Jul 23, 2013
Hello my fellow warm fuzzy feelings, I'm here to say that I'm taking a couple months off from the computer. I'm unplugging. Taking a break from blogging, email, Facebook, & all that jazz.
I look forward to coming back with some fresh perspective & happy hands in the fall. My hands have been hurting as of late so I need to give them the rest they deserve. By putting the computer away for a while, I, unfortunately, won't be reading my fellow bloggers words in that time but keep up the great work, ladies! Sing your voice loud for all to hear.
Thank you to any & all that stop by my wary fuzzy space in the meantime. Feel free to poke around the years of words & photos that I've collected here.
Until next time...
Don't forget to have a great day on purpose!
PS- Thank you always to Mr. A & my mom for their incredible support & encouragement.
Jul 7, 2013
Some household projects just make you want to lash out irrationally.
Have you ever tried to hang a curtain rod?!?
We've done it before. Yet, somehow every time we proceed to have at it again we forget how much it sucked, how the brackets are designed to be in the drill's way, & how you wonder how crappy it would look if you just stapled the darn curtains up. This last curtain we hung (ok, halfway hung before something came up) came with such obscure hardware that I figured the guy who designed it had just been fired so this design was his big F U to the company. Thanks, dude. Really.
Forty minutes later...
Me: You're never going to want to hang another curtain rod as long as you live, are you?
Mr. A: Absolutely not.
Cue me laying down next to the curtains draped over the couch & whispering, "He doesn't mean it. He's just frustrated."
Mr. A: Did you just talk to the curtains?
Me: Yes. I did.
Now, for a project that won't make you want to lose your damn mind, here is a free printable that I created for the loo!
You can download it here, print it, frame it, & spend your time singing Outkast's So Fresh, So Clean rather than wanting to throw tools across the room. Easy as that!
Don't forget to have a great day on purpose!
Jul 4, 2013
Adventures in Craigslist-ing, Example #21
Me: Was the futon ever exposed to smoke? I have to ask since I'm allergic.
Seller: No, it never has.
Me: Wonderful! We live nearby, may we come by tonight to look at it?
Seller: I already sold it earlier.
It's moments like those when you look up & try to hunt down the hidden camera, because that conversation couldn't possibly have just happened. But alas, some of the Craigslist bulbs turn out to be a bit dim.
On the bright side, things will eventually work out if you stay persistent! When I first started Craigslist-ing years ago, Mr. A & I needed dining room chairs so I accepted the challenge to find some for a bargain. (Or four different chairs a la Monica Geller's table would have pleased me just fine!) Then, I went months without even getting responses from emails that I sent sellers, much less making a deal with one. I've come a long way in my CL [I'm going to use CL for Craigslist because I can see the proverbial smoke coming out of my Spellcheck's ears right now] prowess -both as a buyer & a seller- so, if you're new to the arena or would like a lil' crash course, I'd like to pass on some of the lessons & tricks I've learned so far.
This is where I could tell you to own a truck & haul ass to the address provided for that "Curb Alert! Free Items" listing, then you could say "Thanks, Captain Obvious." But tips like that are too on the nose, let's try some others, shall we?
> If you're on the hunt for something in particular, it's time to stalk CL. (There's a third-party iPhone app that's scooper duper helpful!) Items (& rentals for that matter) on CL can be sold within minutes or an hour of being listed. But don't be discouraged, tons of prospective sales fall through so make that offer & get yourself on their list.
> Explore! Sometimes it's wise to explore multiple categories. I once found a futon under the electronics tab. Why? Because a very smart seller knew a futon would appeal to a guy playing video games in his man cave. (But more on that below.) Or you can enter words in the search box if you're looking for something in particular. Just be sure to search for it a few different ways. For example, some people say futon, others say convertible sofa. For fun sometime, check out other categories to get a feel for what they offer. I clicked on "Materials" once & that's how we scored a sixteen-pane bay window from a local historical home that was being updated. For $20. With free delivery. That gorgeous beauty is going to make a beautiful picture frame!
> Don't be afraid to negotiate, even if the ad doesn't say OBO = Or Best Offer. Most people list their goods at higher price to allow for a negotiation cushion anyhow. My rule of thumb, and this mall seems ballsy to you, is to make my first offer at about 40% off. If that doesn't fly, & the negotiations go back & forth, I usually still come out with a discount of say 20% off. This goes for large items too! We snagged our current sofa for 48% off. How? Because it doesn't hurt to ask! Out of the twelve things we've purchased off CL, we've only paid the full listed price for one.**
> If it's a steal, skip the negotiations. If the item is priced-to-have-no-trouble-at-all-selling then you most likely be outbid by making a lower offer.**
> When making contact (either via email or telephone) just be honest & be you. Tell your story. Like us for instance, when we were starting to furnish our new apartment, I leveled with people & told them we spent a lot of money moving here from another state so we were looking to furnish our place on a tight budget. It gives them a story to go along with your offer. And, bonus, if they connect with a part of your story, you may even move your way to the top of the heap.
> If corresponding through email, leave your contact phone number as well! And if you have texting abilities, let them know! Tons of people prefer to text rather than negotiate over the phone because it's less awkward.
> Sign your correspondence with your first name. It establishes rapport.
> End with sentiments like "Thank you for your time & consideration." And include leading statements like "I look forward to hearing from you." It plants an assumptive seed that they will contact you back.
> Be attentive & prompt with your replies. Deals can come & go very quickly. If there are multiple offers on their table, they may pass over you if you haven't checked your email/phone in 8 hours. (You don't have to check it when you're sleeping of course. It's safe to say they're sleeping too!)
> Mention a pick up arrangement. Here is where having a truck with make you the leader of the pack since you can suggest a specific pick up time in your initial correspondence. But for folks like us & Mr. A, we have to arrange our schedules with our truck friends' & with the seller's. And that is a lot of balls to juggle. But have no fear, you can express intent to pick up even without having specifics by saying something like "Hopefully we can arrange our truck friend's schedule to pick it up at the earliest possible convenience for you!" Sure, it's a bit vague but it's a lot more enthusiastic than "Hey, is the sofa still for sale? Thanks."
> Listen to your gut!! If you're corresponding & get a cold creepy feeling (the polar opposite of a warm fuzzy feeling) then call it quits. Mr. A & cancelled mere hours before we were scheduled to buy/pick up something because something felt off. Your safety always takes priority over possessions. I don't care how fabulous that antique dresser is or how big of a steal that bookcase is. Kindly tell them a white lie (changed my mind, measurements don't work, truck friend bailed, etc) & end the conversation. I can't stress this enough. You never know the reason your intuition is kicking in. The seller could be crazy, a better item for you could come up for sale, you could have been in an accident on your way to pick it up. You never know. Don't question it. Pretty pretty please.