In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Penguin Push Pins FTW!

 I was so excited to receive my 2nd set of Penguin Push Pins in the mail this week! They are the handmade creations of Peg from Peg’s Boards on ETSY.

 I received my 1st set of Penguin Push Pins via an ETSY Suprise Swap several years ago.  These new ones look like they have googly eyes (a bit more silly and fun) and are just as well made as the originals.

new penguin push pins 1

Besides their inherent cuteness, these pins represent what shopping on ETSY SHOULD be all about

Quality product:  These pins are well constructed, painted and finished.  My set from 2010 is holding up (literally) perfectly.

Great Customer Service:  Peg is accessible and sends friendly yet professional messages about your transaction.  It is get to speak to the actually owner/Crafter.  She was so happy to hear I enjoyed my 1st set of pins!

Packaged Well:  Ok, maybe as an ESTY Seller I am a little nit-picky about how products should be presented.  The 4 pins come on a card, inside a zip top bag (with a business card), wrapped securely in bubble wrap.   And they got to me safe and sound via standard USPS mail.

Good Prices:  The set of 4 cost $6.50, with FREE Shipping!

Overall, I would recommend Peg’s Board to my friends and family!

TIP for all Etsy Shops/Small Business—> Great Product, Presentation and Service leads to Positive Word-of-Mouth and Repeat Business.

Go Peg!

Fix. Your. Photos.

It’s the 21st Century. You most likely have access to a digital camera and a computer. So please please put a few extra moments into making you photos worth posting. This plea mainly goes out the ETSY shop owners and Ebay sellers of the world… your photos are such a critical component to the buyer’s decisions process, you need to be putting your best foot forward.

I must admit now, I am by no means a professional photographer. I have a point-and-shoot camera that is a few years old and about 1” thick. It’s only “accessory” is a mini-tripod I got for under $10 at Wal-Mart. BUT, since acquiring this accessory, and learning how to make simple adjustments using, my online photo postings have increased by leaps and bounds.

For example:

*Click to enlarge

I like to use because it is easy and FREE. Bare minimum, just upload your photo end hit the “auto-fix” button (on the edit tab). You’ll usually see a big difference.

Next I go to “exposure” button and then hit the “advanced” option (don’t be scared). Drag the “highlights” and “shadows” buttons until the photo has the look you want (usually the graph will have black bars hitting it on the right and left side).

Making adjustments under the “colors” button will add some nice effects to your photos too. Experiments are good. And you can also hit the UNDO button if you’ve gone a little bit too crazy.

There are a lot of different sites that will let you edit photos, is just one I have been hooked on the past year or so. At any rate, I hope this inspires you to bring out the very best in all the pictures you post online!

Free Curly Fries @ Arbys

The first time I went to an In-n-Out, I didn’t eat there. I went across the parking lot, got food from Arby’s and brought food back to eat with my family at this place I hadn’t heard of before.
I still love Arby’s. And food coupons. Yay!

Target Daily DealsPrint out this coupon for a free drink and curly fries when you try their NEW Angus 3 Cheese and Bacon Sandwich.


Find an Arby’s near you... the two closest ones to my house are in a Target parking lot. Can’t beat that!

A FREE Trip to the Zoo (and other fun Museums)

I love going to zoos. Growing up, I would go to the Phoenix and San Diego Zoos (setting maybe my expectations a bit high). The Bronx Zoo is pretty amazing too. My roommate in Hoboken insisted it was the best, but I said San Diego was. We agreed to disagree and that adults shouldn’t fight over zoos.

I have not been to the Houston Zoo yet. I realize it will be much smaller, but small zoos can be good too (I loved the zoo in the middle of Central Park in NYC. They have penguins).

Did you know that the Houston Zoo offers FREE admission... on the 1st Tuesday of every month, from 2pm-6pm. If I lived Downtown, this might be of more use to me.
Rare fox at the Central Park Zoo
Even better: Bank of America card-holders receive free admission to the Houston Zoo (and The Children’s Museum and Fine Arts Museum) the first Weekend of every month!

Bank of America has a program called Museums on Us®, and BofA Credit/Debit card holders receive free admission. Right now, it looks like 150 Museums/Zoos in 29 states are participating. The fine print: Free admission is for the name on the card, you’ll still need to pay for a kids admission if you’re bringing the family.

Check out the Bank of America Museums on Us® site for more information! The Central Park Zoo is not a Participant. But the BRONX Zoo is! And so is the Met! Oh my!

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Etsy purchase: Plum Preserves Crazy Quilt Earrings

I just got these earrings in the mail today, and I must say they are just lovely! They are the creation of That Old Blue House on Etsy. The shop specialized in making jewelry out of vintage quilts, lace and other items. I had some X-mas money from my sister earmarked for Etsy accessories… so after months of window-shopping I finally made a purchase.

Considering opening an Etsy shop myself, I was interested to experience the process veteran sellers used (i.e. packagings, shipping metods, customer service etc…). That Old Blue House was very good at communicating with me on when the item would be shipped out. She let me know it would be delayed a couple days because she needed more boxes. At first I wondered why she needed a box, I was sure such a small item could fit in an envelope. Well, that envelope came in the mail today, and this was inside:

Plum Preserves Crazy Quilt Earrings

What simple yet wonderful packaging! Great from a branding perspective, and exciting from a buyers perspective… a little gift I get to open :D It’s the little personal touches that makes you realize it came from a person and wasn’t mass produced in a factory. Inside:

Plum Preserves Crazy Quilt earrings

The earrings were exactly as she had described. So pretty. And lightweight, considering the quilt piece is sandwiched between 2 pieces of thin glass and soldered.

Plum Preserves Crazy Quilt Earrings

Plum Preserves Crazy Quilt Earrings

I’m extremely happy :D . Both with the service and quality of the item. I’ll defiantly keep watching Etsy for more finds… especially around gift giving time ;)

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