Monday, December 15, 2014

Free stuff alert...

I've never met anyone, rich or poor, that does not love a little swag from time to time. I sure do. That is why I joined Influenster.  Influenster is a community of tastemakers, social media hotshots (like you) and educated consumers who live to give opinion of products and experiences.



Just sign up and make a short profile. Once you do, you may get invited to get a VOXBOX.  I've received two already. The VOXBOX is loaded with products like makeup and such for you to try for free! They want you to blog, tweet, Facebook, instragram or tweet if you like what they send you. If you don't like it,  you can say that or keep your mouth shut.  

I promise you, it is not a scam. Just click over to influenster.com and let them know you are a good friend of mine! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 reasons why you should check out Ebay for your holiday shopping…

As most of my loyal readers know, I've been a powerseller on eBay since 2000. I have two eBay "stores" and over 10,000 positive feedback between the two.  I also love to buy on eBay.

Here are a few reasons why checking out eBay is always a good idea when you are shopping…

1. A lot of people are on eBay to make extra money, so deals are to be found: 

I started out on eBay because I had quit my job to take care of my kids when my live-in nanny went bonkers and I had major trust issues about leaving them with anyone for a while (I got over that). 

 I started selling my maternity clothes because I was sure that I was never going to ever have another baby because the two I had did not sleep.  I also sold all of my lawyer clothes because I decided that a lawyer who did not sleep was a bad idea. 

I wanted the stuff out of my house. I wanted some extra money. I was not trying to get rich. My stuff was reasonably priced and sold instantly. When I explained what I was doing to the moms on the playground, they started showing up at pre-school carpool with bags of their own stuff. A little business was born.

My point is that many sellers on eBay are not trying to get full retail value for their stuff. They just want it out of their homes and to make a little spare change while decluttering. This means that there are great values out there.

Yes, many eBay sellers are regular businesses who need to sell at a certain price. But others are about to donate these $500 + Roberto Cavalli boots to Goodwill but figure that if they get a few bucks, that is even better. 




2. There are things on eBay that are not found anywhere else on the internet:

Ever find a pair of jeans or a lipstick color that you adore and realize that the manufacturer had discontinued it? I have and have also found that I can often replace it with a new pair or tube on Ebay.  It is the best for that.




3. There are tons of new things on eBay it is not just an online junkyard

Not only do major retailers have eBay stores these days, many sellers like me get new things to sell. Many items have the "buy it now" option so you don't have to bid on an auction and wait to see if you get it.



4. You are protected if you get burned.


Ebay has a buyer protection program. If you get something that is not as described or fake, just let eBay know. You won't get burned. Trust me, 99% of things that I have purchased on eBay are excellent but I have had a few small issues that were easily resolved. 




5. eBay is super fun. 
If you love to shop, you should shop on eBay. There are so many funny and fun things being sold there. Some unique ones. Some silly ones. Some things that you never even knew that you needed.  It is like the Skymall catalog on steroids.

Here are a few examples…

Vintage Moroccan Pearl Necklace


Christmas Garfield from 1981!


A cradle for your precious baby vodka!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A great place for gifts in Miami...

I was recently invited to a party for a two year old boy.  It does not seem that long ago that I was going to two year old birthday parties every week but with two teens in my house and birthday gifts (besides gift cards) a thing of the past,  I was totally stumped. I needed to bring a nice gift to this party.   I don't really know the child or the parents very well but they are work colleagues of my husband so I wanted to bring something good.

I stumbled into Give Wink which is right next to Aroma on Miami Gardens Drive (Aroma is a coffee bar which may have the best croissants in town). 

Give Wink is a boutique that sells high end baby and kids gear , toys and bedding. The best two things about it (besides being next to the croissants) is that they not only gift wrap for free  (a rarity these days) and they personalize tons of gifts.

The very helpful sales clerk immediately had many suggestions for my two year old recipient and I ended up getting this adorable dino backpack which they instantly embroidered with the birthday boy's name and a matching water bottle.  Give Wink gift wrapped it and threw it into a reusable shopping bag and I was off to party town.  The boy's mom absolutely loved the gift ! She texted me right after the party to tell me so.

If you are in the need of a special baby or little kid's gift, check out Give Wink! 



DISCLOSURE: Like 99.9999% of my posts, this is not a paid post. Give Wink does not even know that I am writing it. I was given nothing in exchange for it.  I just liked the store and feel that I am doing a favor to my local readers. 

Another Life-Changing Tip courtesy of Japolina...



I think that this tip may be more life-changing than my COSTCO tip  that I posted a few weeks ago.

If you shop at Publix are you aware that you can order your sliced deli meats and subs ahead of time? You just download the app or go to Publix.com and  fill out the form as to what you want and it is waiting for you at the deli. You don't even have to ask for it, they have a spot where you just walk up and grab it.  This is life-changing to moms on the go and saves at least 5-10 minutes off of my weekly shopping trip.  

You can thank me with sliced cheese.

As a side note, when my children were infants, Publix tried a delivery service. You would just order online and they would deliver it within a two hour time frame that you chose. It saved my sanity during those early years. Publix stopped the service but how I wish they would start it up again! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My favorite new site...


One of the good hings about getting older is that you know what looks good on you and what does not.  I know what style dresses that I like but it is not always that easy to find them.  This is why I wore the same cocktail dress to at least 15 Bar Mitzvahs before I had to retire it but that is another sad story for another day.

That is why I was excited when Eshatki.com contacted me and asked if I would be interested in customizing a dress that they would then send to me for free! How could I say "No" especially when they made this offer with no strings attached. They said that they would send me the dress that I chose and customized and if I liked it, I could blog about it but there was no obligation.

Eshatki looks like a regular clothing site but you can customize any of the clothing. You chose the garment that you want and enter your measurements and they make it for you! In addition you can add sleeves, etc

I chose this mullet/hi lo dress.  I put in my measurements which I took by myself with a tape measure and it showed up within 10 days. 
High-low hem stretch crepe maxi dress


It fits perfectly and is really cute.  The best part, under a 100 bucks! A true bargain. I promise you, it is really cute and looks great on! I wore it for my 20th anniversary (I'll blog about that soon!) I will defintely be ordering from them again.


Disclosure: Sometimes companies send me free stuff. If I like it, I'll tell you. If I don't like it, I'll either tell you or won't blog about it. I always tell the truth and I will never sell outt. Eshatki sent me a free dress with no strings attached. I promise you that if I did not like it, I would have not have blogged about it. Trust me, this happened recently with a company that sent me some flowers for free and wanted me to blog about it. It was a horrible experience so I did not blog about it. I only tell the truth her at Japolina! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

We are now those parents..

  I was having dinner with a bloggy friend of mine, Rachel of Silverunpolished.com , last week. I've known her since I was a million months pregnant with my first son. Her kids are 7 & 9. Mine are almost 15 & 17.  We have much in common in terms of mothering such as our agreement that sleepaway camp is mandatory and that toothpaste in the sink left by children is very annoying. However, we are worlds apart when it comes to how our kids feel about us.  Her cute boys love when she talks about them in her blog.

  On the other hand, my boys have reached the point where my husband and I are completely embarrassing to them. Not just in public but on the world wide web too.  I'm not allowed mention them in my Blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. (They won't show me how to use snapchat) In fact, the mention of the toothpaste in the sink above may get me yelled at   after school today.

   A few days ago, at 5:45 a.m.,  my husband and I were goofing around while we were both making breakfast for the kids (yes high school starts disgustingly early around these parts). We had these funny tabasco things left over from a Houseparty.com Tabasco party that I was selected to host and we were just being silly.  I posted on Instagram because we look exhausted and ugly and stupid. 
Photo has been disguised to protect our children from further humiliation

   During the school day, I got this first text from one of my children   "I think that your instagram is inappropriate and that you should take it down"  I ignored as I do not think that texting this during school is appropriate either. 


   Later that day my other son explained that one of his friends was making fun of our instagram to all of their other friends. He was mortified that I had accepted a follow request from one of his friends and by our ridiculous photos. I responded by telling him that his friends were just jealous that his parents were so fun, especially at 5:45 a.m. I added that he was lucky that his parents even get up and make breakfast (and school lunches) at that ungodly hour. I'm certain that some other mothers don't even get out of bed and just let the kids fend for themselves. I also blocked the kid.

    When did we go from being cool to being totally embarrassing? Were we always totally embarrassing but the kids did not know it? We were ever cool? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

GIVEAWAY!!! Free Blu-Ray/DVD of Beethoven's Treasure Tail!

Universal Studios Home Entertainment is getting ready to release a fun kid's movie on Blu-ray/DVD on October 28th and one of my lucky readers can win a copy! How exciting! This will make a great holiday gift  (if you can wait that long to actually watch it! The film is called Beethoven's Treasure Tail and stars that adorable St. Bernard!

All you have to do is leave a comment below! That is it. Could not be any easier. A winner will be chosen on October 27th by a good old-fashioned name in the hat pull so make sure you leave your name below! Universal will Fed ex you a copy directly! (US addresses only)


Get ready to howl with laughter in this all-new family comedy starring America’s favorite St. Bernard, the one and only Beethoven! After a doggone disaster of a movie shoot, the big-hearted pooch and his trainer, Eddie (Jonathan Silverman, Beethoven’s Big Break), are heading home when they get stranded in a small coastal village. When Beethoven befriends a local boy (Bretton Manley, Ted), he helps him find a pirate map to lost treasure and together they em-bark on an adventure that brings the whole town together. Co-starring Morgan Fairchild (Flamingo Road), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator), it’s a heartwarming “tail” about finding fun wherever your nose leads you.



Don't forget, leave a comment below by 5p.m. EST on October 27th!

Tell your friends!