Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two year old tantrums!

Victoria was such a good baby all in all ...she would laugh and coo and giggle. She never had the issues Trevor did with the "GERD" and the colic. Foolishly, I let myself believe that she'd continue to be a relatively "easy" baby. However, once toddlerhood came around, it became quite clear that "easy" and "Victoria" would not be going together. Oh how she had me fooled! LOL!!

Take today for instance....going to the mall with my sister. Now keep in mind I live in the boonies, so our mall is very small, nothing to get excited about by any stretch of the imagination. I had forgotten my stroller, so we had to "rent" one from the mall. For .50 cents you get this *fabulous* stroller.....can you tell I am dripping with sarcasm? The stroller is all metal with a tiny basket underneath - no cup holder - no tray on it. My sister remembers using those same very strollers when my niece was this age...mind you Katie is now going to be 18 in less than a week. So these things are old and outdated and frankly uncomfortable to push unless you are no taller than a garden gnome!

So anyways, Vicky got pissed, plain and simple, because I wasn't letting her walk around the mall and was making her get into the stroller. She finally calmed down and things seemed ok. Here is where I went wrong again - I assumed things were going well. And we all know what happens when one assumes! LOL!

We go into Sears and I see they have several Jeep Toddler Harness's on sale for $9.98. I've debated back and forth about getting one for Victoria - we had one with Trevor and he loved it. I decide to go ahead and get her this - Jeep Lamb Baby Harness. In the end it was 50% off and I used my KMart/Sears rewards and it ended up being free. Woot! I love a good deal!

But back to the story, I got the harness and when we left Sears I decided to stop and put it on Victoria and give it a try. Sounds good, right? Nope! Oh she liked it but she thought she was going to go in the direction she wanted to and she was going to touch what she wanted to and run wherever she wanted to. Finally got her going in the direction I was headed and all seemed ok.....until....until we went into Fashion Bug for my sister to return something. Vicky thought she was going to push the empty (well had our purses and shopping bags) stroller around and everytime I tried to help her steer so she wouldn't knock anything or anyone over, she got pissed and started yelling at me. That was the end for me.

I marched her and the stroller out of Fashion Bug and we went over to a bench. I tried to get her to sit down but she thought she was going to take off and I was not letting that happen. She was screaming and carrying on....throwing herself around in my arms. So I put her back into the stroller and strapped her in. To say this made her angry is putting it mildy. She flipped out - more screaming, crying, spit flying, boogers running all over her face...oh she was a sight to see. Then she tried to bite me several times but was unsuccessful - go me! She did though manage to scratch me and slap my face once. Needless to say I did give her a swat on the behind.

I can't begin to tell you how many people of all ages walked by and snickered and sneered and whispered (some more loudly then others). I am so over people who feel the need to make comments or give dirty looks because I refuse to let my child walk all over me. I will not let her at 2.5 yrs old get her way. She has to learn and unfortunately for her, she's choosen the hard way, that she has to listen to me (and daddy). Yes, I know the screaming at the mall was horrible, but sometimes you just have to do what you know is best and if that means that the public has to listen to my child scream bloody murder for a few minutes so be it. Because one day the public will be thankful when my child has learned and is well-behaved young lady.

Unfortunately, Victoria has picked up some bad habits from when things were bad with Trevor - the hitting, spitting, etc....she has learned so much from Trevor....good but also the bad and I am going to do everything in my power to change that and turn that bad behavior around.

I know it can be done ....all the issues we've had over the years with Trevor and yet I am constantly getting compliments on how well-behaved he is, how well-mannered he is, etc. There is a woman at the church my family goes to that works at the elementary school Trevor goes to. She told my sister that Trevor is so well-behaved - never out of line - always happy - excellent manners - she wishes all the kids were as well-behaved as Trevor. Talk about a wonderful compliment for Karl and I. We often get down on ourselves thinking we've failed when the kids are giving us heck, but when we hear these compliments we are reminding of really the wonderful job that we have done. Yes, it'snot always easy....no, we aren't perfect and neither are the kids...but we are doing the best we can and we have so much love in this house.

So while today was a nightmare...it's not the first and it sure as hell won't be the last....but one day this too will pass and it will be nothing more than a distant memory.....

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Creations

It's time again to show off some new creations and gush about the fabulous designers I create for! This week I was accepted onto the creative team @ Plain Digital Wrapper. And just today I was welcomed back to the creative time for Pixel Gypsy Designs. I have worked with Sherrie in the past and it's nice to "go back home" so to speak! And of course, I've been creating for Victoria Feemster as well as Pampered Princess. I've actually been creating some brag book pages for some new kits Victoria has coming out. I am wicked excited about those! 

Here are some new creations...
If you'd like to see the credits for these or any other layouts, you can find them here!
If you'd like to purchase any of the kits you've seen here tonight from the designers I create for,
you can find them:

And check out the sneak peaks of items coming soon from Victoria Feemster!







Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garage Sales 101

Let me start off by saying, I am not an expert in the art of the garage sale. So take my "advice" with a grain of salt and for where it's coming from. And while an expert I am not, I am someone who does enjoy a good garage sale or two during the spring/summer season.

Today was our city wide garage sale and I was out at 8:00am to hit my first sale. There were many things I noticed today and I thought it would be fun to blog about what I saw....so here goes!

1. Do not try to sell children's clothes that are soiled/stained. Take the time to sort through the clothing and remove any that have stains and put those in a "free" box. Wash everything you are selling or giving away. No one wants to dig through a box of dirty clothes. Clean clothes = more money!!!

2. Do not put big piles of clothes out with no rhyme or reason for it. I think it's safe to say that no one wants to go through 100 pieces of random clothing to find one particular size. Put kids clothes in one spot...adult in another....separate each by gender/size. Oh and putting them all in said pile on the ground - big no no! No one wants to bend over in the heat trying to paw through that big pile looking for something worthwhile. Sorted, organized clothing = more money!!

3. Match outfits - you can't expect your customers to know that that shirt has a matching skirt. It takes a second to get a safety pin/clothes pin and match outfits up. Last year I bought a package of 100 safety pins for $1.00. A small investment that paid off as people were able to see complete outfits and as a result I was able to ask a bit more for the complete outfits. Matched outfits = more money!! (Do you see a theme here?)

4. Do not put out clothes/household items/shoes/electronics that aren't in a condition that you would be willing to buy. If you do, those items need to go into a "Free" box. Most people aren't out looking to buy a broken keyboard. Asking $5.00 for a broken keyboard is ridiculous.

5. Have an electric cord plugged in to allow shoppers to test out electronics for themselves. I will not purchase anything that I can't make sure it works.

6. On that same thought process - it doesn't cost much to get a pack of batteries at the dollar store. Get some and put them in the toys/electronics you want to sell. I sold so much stuff last year because it had batteries in it and allowed the shopper to see that it indeed did work. Working toys/electronics = more money!!!

7. Do not put out household items that look like you ate off of them last night. I saw a set of four Tupperware kids plates - you know in the cool colors - and I thought hey these would be great - they were $1.00. But when I lifted the top one, the others underneath were covered in what looked like food remains. Granted they were only a $1.00 but I am not buying someone else's food leftovers. Wash stuff - be it dishes/cups/collectibles, etc.

8. Keep your pets inside - not everyone is fond of animals...or even for those with allergies. A barking lunging dog is a huge turn off.

9. Another thing to keep in mind is not to price anything at a price you wouldn't be willing to pay. As you are pricing, ask yourself, "how much would I pay for this at someone else's garage sale?" and then price it accordingly. Don't expect your customers to pay what you wouldn't pay in their shoes.

10. Remember eye appeal! I frequently will pass up a yard sale that looks like it's got nothing just from the curb. The ones I stop at got my attention by having lots of stuff  and stuff that was visible from the curb. Now, obviously if you have a large drive, no one can see from the curb but in the case of those who has their driveway/garage visible from the curb, show off your items - hang some balloons - dress things up - make people stop ....and park and come in to shop!

11. If you live in an area like I do, which is close to the border, hang up signs letting customers know whether you take foreign currency or not. I generally do not take foreign currency as I don't have the time while tending the yard sale to figure out exchange rates, etc.

12. Do consider doing a "bag for $x". Last year I had huge success in this - I had totes that I had marked by gender/size. Single pieces were .50cents - outfits were $1.00 or you could fill a paper bag for $5.00. People loved this! I sold so much this way. And this went for kids and adult clothing!

13. Do not leave the exchange of monies to your 10 yr old child. At one sale today, there was a girl who looked about 10 yrs old with a notebook, cash box and calculator. She was having to remove all stickers, write things down and then make change. While I am all for kids helping with age appropriate things, the making of change/handling of cash, needs to be done by an adult.

14. When advertising for your sale, keep your signs simple. So often I'll see a sign on a tree at the corner of a busy intersection. It is written in small print listing every single thing they are selling. While I am at that stop sign, I do not have the time to get out and look at where the sale is. If you can't read it when driving by, it's no good. I do my signs on the computer so that I get bold -clearly legible print. I put Yard/Garage Sale (whichever the case may be), address, time, date - that is it. No need to list your complete inventory. Now for the signs I put up inside the grocery store, etc, I put a bit more info - for example I'll include the above info but I'll also put - "household items/baby gear/infant and children's clothes/adult clothes" - all depends on what I have. There is no need like I said to list every.single.thing. you are selling but give the consumer just a brief idea of what types of items you will have.

15. Lastly, I'd just say have a good time. Be polite and personable and friendly!

Good luck! Happy Sales!

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Scrapping Layouts

Here are some new layouts!!! 
 All of these layouts were created using products from Pampered Princess @ Polka Dot Plum.

For a full listing of credits, check out my gallery here!

Aren't these kits cute? I know I am totally diggin' them!