all families, no hidden messages, and just music to make your child feel good.

Posted in Parenting, TV and Pop Culture, Music | No Comments »

Motivational Monday

“Be who you are and say what you mean because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” - Dr. Seuss

A Daisy Doesn't Pretend To Be A Rose

I love this quote. No matter who you are, you should live by this rule and teach your children to do so as well. Low self esteem not only comes from bullying, but from the fear of allowing others to see who you truly are. Be honest, be direct, and never hide the real you.

The kids are making a new start right now, why shouldn’t mom and dad? Don’t let resolutions and goals to make changes come only at the beginning of the year. Little changes add up over time, especially those that can help boost confidence.

Why not choose a new quote to jot down on a small piece of paper once a week and try to live by it the best you can? When you’re feeling low or just need to have a little reminder, pull it out of your pocket and read it. Read the quote out loud if you want. Use it in conversation.

And don’t stop with quotes from famous or historic people, come up with your own. Who knows, you may end up with a quaint little coffee table book of inspirational sayings you have written!

From now on, let’s start the week off with a quote. Feel free to email me suggestions!

Posted in Character Development, Daily Living, Faith, Mental Environment, Stress Management | No Comments »

Sneak Some Vitamins Into Your Kids (and you!)

A Vitamin Packed Smoothie.

A well balanced diet is the best way to get kids full of the proper vitamins for their growth. Fish, fresh fruit and veggies, plus whole grains will help your children stay healthy. All of those foods have the right balance of nutrition when combined with other healthy choices.

But what if your child, or you, hate some or most of those foods? In that case, it is very easy to become deficient in nutrients the body needs to stay strong enough to prevent sickness and even bone breakage. Luckily there are many foods you and your kids can eat that will sneak in the vitamins and nutrients the body needs. Foods that are stuffed with the ever important calcium, vitamin A, and essential omega fatty acids.

Many people love to snack on salty or sweet crunchy foods. Pumpkin seeds can help fulfill this desire and be flavored so many different ways. With a toss of olive oil and seasoned to taste, it’s so easy to make a crunchy snack! The combinations are infinite. I use a full pumpkin’s worth of seeds that have been picked clean from the gourd, washed, then laid flat to dry. You can speed this process by using a paper towel. Then toss the seeds on a large bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil if you have it, vegetable oil if you don’t. Once covered well with the oil, sprinkle in some good sea salt, then choose your seasoning. My kids like them sweet so I try to add a little sugar for a ‘kettle cooked’ taste. Some adults love the Cajun flavors, so just sprinkle on about a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to start.

These are only my ratios. You can use as much or as little as you’d like to satisfy your own taste. Experiment with other spices and herbs to make your own unique pumpkin seeds recipe.

I have been known to hide veggies into dishes you wouldn’t normally find them. A few days ago I made a stir fry with very thinly sliced steak, a whole head of cabbage, a bag of spinach, onions, carrots, and a huge sweet red pepper. Oh, and mushrooms. I used an electric wok and cooked the very thinly cut steak first. After that, I just dumped in the other ingredients, turned the wok to low and let it go until everything was soft. A small dash of sugar and a few shots of soy sauce made this dish taste slightly Asian, but not too strongly. Because of the way the veggies were sliced the kids assumed they were noodles. Go figure!

If you have a juicer, you’re ahead of the game. You can add a little vegetable juice into fruit juice, or to put into a soup stock instead of chicken broth. Try it in breads instead of water for a vitamin boost to your grains. Simmer rice in a water and veggie juice mix to help replace the vitamins that were lost when white rice was milled.

If you’re creative, you can find so many ways to sneak healthy foods into your children or yourself. Maybe even into a reluctant spouse. For more ideas and information on healthy eating, check out this article Healthy Eating: Best Sources Of Fiber.

Posted in Health, Nutrition, Cooking, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment »

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