Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh, our sweet pets!

Oh how we love our pets! We have a few. Spike is the head honcho as far as we're concerned. He's the brown/black guy laying down in his pic. We adopted him from our local Humane Society when he was 5 years old. He was our very first pet as adults and he has been so wonderful from day 1. He is pushing 14 years old and I'm afraid his body is starting to give out. But we are enjoying his calm & quiet presence every day he's with us. He was never a high maintenance dog (except for all the hair he leaves behind).

Caleb's cat Rawlie is about 4. I'm not much of a cat person but our son Caleb is. He always wanted a cat and I always said no way. One day I was at the Bellevue Farmer's market and someone was giving a way kittens. I had a week moment and thought I would bring one home. I asked if they had a girl and they gave me Rawlie. It wasn't until a friend was holding our new kitty that we found out "she" was a truly a he. This really is Caleb's cat, but he is SO tolerant of anybody. He let's Avery drag him around and he just goes limp. He's also huge, he was from a farm cat so I'm sure that's why he's so big.

Jack-Jack is 3. He is our little Havanese, and he want's to be top dog for sure. Zuka just turned 1 and is a Dogue de Bordeaux aka French Mastiff. I will post more on them later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Just a couple favorites!

Okay just a couple of my favorite sites:

Love this site for their return department. I have scored some great deals on this site for lighting. I have gotten several Robert Abbey lamps for under $100 -- that's a great price! They have tons of different items (lighting is just one department) and a great return policy. What that means for us is 1/2 off the return items. I have found some sites to have 1/2 off sales, but the fact is it is 1/2 off some fake retail price. Well I have found this site to have a legit discount to other prices on the web. They have some great brands and their stock is updated periodically.

Best thing about them? They do stand behind their company. I ran into 2 problems with orders. One time a Robert Abbey lamp showed up without the shade -- I think their shades are handcrafted, but the company was happy to get me another direct from the manufacturer. Another time, the glass part of my lamp broke in the mail. After a quick email they gave me a full refund, and I got to keep the lamp (I took off the glass piece). 2 thumbs up!

Need deals on gear?

A painfully slow website but their prices are great. Another site that sells returns or items new without tags items. Many at super discount prices. Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, Arcteryx, Northface jackets for $25, pants for $5 -- check it out, you might like what you find! Anybody can sell here but you will see a lot of items from companies like Tons of their stuff is the same brands and items you see at REI (another of my favorites for customer service). Just be sure to read the descriptions because you will run into stuff in a lot of different conditions and sizes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Internet Shopping #1

People that know me, know that I like to shop but that I always want to find the best deal for whatever it is that I'm looking for. I'm not the type of person that's going to pick out the cheapest one on the shelf, I tend to lean towards the higher quality stuff -- but rarely at retail cost! So what places do I like to shop people ask? Here are just a few ideas to check out.

Ebates & Rebates!

***If you are purchasing online...use eBates, it really is free money for you!

I just checked my account and saw that I have received over $167 in cash over the last few years. All you have to do is go through the link when you are ready to purchase something. So many stores are on there and you can stack a coupon code with your rebate. 5%, 3% and the list goes on. Heck, eBay even gives you 2-6% cash back!

1. find the item on eBay or other online store
2. add it to your watch list or cart (I believe you have to use "Buy it Now" on eBay which is what I use over 75% of the time, more on that later.)
3. go to and find the store link
4. click on the link and purchase
5. Tada! your rebate deposit will get deposited in account (or mailed a check) every few months. It really does add up.

(If you do decide to give it a try, please click through my link and I will get a bonus, but I highly recommend them even without it!)

*** Do a quick search for a coupon or discount code for the store where you are purchasing it from. Just search the address or store name with the words "coupon", "code" or "discount". You might just be surprised what you will find! I am usually able to save at least a few dollars and sometimes a lot more, but sometimes you have to try a few different codes for one that will work., & are a few different sites you will run into. I never use one that wants me to put in an email address to see the code.

Tips to a successful Craigslist transaction:

My #1 favorite has to be, you will be amazed at what you can find there. Someday I will post pics of my house that we have completely remodeled. Most of our furniture or big items where bought via Craigslist. Our gas insert fireplace, brand new double wall oven, full kitchen cabinets, 2 Toto toilets, couches, some lighting, bathroom tile, the list goes on : ) Have a vision and you can find it, it might take time but it will be out there. My beliefs for a successful Craigslist transaction are as follows:

1. Condensed searches. Know what you want and search appropriately. I tend to know what brand or specific item I want before I am searching. Also don't plan on people having it posted in the right category, or spelling for that matter.

2. Frequency, frequency, frequency! Search frequently and somewhat obsessively. Early bird gets the worm. The quickest you find the listing, the better odds of getting it. I have posted many things for sale and usually have my buyers response within the first hour (or minutes).

3. Quick response and make it simple. Sound serious, I put the item name & "I want it!" in my email title and offer a quick pickup with cash. Make it easy and convenient for the seller and let them know your not a flake.

4. In really good deals or something I have had to have (a matching table for instance), I have even been known to offer more cash then the asking in my title. Our kitchen cabinets were another instance. We found them (after a year of searching) and knew they were going to work. I knew they were priced cheap so I offered an extra $100 just to get my name at the top of the list, sorry other cabinet buyers but the seller said that was why he picked me : ) A couple of times people have just let me give them the asking price, even when I hand them extra cash.

5. In some other cases and something I have not been afraid to lose, I send a quick email offering them a lower price on the item if it doesn't sell. Sometimes that works as well, but you have to be willing to lose the deal.

So much more to come later, I started this for a few friends and never realized I would have so much to say. I need to go to sleep :)