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Archive for December, 2007

Where To Donate the Barely Used Toys?

December 20th, 2007 at 11:02 am

This question comes up for me most years.

My kids have plenty, they are not spoiled (imo) but have items that just are hardly used.

For example, my daughter was given a "Groovy Girls" set a couple birthdays ago with two cute dolls, a clothes chest and dozen little outfits. She never really took a great liking but it has remained well-kept in her room. (I do the 'well-kept' part).

(btw I used to intercept many of the excess toys given to the kids when they were younger and they didn't notice to regift, return or donate later...this is much more diffucult now though as they are older)

Some books, puzzles, and other toys fall into this category as well.

On Monday, my next block of free time, I plan to go through the kid's room with them and remove with their permission all these items in anticipation of making room for new things from Santa.

SO---------
My preference is to give the dolls, for example, to a girl who really wants and wouldn't otherwise have such a toy.

How?

I am contacting the Boys & Girls Club first. I am not a churchgoer, and have no contacts in that department (unless through a friend). Last year a County Children's agency had a room where families could come 'shop'. They are not doing it this year due to staff cuts Frown

Instead of giving to the thrift store (who would make some money on these), or Toys for Tots (who probably won't take a used toy anyway) I wish it to be more personal if possible.

This comes up almost every year. I need to find some solution.

What to do with all this Office Candy???

December 18th, 2007 at 11:05 am

In a fairly small office of about 25 employees, we now have or have gone through on the receptionist's desk:

2 bags caramel corn
2 bags fancy mixed nuts
2 lb chocolates
2 more lb chocolates
choc covered coffee beans
choc covered choc nibs
2 boxes choc dipped apricots
dried pineapple
dried papaya
small artisan choc squares

and I am sure I'm forgetting some.

These are from service providers to us of course.

We are the last ones who need anything like this.

There is nothing one can do but I wish these folks were more creative in the spending and gifting to company employees.

(Last year I took some of the leftovers and packed it into my kids lunchboxes. Fairly nutritious and/or treats for kids.)

New Biz Logo Shows it Like it Really Is

December 15th, 2007 at 08:07 am

So many times people cringe at the word cheap, other times it is regarded as humorous.

Without changing much in the business overview, I'm redesigning my banner and biz cards like this (might be hard to see because it is long).



or just see it at the top of my website
http://www.prettycheapjewelry.com

My son gave me the idea to just put a slash over the 'cheap' word, and it is a very effective visual tool imo.

My kids finally figured out who Santa is...

December 14th, 2007 at 08:40 am

Yesterday.

They were searching the house for a little eraser which my son had forgotten where he left. (This little penguin erasers which the kids are trading in school like Olympic pins).

Up high, and squished back in my closet, has been a stash of gifts accumulating since August or September. Even my husband doesn't think to look 'up' when the closet is open. We share one of those double sliding door closets with mirrors on the front. The laundry baskets are on my side and the doors are open frequently.

Well, I had just gotten done with ALL my shopping a couple hours prior and took the time to wrap the last 3 big gifts for the kids and husband.

Just in the (St.) nick of time!

My son, who has been walking around for 2 years brashly claiming Mom and Dad are Santa anyway... had been qualifying that with ...I just don't know where the presents are...maybe in the attic. My youngest wasn't so sure. Phfft, the attic my t*sh.

Their only problem yesterday was that they "didn't know for sure who all those presents were for, we didn't see any names".

(there's a tag on every one of them!

Ho Ho Ho!

I only went to the mall because...

December 13th, 2007 at 08:56 am

JC Penney's sent me another $10 off coupon (with ANY sale of $10.01 or more).

My little daughter wanted some cozy warm slippers. I am in favor. We went to the ladies area where nice boxed ones are just under $10 (marked down as they are a typical gift).

Since we were under the required limit, and she had lost her gloves (I think they are in our camper at our weekend property), we went over to the the knit glove section.

There among the picked over, messed up racks of scarves, hats and gloves, were a nice chenille red pair for $6. (I correctly suspected they were half off the original price of $12).

Summary: A free pair of slippers and new gloves for $6.42 with tax.

What do Men Want for Christmas?

December 12th, 2007 at 10:15 am

OK, besides the obvious girl popping out of a cake...

A great price on TOOLS! My DH went out and bought these for himself and I am going to put a big bow on the box.

Combo Set from Sears

Of the original price of $180 (who really believes original prices anyway?), he used a sale and a coupon and ante'd up $135 w/tax.

They are a set for our weekend house so he doesn't have to continually bring the home set with him in the back of his truck every trip.

And of course, they will pay for themselves many times over in the construction of his garage (he'll do it himself), deck expansion for the new house, and whatever else he dreams up.

Traffic Ticket Saga

December 7th, 2007 at 02:11 pm

Prologue
Just flying along on a Sunday morning back at the end of October with little to no other traffic around at the time. Oops, my mistake for forgetting on this particular stretch of 2-lane country highway the speed limit is 55. Of course I was not going 55. The CHP was fairly good about it and cited me for ten miles less than I was really going. I'm not going to argue.

Chap. 1
The saga? He advised me that I might not get a 'courtesy' notice in the mail and that it was my responsibility to show up in court on the date shown, or otherwise clear the fine via phone or internet.

Chap. 2
OK? About 2 weeks later I go to the internet and look up my ticket by citation number. Hmmmm...might not be in the system yet.

Chap. 3
Wait till the third week. Internet says 'system is busy' come back later. Went back later and system still busy.

A couple days pass and internet says no such citation, might not be in the system yet.

Now we are in late November. I am due in court by first week of January. No problem, eh?

Chap. 4
How about calling? The phone number is on the ticket, and look up the citation by punching in a bunch of numbers. Not found. Oh, how about checking via my driver's license number? Do so, no citation found.

Several days that week I try the phone system again. And it boots me off!! Too many callers.

YIKES. End of November, beginning of December. I do not want to take time off to appear in court if possible. Ugh. I just want to pay it, take on-line traffic school and get on with my LIFE!

Chap. 5
Early one morning I tried and got through on the phone lines. Just wanted to ask why my citation is not in their records.

I WAS 79th IN LINE ON THE PHONE QUEUE!!!

If it wasn't so ridiculous it would be laughable. But I stayed on the line with a death grip on the phone. The polite machine comes around every so often....Now you're 48th in line.....Now you're 37th in line....Now you're 15th in line...

A PERSON finally answers. She looks me up and confirms there is not record. The CHP has not sent it in yet as far as she knows. And there is NOTHING they can do.

I SHOULD WAIT 2 MORE WEEKS and do it all again. AHHRGHHH!

Epilogue
My husband says just go to court as the statistics are that 25% of the time the officer does not attend and the case is dismissed.

*sigh*

Friends Helping Friends

December 6th, 2007 at 06:42 am

Want a little dirt on Pretty Cheap Jewelry?

I belong to an internet team of California Crafters, an interesting and diverse group!

One card maker/graphic designer featured me in her blog here

Nothing too racy, but a fun read. Here's a Bow Pin for sale at Pretty Cheap for $4.

To Copyright or Not To Copyright, That is the Question

December 5th, 2007 at 09:32 am

"Oooo that's clever"..."That's cool"..."Wow, look at this"

Some of the many comments I hear about one particular design of mine (photo not available). Over the past 3 day weekend of craft fairs, I was advised to copyright the particular design and am now investigating.

The fee is not too much, in fact, sales at Pretty Cheap Jewelry this past month have been enough to cover the cost.

What is the benefit of copyrighting? If someone steals the idea, I can sue? Bleh. Forget it. But it is also a symbol of respect and accomplishment.

Please put your 2c in below. And have fun looking at a couple other clever ideas in the shop --->

Important Little Things-Cross Stitched Hummingbird Blank Unlined Journal

Wish Upon a Star Pin