37 posts categorized "Organization"

June 11, 2015

thredUP Gets the Thumbs Up

If you have good clothes that you want to sell, let me tell you about my experience with thredUP. It’s like eBay but done with VIP services. In a nutshell, you send in a bag of your used clothes, the approved items get photographed, uploaded on their site, and if it sells, you get money. Much like eBay only without the entire eBay hassle. Read on if this sounds interesting. Here’s what I did:

Register for an account and order a free Clean Out Bag. It’s the size of a laundry bag but it’s plastic for sturdiness and mailable via Fedex or USPS. 

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My Clean Out Bag sent to me with all necessary mailing labels affixed.

They accept children’s and women’s clothes, and they’re gaga for anything and everything designer. 

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Fill 'er up!

An email is sent to you when they’ve received your bag, with notification that they will begin processing it. Each clothing item is inspected for tears, stains and pilling, all of which will be rejected. A selling price is attributed to each item depending on sellability, and rejected items are either sent off to charity or you can buy into a feature where they get shipped back to you. 

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This is my account showing the pieces they accepted, what sold and the amount they'll pay me upfront.

In my account, I see the list of my clothes that they’ve accepted. thredUP photographed each one and even put a few on a mannequin for better display. Then the images are uploaded onto their website to be sold. The price of each item is based on season, brand, condition and style. Then thredUP pays me upfront on these prices. I’m getting $56.73!

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For any of my items listed under $59.99, I can earn between 10%-40% of the selling price. 

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Here’s one of my pieces, a Kickee onesie that sold.

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This Theory dress is still up for grabs on their site to be sold. 

$56.73 may not be a lot of money but 1) I got rid of clothes I don’t need and it feels great to clean out, 2) I didn’t have to do any work like taking pics, uploading, monitoring, selling a piece, packing it, shipping it. What a relief! 

Thank you thredUP!

 

 

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June 18, 2014

A Gift for Father's Day

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When days are hectic and you’re living under the daily strain of keeping it all together, sometimes not enough thank-yous are said in our household.  Since Zoe can say ‘Welcome’ or ‘come’ but not ‘thank you’ yet, I guess I’m the one who’s being deficient in the appreciation-expression department!

So for Father’s Day, I culled together 12 photos of my husband and Zoe together, and made a calendar through Artifact Uprising.  The calendar begins in June and runs through May 2015.  After I compiled the images I wanted to use, it took me less than an hour to upload, edit and place my order.  Paper stock is thick and sturdy at 130 pounds.  I particularly liked its eggshell sheen, which gives the images a very subtle softness.  Twelve months come on reclaimed pine fashioned as a clipboard to either lie on a surface or to hang with the magnetic hardware that’s included.  

I imagine my husband will lay the calendar on his desk, and I know it’ll be something he’ll take great joy in seeing every day and every month of the year.  And then, I hope, he’ll be reminded that we are thankful everyday. 

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May 12, 2014

Baby Items I Could & Couldn't Live Without

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There are two distinct memories I’ll never forget when we were pregnant with our first baby.  Both happened on our first trip to Buy Buy Baby to register.  The idea of baby shopping was super exciting.  The reality, however was the overwhelming number of choices and product, where the difference between styles some times were separated by minutiae.  The weighing of pros and cons was so paralyzing.  It ended with me having a meltdown, crying in front of the baby carrier wall unit.  When we went, I was lucky enough to be armed with a list of must-have baby items given to me by my two best mommy friends {and yet I still cried}.  The list was long, and my husband, whose décor preference favors minimal minimalism inquired whether we could just get away with buying 2-3 items on the list, and be done.  This question sticks in memory because 23 months in, the answer would be an emphatic, "Uh, no."  I thought I’d share my list of products that I could and could not live without during Zoe’s babyhood while living in Manhattan {read: no car, apartment living}.   

Baby Items I Couldn't Live Without

1. Bouncy: Portable all around the apartment, Zoe slept most in her bouncy during her daytime naps for the first few months.  It fit in the bathroom easily, and was a lifesaver when I had to jump in the shower.

2. Two strollers: Our 17 lb Baby Jogger City Mini stroller is great for long walks between neighborhoods or quick errands around the neighborhood.  The 10.7 lb UPPAbaby G-Lite stroller is perfect to navigate the subway system and light enough to carry up and down stairs.  It sounds indulgent owning two but in a walking city, they each become a workhorse, and deliver on specific functions.

3. Video monitor: Listening for a baby’s cry just isn’t the same as also being able to see them.  I’ve learned so much about her development just by seeing what she does on her own.  I can check on her without the risk of waking her.  I can’t count the number of times a knee cracked and she woke up crying.  Even at two years old, it’s a huge help to watch her while she’s transitioning from crib to toddler bed without me being in her room physically. It was well worth the cost.

4. Pack 'n Play: We used this everyday until she was able to climb out of it.  It was so handy when I needed to cook in the kitchen or run into the bathroom.  She also slept in it when we took overnight trips.  It overlapped with the bouncy, and was another alternative to it when I need my hands free.  The playpen kept her contained and busy with toys as she outgrew the bouncy and served well past her first year. 

5. Diaper pail: I love having a separate receptacle for dirty diapers.  It keeps the odor contained and in one place.  It’s a great organizational tool to have.  It may feel redundant to have a special diaper trash pail, and there is a maintenance cost with the disposable bags but unless you’re taking out the garbage several times a day, it’s a plus in the hygiene column.

Baby Items I Didn't Need

1. Baby changing table: Furniture is expensive, especially when it’s for a function that will last for only 2-3 years.  They’re clunky, and I wasn’t convinced of a good way to repurpose it after it was no longer needed.  Instead, we bought a changing pad and laid it on the floor, on our bed or in her crib to change diapers.  By the way, at a certain point, babies stop making it easy for you to change their diaper.  They roll, flip around, stand, run, lay on their stomachs.  A changing table would have been useless.  

2. Wipe warmer: This is a lovely luxury to have.  Who wants a cold wipe touching their sweet baby’s butt?  However, I waited this one out, and let Zoe tell me how she felt.  I watched Zoe’s reaction to the temperature of wipes out of the package, and she never cried or looked uncomfortable so I’m glad I didn’t buy one. 

3. Nursing pillow: I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to live without this one.  I discovered using my sleeping pillow worked well or even the sofa cushions in a pitch got me through just fine.

4. Swing: What you discover as a new parent is just because you buy a $50+ swing doesn't mean your baby will enjoy the soothing motion.  In general, we ended up being owners of several bulky plastic baby entertainment centers in primary colors that our baby absolutely hated.  But how do you know what she'll take to or not?  You don't, so you buy it.  And when they love it, you rejoice.  It's a roll of the dice, which is why there's such a healthy market of hand-me-downs and second-hand purchasing.

I hope this helps any new mom or dad.  If I've helped eliminate even one hour of mind-numbing product review sleuthing at midnight, I'm super happy.

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April 7, 2014

Recipes: from messy to organized

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At the moment here is my recipe system: dog-eared magazines, random tear sheets, yellowed newspaper clippings, notebooks, Post-Its tagging various cooking periodicals and a Word document with “must try” recipe links.  I really can’t even call it a system.  It’s more like a rag-tag, lazybone process, which entails pleas of “Where did I see that recipe last” and “Oh, I hope I find it.” 

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I found a free app called ReciFoto, which I downloaded onto my iPhone.  You take a photo of all of your recipes, and the app collects them for you.  Imagine all of grandma’s handwritten ingredients and grease-smudged magazine pages digitized forever, and all in one place.  The app describes itself as the Instagram for recipes, which is to say it’s a running stream of your recipe photos.

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Here’s a rundown of the app’s basic functions:

{ } “My recipes”: take photos of your collection, keep them private or make them public for other ReciFoto members to Like, comment and share
{ } “Public recipe list”: scroll through other members’ recipes
{ } Search box and categories help narrow down options

Note: there isn’t a way to categorize your own recipes but if you click in your profile, you’ll find the number of recipes you’ve photographed.  Tap to see a list of your titled recipes, which you can scroll through.

All in all, ReciFoto is a basic organization app without distracting bells and whistles, and it’s a very good start from where I stand.

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January 9, 2014

May I present my card?

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You know how there are certain words that get so overused that they’ve lost impact?  That is how I feel about the word, “business card.”  So, I searched for an expression that made me feel something, and remembered an old, obsolete lexicon that did just that: calling card. 

Why?  ALT Salt Lake City!

There were two reasons why I redesigned my cards: I redesigned my blog, and needed my cards to reflect my spanking new branding.  The other is because I purchased a last minute ticket to the biggest lifestyle bloggers conference, ALT Salt Lake City!  More on this in a separate post.  I’ve been reading a lot of reviews on past ALT SLC summits by other bloggers who’ve attended, and a common theme ran in all: networking, community, building confidence in yourself, business card exchange practices, fashion (as in, carefully pack and orchestrate your outfits to “see-and-be-seen”), and some sort of PDF worksheet attached for either a to-do check-off list or questions that you should be prepared to answer about yourself and your blog.  It is all so helpful in giving me a visual idea of what to expect.  

Calling cards: useful or obsolete?

One blogger commented how outdated and irrelevant business cards were.  I agree to a certain degree.  Résumés and jobs are being found via the Internet, interviews conducted by Skype, communication transported through Twitter and email.  However, I don’t know a better way to exchange information, if I were in an in-person business scenario, to visually present my brand.  If I were to meet 200 people at the conference, I cannot imagine pulling out my phone each time to tap in their information.  Not to mention it would take forever, and I’m positive I’ll make typos. 

Who?  Moo!

I chose to work with Moo, who are renown for their affordable mini cards.  I opted for their Luxe version, which compresses four layers of Mohawk Superfine paper together making a nice thick card.  You could choose to color the edge in red, blue or plain white.  I chose white, since blue or red didn’t match my colorways.  The heft feels great and the color reproduction matches exactly.

I love my calling cards.  Are you a card collector or do you think they’re past their usefulness?

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October 23, 2013

Linen wrapping cloth

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I think I’m on a wrapping cloth kick, as with my Japanese furoshiki post!  I had to share this set of natural linen bento bags from Quitokeeto with you.  They're so gorgeous, simple and incredibly useful.  The environmental thought is that the bags are meant to replace your single-use plastics.  They’re sewn to be shaped to hold items, and all you need to do is tie the two flaps together to secure.  Use them like this:

{ } to carry dried snacks or when you shop at the farmers’ market

{ } to hold small items in your purse like hand sanitizer, keys, lipstick

{ } to wrap a gift

Made in California.  I love these!

{Photos from Quitokeeto}

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October 17, 2013

A tech-y tech announcement

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Hello everyone,

Today, I am talking tech to those who subscribe to TISLstyle.  If you haven’t already heard, Google owned FeedBurner and no longer supports it {read: abandoned}.  It’s only a matter of time when they turn out the lights.  

If you would like to continue receiving posts from TISLstyle, re-subscribe on my blog site: choose to receive by email or click the RSS Feed.  By the way, I like using Feedly to organize all of my favorite RSS feeds.

Thank you!

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October 9, 2013

Dilemma: Holiday Cards

Last holiday, I made a promise I’d never do it again.  I handwrote 73 holiday cards complete with family name, a short message and signatures of my husband {I signed it!}, myself {I signed it!} and baby Zoe {I signed it!}.  On top of that, I handwrote the mailing and return addresses.  I did it in the name of personalization in this cold world of technology.  I was crying at number 47!

Bingo!  The Answer

This year, I’m taking an easy on myself.  Here are my solutions: 1} Paperwink rubber stamp with my return address, 2} a rubber stamp that reads, ‘With Love, Zoe’ {until she can sit with me and sign her own name 73 times.  jk} and 3} Night Owl Paper Goods’ personalized holiday cards.  By the way, TISLstyle readers get a 20% discount!  Keep reading...

Standing Out From the Crowd

Night Owl Paper is one of my favorite stationers; they print on sustainable birch wood.  It’s so old-fashion country, yet so environmentally chic.  Can you imagine receiving a piece of bark in the mail?  How awesome!   This is the unique and nostalgic touch I’m looking for.  But hold onto your wool hat, Libra girl, you have a few choices to make.  

{ } Choose from 200 modern-yet-folksy designs.  I love 'Doily Stars' and 'Love Peace Hope' shaped as an ornament.

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{ } If you prefer not to go the wood card route, choose eco-friendly FSC-certified paper instead.

{ } The back of each card has 11 options, including 2014 calendar, 1-2 photos or holiday patterns.

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{ } Choose from several shapes other than square, including gingerbread people, birds and scalloped circles.

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What’s In It For You?

Night Owl Paper Goods is offering TISLstyle readers 20% off all personalized holiday card orders through October 31, 2013 with coupon code SHINE2013.  Score free domestic shipping on all orders $49+.  Click here to get started on this early bird discount!

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Other Juicy Tidbits

{ } Send in your own design!

{ } Envelopes are 30-100% recycled post-consumer waste

{ } All products are made in U.S.A.

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September 17, 2013

Memmee: jotting down the small things

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I found the most wonderful website, Memmee.  If you wish you could appreciate the small things that happen everyday, Memmee is a forum to type out on these sweet index cards a feeling, a mood, a conversation you had.  Here, you can give a voice to anything that would categorize as minor, fleeting or too “insignificant” to record.  That’s the point.  Memmee archives them for you, allows you to share them or keep them private.  They also have an app, which is perfect for moments that happen out and about.  Here are some examples I'd record:

{My Monday's moment}: Today I had a rare 30-minute phone conversation with J.  We usually text or email but we had a wonderful girl-to-girl talk about cars, flipping houses and such.  It was so much fun talking.  I miss communicating this way.

{My Thursday's moment}: Tonight there was a thunderstorm.  Zoe sat in my arms as we looked out of the window: rain, lighting and wind.  It was so quiet.  Just watching the sky light up.  She put her head on my shoulder, and was so relaxed.  I stood there carrying her like this for 15 minutes.  My lower back was aching but I didn’t want to end this moment.

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These are just three everyday life occurrences, right?  Months from now they may fade from memory.  While they may not necessarily rank with life events such as weddings or the day she starts pre-k, they’re still precious and worth remembering.  I already feel pangs of guilt not documenting all of her “firsts.”  Yet, her everydays are just as special. 

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I can’t wait to get started!

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September 16, 2013

TISLstyle wears a shiny new dress!

Surprise!  Cue {fist pump} {fist pump}!  TISLstyle {pronounced tee-zuhl for all of you who have asked} is looking like a lady with soft new colors, pretty graphics and a rockin’ design.  

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Why the Olsen twins?  Well, I probably never mentioned my slight obsession with them.  They began as young babes with an unknown future {as so goes with child stars}.  They bloomed into respectable young women with good heads on their shoulders, humility and an inspiring personal sense of style.  It’s sort of how I feel about my first blog design and my new redesign.  This transformation feels right.

When I started TISLstyle at the end of 2010, I didn’t know how long I’d keep this going, if I’d get bored and let the blog peter out or even have enough things to say.  The journey has been a labor of love mentally, intellectually and physically.  TISLstyle has always been a part-time outlet for me, and it is indeed both “labor” in the time it takes, and “love” for the voice it allows me to share.  And I always told myself from the beginning, if my mother was the only one who liked my blog, then that’s ok.  Thanks mom!

After three years, I needed a visual pick-me-up, and wearing the same ol’ dungarees does nothing for pep and spark.  I hope you click around, and like what you see.  Isn't this part pretty?!

I was so lucky to have the best support team, who put all these pieces together.  The key to talent is being intuitive, while thinking outside the box, and boy, they’ve got it!  I offered them a few descriptive words, a handful of visual examples and a small pack of color swatches.  This blog is what I received in return.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

{Photo credits: top photo from Everett Collection via People magazine; bottom photo by Bruce Weber for Vogue}

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