Grab your beverage of choice, friend, and sit with me for a minute, because I’ve got some news to share with you about some exciting changes happening with my family. Goodness knows I’ve got my iced coffee by my side as I take deep breaths and write this all out. After all, announcing something makes it much more real, right?
Affiliate links included at no cost to you. All thoughts and opinions are my own as always. I like to keep it real!
I’ve been shopping with ThredUp, an online gently used clothing boutique for women and children, for several years now. I shop there far more frequently than I shop anywhere else except for the grocery store and Amazon. Until recently, it’s where I bought probably 90% of my clothing.
But I’ve never wanted to send in a bag to sell because I have heard rumors circulating that the pay is very disappointing for the clothing and that ThredUp seems unreasonably picky. In short, I didn’t want to get a bad taste in my mouth for a company I love so much so I just kept trekking as a shopper and not as a seller there.
But after many, MANY requests from readers to please give it a go and report back, I decided to just go for it. So in April of this year I requested a “clean out” bag from ThredUp. There is no fee to request the bag, and there is no up front fee to send it back filled with your stuff you no longer want. There is, however, a $4.99 processing fee that is taken out of whatever they offer you once they go through your bag. If they don’t offer you at least $4.99 my understanding is that they waive the outstanding fee so that you don’t owe them money, but you won’t actually be collecting money, either.
Wait a second…why wouldn’t you AT LEAST be earning $4.99 for a big bag of clothing??? Well, let me tell you all the reasons based on the experience I just had.
- The warnings are true: ThredUp is RIDICULOUSLY picky. I sent in 33 items that had already been edited by me for stains, being “worn” or just being out of style. I sent in Gymboree stuff new with tags that my kids just didn’t want to wear. Those NWT items were rejected if that gives you an idea of how unreasonably picky they can be. I had 15 items, in total, accepted for sale. That means that I had 18 items that ThredUp is going to donate. They are going to get the donation credit, and not me. I knew going in that it was a risk I was going to take, but I am still really disappointed with the result as I thought I had done a decent job of pre-screening. I was expecting to get around 75% of my items selected.
- The pay is SOOOOO low. For 12 of the items I sent in, they offered an up front payment of $7.63 (but then $4.99 got taken away for processing, leaving me with $2.64). This payout isn’t itemized by item, so I don’t really know what percentage I’m being offered, but it is LOW. It comes out to .63/item before the processing fee just to give you an idea. I could have made more per item at a garage sale! Already 3 of the 12 pieces have sold and ThredUp has made $23.98, with 9 more items from me still left to sell. I know this because you can see exactly what they list it for in your seller history and when it sells.
- They will offer things on consignment. This is another thing I just didn’t realize. If they want to buy your item but have concerns that it might take a little while to sell (for example, you send in something long sleeved that gets processed in June) they won’t pay you up front, but will list the item on consignment. You still get a crappy pay out (usually 10%, though it looks like they will offer me 20% for a blazer) but you can’t have the money until it sells. So that is another $6.00 that I can earn but I can’t have it right now and I’m not holding my breath because it might take a few months to sell. So already ThredUp is making out like a bandit, giving just 10% of what they will sell an item for to the seller, and then they won’t even take a tiny risk if they think it might not sell until the weather shifts and go ahead and pay you for the items. LAME, y’all.
- The wait for your pay is LONG. I sent the bag in late April. It was processed on June 15th (it was supposed to be June 13th but whatever) and I was offered not enough money for an iced coffee at Starbucks on June 16th. That’s a really long time to wait for less than $3, friends.
I let go of everything I put in that bag, emotionally, and declared it a worthy experiment to do for myself and for my readers. And it was certainly much easier to stuff a bag with clothes than to set up a garage sale or tag items for consignment. But now that I’ve seen what the return is (not even worth the time I had to spend waiting in line at the post office and the gas it took to get there!), I will NEVER EVER send clothes to ThredUp again. Instead, I will try out Swap.com next and report back on how that works out (they pay a much higher commission at 30%), and I will also continue to take clothes to my favorite local thrift store. I do feel bad now that all those clothes didn’t stay local and help support a nonprofit that does good work in the community. I bet the clothing I had in that bag could have made at a bare minimum $60 for Northside Neighborhood House. It was not at all worth giving that up for $2.64 in my pocket. 🙁
Have you ever sold to ThredUp? What was your experience like? Did you do better than me or about the same? Ever shopped with them? If not, my link will get you $10 to use on your first purchase. At least the shoppers can get a good deal, if not the sellers!
I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, and as such receive complimentary streaming services. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you ever wished you could plop your booty on the couch and watch Netflix for a few hours, but your to do list is out of control and you know you simply have to take care of some “adulting” in order to have your relaxing time?
Well….sometimes I combine those two endeavors with great success. It only works with certain combinations of chores and shows, but when I make that match it can make me feel so much happier about having to take care of a chore because I’m entertained while I do it.
I have a list of “easy on the eyes” shows that I reserve for just these purposes, and no, that doesn’t refer to shows with gorgeous characters I can’t take my eyes off. On the contrary; these are shows I can easily follow even if I need to take my eyes off the screen momentarily because the visuals are nice to watch, but not absolutely critical.
Often I choose sitcoms where I have gotten to know the characters a bit (so I’m usually through the first season, at least) and I even know the key locations where most of the filming takes place. That makes it much easier to follow along if I can only listen and not look for a period of time.
Currently I’m through Frasier using this method, and I did the same for Cheers and for Friends. So what am I doing while “sort of” watching these shows?
Typically I’m doing one of the following chores or self-care items:
- sorting socks (we only put together socks about twice a month and knock it out in one sitting)
- folding/hanging up clothes
- loading/unloading dishwasher (this is where I make great use of my laptop or my phone so I can have a screen in the kitchen)
- sweeping/mopping the kitchen and dining room (we are VERY skilled at making the floors look disgusting within 24 hours of the last cleaning)
- painting my nails
If there’s something on Netflix that requires more of my undivided attention (Sherlock, Orange is the New Black, for example) then I’ll at least try to watch while wearing a face mask or even a hair mask.
I’ve got to feed my family, and they’ve got to have clean clothing to wear, so I make the best of these chores that never end by enjoying a fun show. I suppose it’s the 21st century equivalent of whistling while you work. 😉
What chores or self-care items do you like to knock out while watching Netflix? Give us some additional ideas in the comments!
Thanks to Pampers at Sam’s Club for partnering with me for today’s post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Given that my family of 4 lives in a 1300 square foot home, you may be surprised to hear that we have a Sam’s Club membership. How can we possibly have room for bulk purchases? Well, it’s true that we can’t buy anything and everything in large quantities, but there are certain things that make SO much sense to buy in bulk.
If you are currently expecting, then I’d like to offer some advice: diapers are one of those “smart” bulk purchases! When I was pregnant with my first, I spent months hunting down sales and coupons so that I could stock up on diapers at a lower price. I did a really nice job and didn’t have to go to the store for more diapers for at least the first 3 months of Darah’s life. Stocking up took a lot of time (I worked on it week by week for 6 months!) but made life so much easier once baby was on the scene.
When I was pregnant with my second and had a 2-year-old on my hands (not to mention HORRIBLE morning sickness that lasted 26 weeks), making weekly trips to various stores for deals was completely out of the question. As it turns out, though, there was a much easier way to go about this stocking up business all along: I just needed to head to Sam’s Club.
Right now Sam’s Club is offering $10 off a purchase of 2 Pampers diapers or wipes items, or $18 off a purchase of 3 items (and there’s not a single coupon you need to clip to take advantage of this offer!). These savings, of course, are on top of the already excellent price you pay for buying in bulk through Sam’s Club. I went this week to take advantage of the offer so I could bring some helpful items to my friend and neighbor who just had her third baby. I like giving friends who use disposable diapers Pampers simply because they work SO well, and I remember them being extra soft on baby’s skin.
When you are in the midst of transitioning to a family of 3 (or 4, or 5, etc.) the last thing you need is to reach for diapers or wipes and not find any. Stocking up is the way to go, and you don’t have to clip coupons and chase sales for months to save big. Just head over to Sam’s Club to get stocked up on Pampers. You can even take advantage of Scan & Go and Club Pickup which allows you to bypass the register and make this stop on your errand list lightning fast. My mom once gave me the advice that you have to choose whether you save time or money, but not both, and I’m happy to report that at Sam’s Club, you can do both!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of P&G – Pampers. The opinions and text are all mine.
Thanks to the team at Sears for providing today’s guest post. I hope you find it helpful!
How to Prevent your Garage from Overheating
An overheated garage can cause several issues. The first is a hot and uncomfortable car, and the second can even be potential damage to different items or chemicals stored in this area. Luckily, there are some simple ways to keep your garage at a comfortable temperature during the summer.
People often think about insulation as being mainly for winter to keep the cold air out. However, properly insulating your garage can also prevent warm air from entering as well. The idea behind insulation is to seal any potential openings that outside air can use to get into a room, so it can be as useful in the summer as it is in the winter. Insulating the walls, ceiling, and garage door itself can keep your possessions from getting too hot as the temperatures rise.
READ MORE: What is the Point to Garage Door Insulation?
Get Cool Air to Circulate
Opening the garage door just a few inches, or maybe even a foot, can allow some air to enter the area and cool things down a few degrees. Placing a fan near the door as well facing into the garage can cool down the entering air even more before it disperses around the room. It is important not to open the door too much, as this may increase the temperature particularly if the sun is facing the entrance to the garage.
Allow Warm Air to Escape
It is a rule of physics that hot air rises, so placing a vent in the ceiling of the garage can give any hot air that has made it in a way out. This vent will let warmer air escape so that your garage can stay at a nice, cold temperature throughout the summer.
Affiliate links included at no cost to you. I only promote what I love!
Friends, now is the PERFECT time to treat yourself to some truly interesting classes to help you build skills you want to have, or just to explore something new.
Why during the summer? Well, because it’s FREE!!! Skillshare, an online resources LOADED with incredible courses is offering 2 months of membership for $0.00. Take as many classes as you want during this time and pay absolutely nothing. If you’ve had your fill of awesome by the end of the trial, simply cancel, no problem. Want to keep going? Then it’s only $10/month, which is ridiculously cheap for all that you can learn (but free is even cheaper, of course!).
I personally have taken graphic design and blogging courses, photography and videography courses. But I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s available. There are cooking classes, web development classes, entrepreneurship classes, and so, so much more. Classes are in video format and can be worked through completely at your leisure.
I know you’re already working hard to keep summer slide from happening to your kiddos. Here’s your chance to keep it from happening to you, too, and for FREEEEEE!!!! 🙂
Thanks to The Motherhood and Duncan Hines for partnering with me on today’s post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from friends and family about our upcoming big family vacation to Switzerland. The most common question I get is, “Are you excited?” I always answer with, “Yes!*” but there’s a big honkin’ asterisk next to that statement that most people don’t notice.
You see, I’m an introvert (only a slight introvert, but an introvert nonetheless), and throughout these 3 weeks there will be 10 family members (5 adults and 5 kids ages 2, 5, 6, 7, 8) living together in tight quarters. The personal space that introverts need to recharge will be very hard to come by, and I know it is going to be challenging. I get my energy from having quiet time to myself. It’s not that I prefer being alone to being with others; it’s simply how I recharge.
So what’s an introvert to do during the trip of a lifetime that’s made possible by not spending loads of money on private accommodations? She makes a plan, of course!
Here are 5 things I will be doing throughout our trip to ensure that I’m not running on fumes, mentally and emotionally.
1. Early to bed, early to rise. I am a morning person, and I take FULL advantage of this fact by waking up earlier than everyone in my house (at a minimum 1 hour earlier, but it can be as much as 3 hours earlier). I do this at home and knowing that I’ll be around 5 kids for 3 weeks, you better believe I’ll be doing this in Switzerland. I know that the kids will wake up early and they are ready to play and to ask for the nearest adult’s attention pretty much immediately (that’s how my kids act, at least), and in my experience, if I have had a good stretch of time to myself first, I’m ready to interact and give the kids what they need. People ask about how in the world I can get up at 4 am, and it’s honestly not that hard if you are disciplined enough to be asleep no later than 9 pm. I’ll miss out on some late night chats with the adults, I know, but I’ll be much more fun to be around if I follow this schedule.
2. Have a Ritual to Accompany “Me Time.” For me, this means having an iced coffee in the morning before I’ve spoken a single word to another human being. I also often will have my breakfast to myself. I typically do another version of this ritual right after lunch and it includes a scrumptious warm treat, like Duncan Hines Perfect Size for 1. I love this little treat because it comes together lightning fast (in about a minute!) and with no mess, as you put the whole thing together in one dish! The recipe calls for 3 Tbsp of water, but my tip is to add 3 Tbsp of coffee to take the cake to the next level. And a little colorful frosting and sprinkles never hurt anybody. Unicorn cake for 1 made in under 2 minutes: how perfect is that, friends?
It’s the perfect warm treat to enjoy by yourself and it really helps me gear up for the second half of the day. I’ll be packing these travel-friendly mixes so that I can have something quick and convenient to enjoy for the mid-day reboot. I’ve been enjoying Chocolate Lover’s Cake flavor, but did you know that they have 18 different varieties? It will be hard to narrow down the list to determine which ones will come with me!
3. Volunteer to Be Helpful. I will be volunteering often to be the head chef for lots of meals and to work on laundry, and to run to the grocery store down the street. I’ll be doing this, first and foremost, because it’s polite to do my part to keep the household running, but also because these are typically solo activities that can offer little pockets of personal time. Look for those little opportunities to help everyone out while helping yourself in the process.
4. Have a Chill Zone. In such close quarters, it will be unrealistic for me to declare, for example, that the room I’m staying in is a quiet zone. That’s just too much space to declare off limits to everyone else. But we can create a fort in a corner of the room that can serve that purpose! I’ve also got my own kids in mind as I think about giving a quiet area, because they will eventually get overstimulated, too, and will just need some quiet time, either by themselves or one-on-one with a parent. Even if you can’t carve out a permanent quiet space on your vacation, definitely seek out a place for calm, quiet interaction (or no interaction) each and every day.
5. Earplugs, yo. Earplugs are little treasures to me, and I honestly don’t understand why everyone else hasn’t fallen madly in love with them. I wear them when I sleep because I’m a light sleeper, and they help SOOOO much. But I also wear them during my morning quiet time (I’m wearing them as I type this, in fact!). They simply serve as a stimulation blocker and give me a period of time each day where noises are truly at a minimum. I suppose being an introvert who is at home with 2 kids has really increased my appreciation for silence, and earplugs help me get a little bit of silence each day.
I hope I’ve helped you think of some ways to carve out the “me time” that you need while vacationing with a group of people, and if you are an extrovert, I hope I’ve offered a little insight into how to help the introverts you know and love be their best selves. I hope blissful vacation days await you, along with decadent Duncan Hines treats!
My girls are SOOOO into ice cream these days. I’m sure the fact that it’s hot outside isn’t hurting things. But they ask for ice cream as their special treat every single day. They wait at the window for the ice cream truck (that only seems to hit up our neighborhood once every 2 weeks in the summer). And they love to get to play ice cream shop with their stuffed animals and dolls.
There’s something very big about ice cream to the girls in the 5-8 year-old range, so I thought I’d put together some great ice cream gift ideas. I hope it goes without saying that boys might also enjoy many of these toys (I only have girls, though, so that’s my point of reference). These are a sure bet if you are invited to a birthday party and have no clue what to get the child in this age range. And they also can bring about a lot of extra fun during the summer.
Affiliate links may be included at no cost to you. Prices listed at time of publication and are subject to fluctuation.
My girls are playing with this fun toy that Playmobil sent us on the daily. It pairs so well with the school house and bus that they have. The girls take their students on field trips to see the ice cream man. Love it! Some assembly is required but it is designed for kids to be able to do, which adds to the fun of the toy! Highly recommend. $24.99
I’ve heard fantastic things about this product. It gives kids the ability to make their own ice cream…if they are willing to put in some sweat equity. About 25 minutes of active play is required for the device to work and produce ice cream. Love the idea of earning the treat! $30.42
This is something my girls would totally flip over. A soft, squishy ice cream treat that will never melt! Would be cute as a throw pillow and will also get played with as a two. Win/win! $44.99
I love the creativity and the price point! Kids can built a little ice cream shop and then break out their figurines for imaginative play. $5.99
Wouldn’t these be perfect to use at a sleepover? They’re also just fun to have for dessert time or even for pretend play time. Very fun and festive way to make ice cream even more special. $12.99
My girls are still doing homework all summer long, but these would make all that practice work more fun! I love that it comes with 48 erasers; these are perfect to set aside as party favors or to just give out to friends on the first day of school. $7.56
Calico Critters are still pretty big with both of my girls, so a new play set to add to the collection would be just wonderful! $34.99
This would be the Cadillac of ice cream toys, for sure. Lots of fun for the kid with a big imagination. Would be fun to set up next to a lemonade stand! $149.00
Round beach towels are all the rage and how stinkin’ cute is this one? Perfect for a summer at the beach or pool! $27.99
How adorable is this?!?! This is a craft kit for making lip gloss, but all while you run a pretend ice cream stand. Too cute for words! $26.49
If it’s time for a begging change it doesn’t get much sweeter than this set! $49.99
I had something similar to this as a child (I think it was a 50’s soda shop for Play-Doh) and I played with it constantly! Would love to snag this for my girls. $14.99
Super cute and perfect to keep out on a table for a few days for the whole family to work on bit by bit. $9.89
My girls have a play kitchen and this would make a great addition. They would love the cash register, too! $12.95
So perfect for drawing or coloring time. My girls adore their scented markers so I know these would be a big hit. $10.09
My girls could definitely use something new to play with in the tub. Why not make it something useful, like a sponge? $4.43
I mean, c’mon. Pair ’em with #9 for poolside perfection! $5.24
These pillow crafts are some of my girls’ very favorite craft things to do. I very highly recommend them because they really get your kids to concentrate! $13.31
I would have wanted this toy SO BADLY as a child. Who am I kidding? I still want it! Looks like so much fun and it’s got fantastic reviews! Makes “ice cream” from bubble foam while you play in the bath $24.99.
So perfect for the curious child. Make your own ice cream, learn about the science behind how it is made, and come up with your own flavor combinations. $20.45
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CatsLoveNutrish #CollectiveBias
If you spend more than 30 seconds on my blog then you will learn about my two awesome daughters, Darah and Layah, because I write about them pretty much nonstop. But you might have to dig a little deeper to learn about the other 3 girls who take up residence in the House of M. This post is all about my fur babies and some things we do to help them stay active and vibrant. If you haven’t already met them, here’s your chance.
Ginger: Ragdoll, age 13, with us 3 months, wannabe alpha kitty and MAJOR cuddle bug.
Ruby: Mackerel Tabby, age 1 1/2, with us 1 year, runt of our makeshift litter, patiently awaiting her turn to rule.
So as you can see, we have 2 senior cats and one young adult kitty. Even though they delight in hissing at her, Ruby is so helpful for Ginger and Hattie because as a younger cat with lots of energy and curiosity, she helps keep the older cats active. It’s not unusual for Ruby to start chasing a toy and for her actions to inspire the granny kitties to join in on the hunt.
To keep our indoor only cats active, we’ve purchased loads of cat toys over the years. In many instances, one of our little lionesses (usually Hattie) has broken the toy within 5 minutes (especially if there’s string involved…chewing through string is pretty much Hattie’s favorite pastime). So now we try to offer DIY cat toys as much as possible. Honestly, it’s a fun challenge for our kids to create new toys that the cats will enjoy and it’s much more friendly on our wallets. The cat toy for today’s tutorial, for example, is entirely made of found objects in the home and is something younger kids can create on their own!
DIY Cat Ball and String Toy
- 1 toilet paper cardboard tube
- Yarn or string
Step 1. Give your toilet paper roll a bit of a squish in the middle so that it’s easier to cut.
Step 2. Cut the cardboard tube into 4 round strips, roughly 1/2 inch wide each (no need to stress over it…just eyeball it!). You will have some leftover roll, just FYI.
Step 3. Put the pieces together to form a sphere. Begin by making a cross like this:
Then add 2 more pieces so it looks like this:
Step 4. Tie a bit of string around all the pieces to help hold them together. You can either cut off the string beyond the knot for the toy to be just a ball, or you can leave a long string on there to make the ball something that the cats can chase with your help.
Now let the wild rumpus start!
In addition to providing fun enrichment opportunities, we also make sure that the fuel we give the cats in their food bowls is designed to promote health and vitality. Our latest find is Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe. Right after a fierce “hunting” session with the toys they love to get to eat, and this is a product that I feel good about offering and that all 3 of them (and let me tell you, that’s not an easy thing to find!).
Ginger, our most recent addition, is the world’s toughest judge of cat food. She is EXTREMELY selective and we are also 99% sure that her previous owner just fed her human food, so even though she’s been with us for 3 months, now, we continue to struggle to get her excited about cat food. I think Nutrish Indoor Complete is a winner for her because the #1 ingredient is something humans also eat: real, U.S. farm-raised chicken! It also contains real salmon. This kitty knows the difference between “the good stuff” and imitations! I like that Nutrish Indoor Complete is specially formulated to meet the needs of adult indoor cats (1 year or older), especially concerning weight, digestion and immunity. Additionally, there are no ingredients from China, as that can be a source of concern in terms of quality.
We found this product at our local Walmart, but you can also find it online at Chewy.com, Amazon.com or Jet.com. If you are headed out to a store to find a bag for your feline friends, be sure to print this online coupon for $2 off Nutrish Indoor Complete! You can print it 2 times and you have 30 days from the time you print to redeem it. 🙂
One final thing I really love about this brand: a portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue. As of December 2016, this organization has donated more than $17.5 million dollars to pet charities and other organizations that are working for the greater good of animals. All 3 of our fur babies came from animal shelters, and we have benefited tremendously from the love and fun these animals have had to offer. We are so grateful the shelters exist to offer a safe environment while they wait for their forever families. I like supporting companies that give back in meaningful ways!
I’d love to hear about how your cats respond to the fun DIY cat toy and to Nutrish Indoor Complete! Get your coupon and gather your supplies, and let me know how it all turns out!