December 31, 2012

THANKS, 2012.

It's going fast.... this train. But I am definitely on board. It's hard to believe that during this "don't blink for a second" year, so much has happened. Not stuff, but moments. Memories. Changes. My LIFE.

Let's see... In 2012, in no particular order...


2) I moved myself, my son, (and everything but the couch) in with my boyfriend to a new home. (His couch was much, much better than ours). 

3) I traveled to the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere and held the hands of extremely sick children. (Will be able to fully discuss this life altering adventure in a few more months).

4) I saw Bruce Springsteen in concert for the first time.

5) I heard a trauma surgeon tell me that my son's life was saved because of his car seat.

6) I paid off a lot of debt. 

7) I became fully aware and almost understanding of how all things Star Wars and Transformers will one day just shift into all things Sunday and Red Zone (See #2).

8) I volunteered in my son's Kindergarten class. Kinder.Garten.

9) I was featured on Elizabeth Street. Kinda cool. 

10) I found myself. My calling. My love. And my strength. 

It's been a good year. And I'm certain 2013 will be even better.

Happy New Year. Be safe, be happy, and be grateful. We are blessed. 



December 20, 2012

NOTHING HAS CHANGED, BUT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO


This is hardly the first post about what happened last Friday… Hardly the first post, by a “mom blogger” about frustration and fear…. Hardly the first post about a citizen of this country feeling stuck and helpless, yet restless and eager for change IMMEDIATELY… And it’s hardly the first anything that can change the fact that 6 brave adults aren't alive to build a better future and that 20 beautiful babies are no longer playing on a yard at recess, or learning to read and write, or creating art that would have ultimately ended up on an already cluttered fridge, or becoming the “when I grow up” people they dreamt of being…

What I write, I realize, will have no profound impact on anyone… and certainly not on policy. Or change. Or the parents who’s eulogies made me weep as if these children were family members…

But I have to say something. If I don’t, it’ll just sit with me. So here goes…

I do not believe we are in anyway more violent than we were we in 1791. We’re more imaginative with access to creating and manufacturing stories and images electronically and digitally, perhaps. But, more violent? I don’t think so.

We’ve all spent enough time in early American History classes and museums to know how the West was won. We have read books and seen photos of how the South fought the North. We have watched the very last veterans of WW2 return to Normandy to tell the story of how we fought the Nazis. We have witnessed young men return from Vietnam with missing limbs and no place to go. And we have most certainly seen live footage of Baghdad… and Afghanistan… lit up with explosion.

Nothing but machinery has changed. War is war and violence is violence. 

I also do not believe that we are anymore mentally unstable than we were in 1791. Mental illness has existed since before “mental illness” even had a definition. Those “afflicted” with the disease either suffered alone and undiagnosed, died young (as did most people since the average life span was 37 years), or were sent to an asylum-like prison to undergo barbaric procedures. They were never “fit for society.” We know chemical imbalances, mood disorders, anxiety and depression, and even Autism and Asperger’s existed then. Doctors just didn’t have a name other than “lunacy” for it.

Nothing but science has changed. Crazy is crazy and genetics are genetics.

Look, I’m the first person to close my eyes and squeeze my boyfriend’s arm to the point of puncture wound during a violent or scary movie scene. And, admittedly, I’m the first person to agree that television programs and movies that are advertised towards my young son (which he happily devours) are probably too graphic and too disturbing for his 5 year-old brain.  Do I worry the memories of these images are what keeps him up at night? Yes. Do I worry that after being in a car accident this summer, (that could have killed him), that loud noises and violent explosions (even of the superhero, web-slinging kind), could unnerve him and increase post-traumatic stress? YES, of course. Do I worry that even the horribly acted and written scenes of Power Rangers or even a Light saber toting Luke Skywalker of the Legos Star Wars video game could have a negative affect on his brain waves? YES! Because it does! Science has proven that these games and images DO affect certain areas of the brain, which are associated with self-control and concentration. SO YES. I worry. Because, I know. It. HAS. A. PROFOUND. AFFECT. ON. HIS. BRAIN. DEVELOPMENT.

EVERYTHING DOES… The good. The bad. The ugly. And most certainly, those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad GMO’s. Right??? Right.

BUT, despite this constant state of imperfection and parental insecurity, (which is the creative force behind what I write and how I think… so for that inner conflict, I am grateful), there is actually one thing I don’t concern myself with. One truth that I know:

NONE of these images and NONE of these games and NONE of my lazy “Well... I guess it’s a McDonald’s kind of dinner” will make my son BE violent. Darth Vader and Optimus Prime don’t deserve that much credit. Nor do the decades of anxiety or depression that have, at times, gripped various family members… 

I can’t blame these things for a violent culture and neither should you. (They do get the same movies and the same bouts of depression in Canada and Switzerland too, you know...)

My point is, is someone’s child dying because of a drunk driver or an over-dose on drugs any less heinous, less sad, or less violent than a massive gun shooting???? NO. Murder is murder and death of a child is death OF A CHILD.

It’s horrific. It’s disturbing. And it’s unfair.

The difference is control of said weapon(s). The difference is access. The difference is our officials DO try to stop this. They do have strict regulations. They do have patrol and jurisdiction. They even DO have education and conversations with youngsters to raise awareness… Awareness that isn’t in the form of a fucking “crisis drill.” Or in the form of a child having to walk through a metal detector to go to 1st Grade. Or in the form of a school principal walking around a play yard with a loaded weapon.

That’s not a DIFFERENCE. That’s a band-aid. And that’s a life of living in fear.

The difference has nothing to do with mental illness or violence…. And it most certainly does NOT have to do with the removal of God in schools or in our hearts.

The difference is strict laws and a societal acknowledgement of RIGHT AND WRONG. I just hope we get it right… soon. And I sure as hell hope we take the ACCESS TO WRONG off of our nation's "moral grid" and OUT of our neighborhoods. For good. Forever. For our children.

December 12, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: SICK DAY

This is what happens when 5 year-olds get to "recoup" at grandma's house (aka "Mimi").
Her robe. Her belt. Some random stick. And a request to make his hair look "just like Luke's." Priceless. (Tomorrow he goes back to school).




December 4, 2012

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

As I've mentioned recently, it's safe to say that at age 36, I am who I am. The quirks, traits, and possibly even fates are likely sealed and determined.  But after a very special and life-changing trip last week to a foreign country, (a trip in which I cannot talk about until April 2013, but am BURSTING at the seams to share), I have a little more drive to "fix myself..." To be better. To feel better. To heal. And to accept the things I cannot change....

It's amazing what a little perspective and time away can do...

Everyone has something they wish they were better at, so I know I'm not alone in the quest for self improvement and evolution. In fact, it seems that my very own 5 year old is in a state of self discovery and trying to work out some of his own shortcomings... Truth be told, I'm sort of spearheading this effort...

The struggle du jour, or month, seems to be listening.... Asking Jonah to listen THE FIRST TIME...  You need to listen. You're not listening to me. I'm yelling because you're not listening. You will get what you want but you need to listen. I'm walking away because you're not listening to me.... And on. And on. And on.

Combine the not listening with his general poop and fart talk, (that I've tried to explain only kills with the other 47" tall crowd), and my patience is pretty much gone and DONE. I turn into the mom I never want to be with fury I hate to have.

Yesterday, we had a "battle of the listening" just trying to get his teeth brushed before school. On our walk to school, (which lately seems to be the only part of the day that he fully listens, engages, and refrains from the 5 year old behavior that makes me want to pull my hair out), I seized the opportunity to talk about how listening makes things easier, and what are the things we can do to "help" each other and things we can work on....  After he told me all the things, he wished I would change (LOL), he said:

J:  Mommy, I'm going to try to do better. I promise.
Me: I'm so happy to hear that. I'm going to try to do better too.
J: You know what else I've been trying to work on?
Me: What's that?
J: Basketball.
Me: Basketball?
J: Yeah. Everyday at recess, my friends and I play basketball. But they're all better than me. And I've never made a basket.
Me: That's okay. You will. You just have to keep trying.
Pause.
Me:  If you want, we could sign you up for basketball, just like TBall, and then you can learn a little bit more and it might help you.
J: Nah. I don't need lessons.... Because I'm not going to be a basketball ball player when I grow up.
Point.
J: What's the scientist that does stuff with rocks and space and rocks and volcane-noos?
Me: Geologists...?
J: Yeah. I'm going to be that.... Mommy, when you were little, what did you tell your friends when they asked what you wanted to be?
Me: I told them I wanted to be an actress... Do you know what an actress is?
J: Can you remind me?
Me: It's someone you see on shows... in the movies or on TV...
J: I saw my Grandpa on TV once.
Me: Yes. But he's not an actor.
J: I know. He's only a lawyer.

I guess the point is... we can both be whoever and whatever we want. Whatever it is, and however we'll be, we just need to try to be good and happy doing it. And patient. Change takes practice.... And definitely, definitely the ability to listen.

November 23, 2012

eBAY: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE



Though I'm still painfully full from last night's gi-normous feasts (in my case, we had two. Yes. TWO FULL Thanksgiving meals), it's hard not to want to shop... While I'm not much of a run to the store, endure the Black Friday madness, kind of a gal, I know this year, a lot of purchases will be made online. 

I'm in the process of figuring out what I want to get everyone and since I'm working closely with eBay, I'm thinking visiting their Holiday Gift Guide at eBay.com/holiday, is a great place to start. Plus,  along with offering crazy awesome deals eBay would like to help you keep track of your holiday shopping gift lists. 

They've created a neat Facebook gifting app - the Holiday Gift Shop - http://bit.ly/TtV5Tf that not only allows you to create gift lists for people you are shopping for, but  it allows your kids  to get in on the fun too with an interactive Kids Toy List section.

A few facts about the app:

1) No one you create gift lists for can see what you've created. These are lists you are making for yourself. 
2) You can create toy lists for your kids! (And be entered into the sweepstakes! Every day an item from someone's gift list will be given to them!)
3) You get great recommendations from eBay experts.
4) It's super convenient - It ties right into the eBay site and the eBay mobile app so you can shop anywhere, any time!

1. Golf Clubs
Boyfriend + Hobby = Golf. I will score huge points if I got him a new driver. Done and done!

2.  HDTVs
My mom needs a new television. And while a new television is sort of a heavy duty gift, but there are several listings here that seem affordable. 

3.  Video Game Console
I may be out of my mind but I think the key this year to my son's heart will be more access to video games. We have a Playstation in the living room but this then causes battles over who gets to watch what/when. So maybe another console in the bedroom is a good idea. Or maybe I'm crazy. Here's some great deals though.

4. Kate Spade Handbags
My boyfriend's mom and I share a passion: Purses. There are some great deals on Kate Spade Bags here. Love! 

5. Keurig Coffee Maker.
Last but not least, a little gift Pour Moi. I make a pot of coffee EVERY morning. And mid morning. And afternoon. I think it's time to streamline this necessity.

I have many more family and friends to shop for but I'm still full from two Thanksgiving feasts and it's making me a bit delirious. And... oddly enough, more hungry. (How does that even work???!)

For those of you couch bound this weekend, like me, remember eBay makes it easy to shop anywhere/anytime via the mobile app found at ebay.com/mobileAnd since ignoring your children during a food coma is not an option, have them join you by making a gift wishlist of their own on http://bit.ly/TtV5Tf.

Anyone who creates a gift list, for themselves or for a child, will be entered for a chance to win. Each day eBay will award an item from a lucky person's list. Entrants can also win eBay gift cards!

This is a sponsored post. I was hired by Splash Creative Media to write this on behalf of eBay.

November 21, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: HAPPY THANKSGIVING

The things you find on your kitchen counter while prepping for Thanksgiving when living with a 5 year-old...


May The Force Be With You.

November 16, 2012

WE WIN

I'm often amazed at some of the thoughts my son shares at random times...

There are the 5:54 am conversations (by conversation, I mean, him talking and me begging him to lower his voice while I bury my head in the pillow) about how I should know that Padme was Luke and Leah's mom and that Darth Vader was once Anakin and now Optimus Prime is defeating the Autobots... Or something like that.

Then there are the 2:45 pm conversations where out of no where I am bombarded with questions about how "volcane-oos" erupt or how Moses told the Pharoah to let his people go (Seriously, I'm not making this up).

Then there are the right before bed moments... where all is quiet. All is calm (ish). And "all" becomes gems... Nuggets of sweetness... conversations and questions that, (for lack of a better word), tickle me so that I could literally devour him up if eating him were an option. (Truth be told, I have actually tried to eat him).

Last night, before bedtime, literally as we're sitting down on his bedroom floor and opening "Miss Nelson is Missing."

J: Mommy, did it hurt your boobies when I drankED milk out of them?
Me: (Gulp) Um, not really. (LIE. LIE. LIE).
J: I'm so glad I'm not a mommy.
P and I try to contain our laughter.
Me: Why is that?
J: Because I'm just so glad I don't have to have a baby in my stomach and then have a baby come out of my... my... Pa--Pa--Pa--
Me: (Remembering our many "Pachina" stories): I get it Jonah.
J: Oh, women just have to do ALL the work.
NOW we are laughing.
Me: Oh, is that right?
J: Yah, daddies don't have to do anything.
Me: Some daddies do a lot.
J: Nope. Not really. All they do is hand the mommies the diaper.
Me: Change the diaper?
J: NO. They just HAND the diaper and the mommy changes it. Mommies do EVERYTHING.
Me: Well... yes. That is kind of true.
J: They have it the WORST.
Me: Yes. Yes... It's a lot of work.
J: How will I meet my mommy?
Me: Your mommy?
J: I mean, the mommy of my baby...
P: (Sotto to me) Well.. you could go on the internet...
Me: Funny.
J: Will I just meet her walking down the street?
Me: That's a possibility.
J: She will have to do all the work.
Me: Hmmm... Let's discuss that in 20 years.

November 15, 2012

THROWBACK THURSDAY: MY FAVORITE B&W PHOTO

My Nana and Papa on their wedding day, July 10, 1949.

Lots of love. Lots of passion. And one very skeptical looking father (my great grandfather) watching from the sidelines...

This is one of my favorite, and certainly most cherished black and white photos...


#ThrowbackThursday

November 12, 2012

RED TRICYCLE: DO GOOD, DO MORE!


It shouldn't take tragedies and disasters like Hurricane Sandy to remind us about helping others, but sometimes it does... I often think about how lucky I am... How much I have to be thankful for... Especially around the holidays, I tend to feel sentimental about this blessing... I'm surrounded by friends, family, and full of health. Lately I've been thinking about ways that I can give back to my world and my community and it is my goal to put my thoughts and efforts in to action over the next few months... Even if it's something small like bringing my boyfriends' clothes to GoodWill, I want and need to do something... and I intend to share my experience "doing good and doing more" with you...

Recently Red Tricycle told me about a project that they're involved with and in an effort to share and do better with my own community, I thought this was a good start to sharing good things:

Red Tricycle and Blue Shield of California have teamed up to spotlight local moms that are on a mission to promote health and wellness in their communities.  These ladies have inspired others to promote healthy, balanced and active lives—all the while balancing the needs of her own family.  (Not easy, we know!)  

Highlights include profiles of women like Nicole Dawes, the Founder and CEO of Late July Organic Snacks, who remains committed to providing healthy, organic snack foods to our kids and Stephanie and Beth (the moms behind OC Mommies) who put together a fundraising event called Trike 41, where over 100 toddlers rode tricycles to fundraise $10,000 for other kids their age fighting cancer.

But we know that there are many more moms who fly under the radar who are doing meaningful things for their community so Red Tri wants to find them!

Here's how you can help:
1.  Read about Moms who Make a Difference on Red Tricycle at www.redtri.com/kids/we-shield-moms and become inspired.
2.  Nominate yourselves or a friend in the We Shield Moms contest that launches on November 11th where you/they'll have the chance to win $5,000 grant to donate to the charity of your/their choice, $500 shopping spree and a family membership to local zoo or museum.  To enter, visit Blue Shield of California’s page on Facebook page after November 11th, Click HERE to Nominate or http://apps.facebook.com/weshieldmoms/tabs

As a bonus to say thanks to all the moms that are out there doing great things for the community, Red Tricycle is hosting a series of free playdates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.  The event line-up is here:  http://www.redtri.com/kids/we-shield-moms-1

This is a sponsored post.

October 29, 2012

eBAY: SELLING HIGHLIGHTS


If there's one thing I've discovered since I started selling on eBay just 9 short months ago, it's that there really is no one right way. There's no science. There's no secret. Some things just sell and some things just don't. It seems that the real key is timing. Like everything in life: timing is everything. And selling on eBay is certainly no exception to that rule.

For whatever reason, my timing was right on the money (no pun intended) this past month. I don't know what came over me, but I realized I was sitting on an electronic gold mine. Old computers, old camcorders and even old iPhones, I had a ton of hot ticket eBay items that could easily make me some extra money!  

First up, my iPhone 4. When I say it sold in less than 2 minutes, this is no exaggeration. I listed it with a "buy it now" of $200 and by the time I refreshed, it was sold. That was an instant high for sure. Then I listed my iPhone 3GS.... this was trickier... There were a ton of used iPhone 3GS listings ranging in price. I was tempted to take the "you have an instant offer" offer for $51 as the first two times I listed it, honestly, it did not sell. I really don't know why- as each time I listed them I even did a starting price at $0.99! (That made me a little nervous BUT I saw that is what most of them were starting at). Eventually, good 'ol universe timing kicked in and my listing at .99cents went up to $118! I'll take it!

If I get the courage, I might even list my computer. The average selling price of a used, 13" MacBook Pro in great condition is about $800. That will pretty much fun a brand NEW one. Sounds like a win, win to me!

Some other eBay Parent Panel highlights included interviews with top seller Tristen O'Brien, and high-end fashion consigners Mindy Loll and Dana Weinrot.  I am still very nervous about selling my clothes and shoes but now that I'm over what felt like an unknown in the world of selling electronics, I'll be listing something precious soon. Maybe. I might want to hold on to my Manolo Blahniks a liiiiiiiiitle bit longer. Metal studs are back in... They say. 

October 22, 2012

WHEN BLACK BOOTS GO BAD

Every woman has them. One amazingly perfect pair of boots. The kind of boots that zip right up... The kind of boots that fit your leg just right.... The kind of boots that go with everything and everyone... You can wear them up, you can wear them down... Comfortable, chic, they are your "go tos" from Fall to Spring. (Or in Los Angeles, whenever the eff the gods of weather decide to drop below 70). 

I had these boots. Er... I still have them. But they are gone, really. Something happened between last May and now and I don't even know who they are anymore. And frankly, without them, I'm a little lost.

OKAY, fine. Am I being dramatic? Maybe. But seriously, when I tell you I lived in these boots, I am not lying. 

Meet my Steve Madden riding boots. Purchased, oh... I'd say sometime in 2008. for about ... oh... $118 bucks... maybe. These were (up until yesterday) the kind of boots that got attention. Simple, black and totally nothing special, I am telling you, every. single. time. I wore them I would get stopped... ""Where did you get those boots? I love them."

"These old thiiiiings??? Oh, I've had them for years." Revealing they were Steve Madden was like telling someone your adorable blazer is from Target... which inevitable garners the  "Omg, So cute, who knew?!" reaction. 

Little did anyone know, that these boots had probably been repaired and resoled, oh, maybe 4 times (thereby costing five times more than their original price)... But it didn't matter. And frankly, I would have continued to resole forever. For no boot fit me like this. I thought we'd be together forever.

We took trips to the beach (I'm squatting, but trust me. I'm wearing them).



We dressed up like characters. (Guess which one is meeeeeeeeeee!)



But then it happened. While packing for my trip to Chicago with Lifetime Moms for the Mom 2 Moms Conference, I pulled my boots out... because, duh. Unlike the 98 degrees outside my apartment, it IS Fall in Chicago. And Fall means boots. And boots mean these. 

I try them on. 

I look in the mirror.

I'm baffled. 

Something is off. 

They look strange. 

They look different. 

It's feeling very "when good times go bad"ish and my once "everything, everywhere, everyone" boot looks dated. 

WHAT HAPPENED???? It's like they just stopped WORKING. Not even Tim Gunn could make it work.

When did these beloved boots go from being totally acceptable and even IN to looking like they've been run over by a truck carrying two tons of bad style????? 

SO, what I'm getting at here is:  I NEED NEW BOOTS.  I REALLY NEED NEW BOOTS.... Where do I even begin??

Thankfully, I have a fun new pair of ankle booties I saw on Piperlime (obsessed with the recs that Olivia Palermo makes) that I brought with me.... so for the time being (here in the land of true Autumn), I'm okay.

But when I get home, and life starts again, I'm going to be lost.

What am I getting at here with all this whining? WELL, the point is, like me, there are probably many of you that are holding on to shoes or clothing that you need to say "SEE YA" to in a major way.  And though I did a wardrobe overhaul about a year and a half ago, it might be time to do it again...

What are YOU holding on to that you need to say goodbye to? What will you replace it with? Tell me!


October 10, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: THE VIDEO GAME GLAZE

The intensity begins...


MOTOROLA WINE TASTING WRAP UP

You know what's fun? Drinking with friends. You know what's even more fun? Drinking with friends and eating ridiculously oooey, gooey grilled cheese sandwiches ... and ultimately having your friends tease you about  the cheese that inevitably ends up on your black blazer.... See exhibit A --->.

I've been amidst a crazy surge of work and life, but believe me, I haven't forgotten about the event I hosted in partnership with Motorola.  The event brought together some of my favorite LA pals and bloggers. Equipped with more wine than Bordeaux and Napa vineyards combined, we got together at LA's Corkbar to sample said wine, eat yummy apps, and play with Motorola's Photon Q.  This phone is a blogger and social media enthusiast's dream. The navigation is easy and the social media tools are fast. The PC-like keyboard with LED edge lighting and big screen making typing and tweeting a cinch... especially after several glasses of Chard... and Pinot... and Cab...

Huge thanks to friends Christina Simon of Beyond the Brochure, Diane Mizota (the Kate to My Alli) of Away We Grow, Matt Steiner of Launch Education, Sarah Maizes of Mommy Lite, Kathryn Gray of October Media Group for their support of #flirtywithqwerty... AND and of course, Motorola! It was a fun night!


For more information on the Photon Q, click here.

This is a sponsored post. 

September 27, 2012

STAR WARS: "BAD IS GOODER"

I realized sometime last year that even at age 4, there was already a language barrier between my son and me. Simply put: He is a boy. I am a girl. He speaks sports and Star Wars. I speak sensitivity and style. (And other things, too... I'm just trying to make a point though. So go with it).

At some point, in the last year or two, he was introduced to Luke Skywalker and all things Jedi and his world changed. Instead of grilling me about how a light bulb works or a vacuum sucks up dirt, at breakfast I am challenged to a discussion of how Darth Vader got his training and why the dark side is so "dark" after all. (Or something like that. Again, I don't even understand what he's saying).

Despite intense theater training at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, short of swinging around a light saber (or "light saver" as he refers to it) and making "throw the force" sounds, I SUCK at playing Star Wars. Refer to exhibit A below. In this world of make believe, "bad is gooder," "Obi was Kenobi," and I'm a clueless Jedi Knight.

September 23, 2012

WINE TASTING WITH MOTOROLA!

As a woman who loves some vino, and loves vino with friends, I was DELIGHTED when Motorola approached me to host a night of wine tasting. Um, okaaaay! 

On Thursday, September 27th, I will be hosting a small gathering with some of my favorite friends, Los Angeles bloggers, and digital influencers to sample some delicious wines and appetizers at a very cool and hip wine bar in LA and take a look at Motorola's Photon Q,  a 4G LTE QUERTY smartphone with scratch resistant glass (perfect for busy and clutsy, wine drinking moms like me).

I'll be tweeting from the event with #flirtywithqwerty so please check in on September 27, 7-10pm PST. (You are following me on twitter, aren't you?)

So grab a glass, and let's drink! (Note: hair might even get washed for this event. Oh, yes. Exciting. Can you say #flirtywithcleanhair?!)

This is is a sponsored post. 

September 21, 2012

eBay: Top Tips from eBay's "Celebrity-Owned" Consignor!


All in favor of extra cash, say "Aye!" (AYE!)  Since becoming a member of the eBay Parent Panel, I've started to consider how much extra cash I'm sitting on and doing nothing about. What I've learned in the past 9 months is that almost anything can be sold on eBay-- like ANYTHING. However, with the exception of a few items, when it comes to clothing and fashion, for me the question has always been: SHOULD I sell it? Should I sell my favorite Parker animal print dress that I bought for $253, buuuuuuut my boyfriend thinks I look like a pirate in....?  Should I sell my Manolo Blahniks that I wore three times (maybe), but I bought for... OY. (God knows how much I bought them for). 

Well, I connected with Dana Weinrot of Celebrity-Owned. Dana is a top-selling consignor on eBay with great ideas and tips for all sellers- from beginning to experienced. 

1) How did you get started selling on eBay and what was the first item you listed?
My husband was always so enamored with eBay since its launch and believed it was such a great platform to unload personal items on. For many months, he encouraged me to try to sell just one item from my closet to see how the process worked. After many, “no, it seems like to much work and so overwhelming!” replies... i finally gave it a try.  After listing my first item, An iconic Prada nylon backpack, I truly saw the value of listing my “trash”

2) Where do you work from? How do you manage all your inventory?
I operate my business from an office. I went from my first office 8 years ago in a tiny 200 square foot space to now occupying 2500 sq ft. We use a listing tool called Blackthorn which also manages all our consignors so we know which items belong to which client.

3)  Where do most of the items you sell come from? Is there a minimum you require as far as cost of item? What about label? What would be off limits?
All the items I sell come from clients all around the country. They are all pretty much word of mouth. Friends of friends of Friends. Usually less then 6 degrees of separation.  I try to accept items that will not sell for less then $50. I tell clients most brands from Tory Burch on up are game but there are still some brands I will say no to that do not have strong resale value.  Pants, jeans, suits, evening wear and wedding gowns are my off limit items as they really are hard sells since they have usually be altered a bunch.

4) Do you ever sell an item that you can't believe someone would sell? As a lover of fashion, what would be something that you would never sell on eBay- or does anything go?  
Anything goes for me. I don’t judge and I personally don’t hang on to much of anything if I'm not using it.  Oddly enough my personal rule of thumb is that if I'm going to purchase something over $1000, it has to have resale value as I will generally sell it within 6-8 months of owning it.   Since I know the top resale brands, I tend to only buy those.... Recycling items quick keeps your closet fresh and your credit card statements subsidized... since I buy and sell frequently, I don't feel as guilty about my big ticket purchases.

5) A pair of Manolo Blahniks, in black with strappy studs (I'm going to include pic in my post). They're about 3 years old and have been worn about 3 or 4 times. Sell or not to sell... and how much?
Sell indeed! Why keep something you have not work in 3 years. Not that you have held on to them so long, resale value has decreased. That coupled with Manolo Blahnik not having top resale value anyways, you are probably only looking at a resale value of approx $150.

6) If you can't move or sell an item, what options do you offer customers?
Everything eventually sells at the right price. So I hang on to our items and keep them live in my eBay store for many many months and continue on lowering prices every couple months until you find the right customer. You never know who is looking for what and when. So it's amazing that you can have an item listed for 4 months at $150 and then all of a sudden lower it to $130 and they sell the next day. That's what keeps things exciting for me.  Seeing what other people are willing to pay for these items really keeps it fun!

7) What makes CelebrityOwned stand out more than other designer clothing/ re-sale stores on eBay?  
First, our inventory is spectacular and there is something for everyone. We have 6000 items live all at fixed prices for anyone around the world to buy at anytime. Then, our customer service is second to none! I pride my business on that as I know how important it is to respond to customers in a timely manner and make them feel like they are really be treated well. In addition, we ship right away, so customers get to enjoy their items right away.  Most customers are shocked how fast they get their items!  I truly believe this is what makes us stand out and our feedback on eBay speaks to this as well. And lastly, I believe our prices are fantastic!

8) Your top tip for new sellers or people that just want to clean their closets and make some cash is ____?
Do your_research and_know what your item is worth before you list. Always look at completed items for the same one you are listing and see what they have sold for in the past.


This is a sponsored post.

September 18, 2012

BABY BOOK

Yesterday morning, J pulled out his baby book from his book shelf.  "Why is it empty, mommy?" Speechless, I shrugged. I had no good reason for the barren pages in the baby book (aka. the requisite memory book carefully crafted by only good mothers).  It appeared that I started to fill everything out... His birthdate, weight, family statistics... even details on his first words and foods. But at 15 months, I stopped. No pictures, and no hand or foot prints.

"Can we do it now, Mommy? Can I do a footprint now?"

Luckily, he caught me in a moment of pure frazzle. School was out. I had a ton of work to do. I had very little coffee in my system. And back up adult help was hours away.

I put the baby book (with the welcome home sign my mom made still inside) on the floor. With an almost size 12 shoe and dried up ink, I could see that 5 years ago, this project would have been a lot easier.


A few minutes and lots of paper towels later, we had a size 11.5 foot representing our house.



Guess it's never too late to capture a memory... and feel like a good mommy.

September 5, 2012

I LIKE WHAT I LIKE


"I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real; if it's out of the can then nothing." -- 
Sally Albright, When Harry Met Sally

It's official. I am who I am. According to all things science, my brain (the prefrontal cortex, to be exact) was completely formed and developed at the age of 25... This is the part of the brain responsible for decision making, inhibiting impulses and helping to execute plans and organize behavior. Though, as a Virgo, it's safe to say my thought process has had a lifetime of being overly organized and I've never entirely allowed extreme impulses to run free (eating leftover chocolate cake, SATC Miranda-style, not withstanding). The point is, as my 36th birthday approaches next week, it's now totally safe to say, my shit is sealed. I am fully baked.

When I first saw "When Harry Met Sally" in 1989, as a 13 year old, I knew I loved the writing and I knew that someday I would HAVE to live in New York... But I didn't know that Meg Ryan's character Sally Albright and I would have that much in common.... She seemed anal. Uptight. Particular. According to Harry, she was the worst kind of high maintenance because she thinks she's low maintenance:

Sally: I don't see that.
Harry: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know; high maintenance.

Look, I don't think *I* am necessarily "high maintenance," (close friends and family, you may insert your laugh/eye roll here), buuuut like Sally, I do like things the way I like them. Much too my detriment (and probably those who I'm closely connected to too), I'm a perfectionist. Can it be exhausting? Yeah... Can it be aggravating? I guess... Can it ruin a perfectly good moment because I get lost in the minutia of a detail, a point, a word? Um, okay. Suuuure... BUT, I guess it's part of the package. I am who I am. Like Sally, it may take me an hour to order a sandwich, but the good news is, all that time spent getting it right will result in one happy customer. And let me tell you, a happy Jenny is a happy world.

So there's that.

The point is, while the die has been cast on the genetic, and certainly, zodiac chart fronts, I realize there is always room for improvement. In fact, this year, I'm going to focus my energy on learning to trust in the unknowns.... From how a disagreement might get resolved to how my steak will come out at a restaurant (without me practically drawing the server a diagram). I'm going to try to not over-analyze and think through every situation and let things just be.... Well, I mean, most of the time. Let's not get completely crazy here. Someone has to keep things in order.  

eBAY: Anyone Interested in $25,000 Cash?

eBay is celebrating the 100 millionth listing on a mobile device with a gigantic $25,000 sweepstakes!!!

Why: As we know, parents are constantly on-the-go between soccer practice, carpool, errands and never-ending household chores. As a member of the eBay Parent Panel, over the past several months, I've discussed how selling unused household items on eBay, is an easy way to earn extra cash to fund new items, activities or splurging on a much needed massage... However, let's face it. Time is precious. It can feel a little daunting to select items in your house, take pics, post on eBay, think about shipping, etc. etc. etc. I get it. Believe me. I get it. BUT, there's a new eBay mobile app that saves a ton of time. It allows you to snap a picture from your phone or iPad and list an item within 60 seconds. Before you leave the room your item is already accessible to millions of potential buyers worldwide.

How to enter: Anyone who lists an item between Sept. 5-14 via the eBay Mobile app is entered to win $25,000! New listers need to follow THIS EXACT LINK to get registered and download the app.

How to win: The winner will be selected by eBay and notified within 6 weeks. The money (as in $25,000 CASH!) will be deposited in the winner's PayPal account. It's a free sign up if you don't have it. Here are a few details if you're not familiar with how PP works. DETAILS.

Okay, so here's what you can try to do do win...
·         Download the app to list an item and get entered to win: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-158319-2357-1/4?mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fpages.ebay.com%2Fsellerbration
·         Want tips on how to price an item, take a great photo, ship the item without leaving home, and more? Visit the quick start guide: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-158319-2357-0/4?mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fpages.ebay.com%2Fsellerinformation%2Fhowtosell%2Fquickstartguide.html

I don't know about you, but I'm once again motivated. I have a ton of things that I bought for the summer and barely wore...plus a slew of clothes my son outgrew. Done and done! With $25,000 I'm thinking I could afford more than one massage. (Can you say week long spa vacay????) 


This is a sponsored post. I am a member of the eBay Parent Panel and am compensated for my contributions.