Friday, October 24, 2014

Flea Market Etiquette

I have mentioned a couple of times that I like to go to the flea market to get rid of stuff that I no longer want or need.
I am not very good at selling, because I am usually really embarrassed to tell somebody the price.  I am getting better at it so, in this case, practice makes perfect.

The key to getting the most out of your flea market sales is to plan; trust me when I say I have learned this through experience.  I had about 5 guys push me into the trunk of my van, trying to get to the stuff I still had in there and hadn't yet unpacked.  Some people are real assholes.

So, these are my suggestions for a successful trip to the flea market:

1)  Sort your stuff.  Make sure that what goes together, stays together, like pairs of shoes or all the cables for the electronics you are selling. If you have manuals for the item, take them with you and if you have the original box, even better.  If you are selling a cellphone, make sure it is charged so people can see it works; most people don't want to take your word for it.

2)  Figure out what you want for most of the stuff but aim higher, because you will haggle with people. That is half the fun, except for me, it makes me sweat but I am awkward.
My friend gets on Ebay and checks what most items are selling for there and then figures out her price. Don't do this for something like a t-shirt, but if you are selling a coffee maker or a computer, it is helpful to check on what other people want for their stuff.  Make sure to write it down; if you don't, you will forget or get confused when the flea market mafia descends on your ass.

3)  Make sure that everything you are selling is clean.  Wash everything, even clothes, especially if they are dirty or have a stain. Nobody wants to pay 5 Euros for something if it looks like you took it off your body then just folded it.  Stains, holes or anything ripped, ragged, stretched-out needs to be thrown out if you don't wear it anymore because it's gross and other people don't want it either. Make sure you take wet wipes with you so you can wipe down dusty items.

4)  Have enough change, especially if you are selling small items that don't cost more than a couple of cents --  you want to be able to make change.  I usually have about 10 Euros worth of change, ranging from 50 cents to 2 Euro pieces.

5)  It is a nice gesture when you have bags to give away to those who buy more than one piece. They might buy more if they have a bag to carry their stuff.

6)  If you are selling clothes then fold and arrange the pieces by size; that definitely makes it easier for you.  If you do this, you can tell people what you have rather than have them dig through everything and you have to fold it again. You'll fold all day anyways because, as the pile dwindles, it still should look neat. I like to hang everything up as much as I can, so you should take some hangers with you.  Also, hang up something eye catching in the front that will attract your customers' attention.

7)  You would be amazed what people will buy, so take everything with you that you don't want anymore.  Some of the things that definitely sell are electronics, such as cellphones, nintendo, x-box, games, cameras.  CDs and DVDs go pretty well, but you won't make much off of them. Books don't sell and they are heavy so if possible, donate them; you will be better off.  Perfume sells, even if it is only half the bottle. If a bottle of Chanel costs 60 Euros a bottle and you only have half left over, you can still sell it. People will buy it, trust me.  Shoes sell.  I don't know why, because I would not buy them, but they do sell.
Clothes are a big seller, but you do have to go by the seasons. You won't sell a winter coat in the summer and you won't sell a summer dress in the winter; people don't think that far ahead.

8)  Take a chair or a little stool because customers will storm you one moment and cause you to run around like a crazy person. Then, nobody stops by for 20 minutes. If you can sit, you can take a breather and take time to eat.
I like to have a table cloth on my table, too, because it looks nicer and I can hide my trash or my bags underneath it.  I have a really long piece of fabric that I lay on top; I paid 5 Euros a meter for it and it is about 4 meters long and it has been everywhere with me. 
 This was my first flea market so you can see here that this is not the way to do it.

9)  Picking the flea market location is important because the clientèle is not the same everywhere; you will get pissed if you have to haggle with someone over 20 cents.  If you're selling in a decent neighborhood, you will get normal people who won't expect to get everything for free.

10)  Get there early, and by early, I mean when it is still dark outside. I usually try to be there by 6am, but we have been earlier because it is difficult to maneuver your car through all the throngs of people to get to your spot and set up your stand. There are the hardcore buyers who come to your table with a flashlight and start going through your shit before you even have your area set up.

When I go to the flea market I pack my car the night before so the next morning I only have to get dressed and leave. I always have snacks and drinks with me, since I am there from 6am till about 2pm; that is a long day, considering I get up around 5am. I also don't do this alone; I always go with friends and we make an event of it and just hang out and move back and forth between stands, eating and drinking.

Before I go I also ask family members or friends if they want to get rid of stuff; I take their stuff with me to sell -- this way I also have a variety of different stuff.
As far as the money goes, I usually make between 150 -250 Euros so it is worth it for a couple hours.

So check it out and sell your crap. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank you notes

I am totally stealing this from Jimmy Fallon.

Thank you Turn-style gates,
for making it impossible to go through them without looking like an asshole because you either hit yourself in the crotch or you get your bags, purse and jacket stuck in it.

Thank you Youtube videos,
for making me think I can do anything, from playing the guitar to ballroom dancing,  I really did need to watch some lady opening up 50 plastic eggs with toys in them. FYI, I can never get those 20 minutes back.

Thank you Twitter,
for making me believe that the tweets I write actually get read by celebrities and that they are, therefore, my friends.

Thank you Pinterest,
for teaching me how to dress, cook and decorate, or in most cases, how to make me feel like a loser without any decent clothes who eats unhealthy food and lives in a hovel.

Thank you Alcohol on Wednesday nights,
for making me think that I still got it.

Thank you scratchy toilet paper,
for reminding me that if you recycle paper too much, it will eventually end up being toilet paper that can take three layers of skin off your ass.

Thank you,
for giving me something else that sucks up my time but will not bring me further in life whatsoever.

Thank you full butt underwear,
for making me feel unsexy but comfortable at the same time.

Things I Learned

It's been slow going lately with nothing really going on except everyday life, but of course, I still learned new things.

1) When you go swimming and you are packing stuff for other people, you will probably forget something for yourself; in my case, it was my underwear. I don't know what it is with underwear and me --  either I have them on backwards, inside out or I just forget them. Julia!!! Get your shit together.

2) The movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West, mostly made me laugh really hard.  It was such an inappropriate movie that I can recommend it if you want to just sit back and not have to think and just laugh your ass off.

3) I like to vacuum and I don't know why;  I will suck up anything that is laying around, including bobby pins, Barbie shoes and and everything else that will fit in the hose except for money. It reminds me of an episode of the reality show Snoop Dogg did, where he realized the most relaxing thing he could do was vacuum his house. It doesn't necessarily relax me but it does make me feel accomplished and that, ladies and gentleman, is what my life has come to.

4) I suck at twitter and I keep going back to it and trying it again and again, but I basically just use it to follow other people. If you are on twitter you can find me under @LandofKraut but I must warn you, it's really boring.  I can't just write short sentences that don't make me sound like a dick or a stalker.

5) When you are typing and you have your laptop in your lap, you probably shouldn't be listening to really good music; it's impossible to hold your legs still and you will type all kinds of weird shit.

6) I hate people who say they married their best friend; that's not true. I love my husband and he is someone I can laugh with like crazy, but I still don't tell him everything. There are some things that I can only tell my best friends and there is nothing off limits or embarrassing. I still care what my husband thinks of me so there is no way I can tell him the really humiliating things I have done.  I can with my friends because they are just as stupid.

7) It is impossible for me to find a middle ground when it comes to cooking. I either buy 100 euros worth of food to make big dinners or I do not go to the grocery store at all and everybody eats grilled cheese and tomato soup. I feel like Mother Hubbard.

8) I still love Snap! I don't care if it shows my age.

9) We are having the mildest fall, with shorts weather, which is kind of scaring me. If Mother Nature has taught me anything, it is that she is mean and she will give you snow till June and torrential downpours till August in exchange for a few nice days in the fall.

10) Jason Beghe has the best slaps known to man. I laugh every time I see him slap a dude in the face on Chicago PD.  I think it is a lost art, slapping somebody in the face, so it is funny and humiliating at the same time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Things I Learned

I learned that, when you get the mother of all colds, you have to disinfect your retainer or you will get the cold again and give it to the whole family.

There is such a thing as a stretch spray that you can spray in your shoes and then wear them for a little bit and they will stretch. I always have the problem that one shoe fits better than the other, so this should be really helpful (if t works).

Putting a humidifier in your child's room really does help the nighttime hacking and coughing lets her sleep better and, therefore, helps me sleep better.

I learned that when you try to cut corners and save a buck, you will probably end up sticking more money into it in the end. I don't know how many times I have had to deal with this issue; you would think that I would have learned my lesson by now.

Scrubbing your bathtub with shampoo will clean it better than any cleaner.

I have been taking certain herbal remedies to help my anxiety and I think they are working so well.  I haven't been excited about anything in a while. I don't know if that is a good thing, that I can't get mad, but I know I feel weird and am kind of walking around in a cloud. I think I feel like an emu. LOL!  Shit, I even annoy myself.  Maybe I should wash my hair.

I was going to start my paleo diet again this week, but then I learned that every cough medicine has sugar in it so I said, "Fuck it. I will start next week".

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is totally underrated.

Fan fiction is some of the greatest time sucking thing to ever be created; it even made pinterest look like a little bitch.
I swear I lost two days somewhere just reading about Olicity. (Oliver & Felicity )
Yes sometimes I am juvenile. . . . . whatever.

My life is really great even though I am kind of whining right now; I do know that I am really, really lucky.

Fall TV

Tis the season for new shows that I either love or hate and for new episodes of shows that I already love.
What is there to say about this show, except  that it's awesome for so many reasons. I like that it is a superhero show but the Arrow is still human and can get hurt (and does frequently, which means Stephen Amell spends a great deal of this show shirtless). Sounds like a "win win" situation! Plus, there are no stupid damsels in distress; all the girls are either smart or can pack a punch in this show.
One of the things that I really like is the fact that Stephen Amell is so involved with his fans and really gets excited about every episode and he shares that. Of course, there is Felicity who makes it all even more enjoyable because she is so inappropriate.

Chicago Fire:
I have to admit that I am a whole season behind on this show because, as much as I love this show, it really gets me emotional every time I watch it. For a while there, I couldn't really handle anymore feelings along with the ones I already had this past year. I am going to catch up though, because this is just a wonderful show with a great cast and really good stories.
And you can't ignore the serious eye candy.

This one just started. I have only watched 3 episodes but I can tell you I really hope it gets a full season.  I think the idea is cool and it is hilarious to watch the main character die in the weirdest ways and wake up butt-ass-naked in public afterwards. 
I recommend checking it out if you are into supernatural/crime drama.
This show is on it's fifth and last season right now. I think it's time to bring it to an end, even though up until this point I have really enjoyed this story.  It is based on a Stephen King book, so if you like sci-fi, weird, supernatural and funny, this is the show for you. 
The Originals:
If you got sick and annoyed watching Elena dyingand coming back for the umpteenth time on Vampire Diaries then this is the show for you. It's like Vampire Diaries for grown ups. The first season almost gave me a case of the vapors with something absolutely ridiculous happening every single episode. If you like vamps, werewolfs and witches this is a fun show to get into.
Madame Secretary:
This show just started and till now, I can say I really like it.  I think Tea Leoni does a great job in this role. I hope this gets a full season because I want to see her weed out the douchebags who work with her.

Modern Family:
This is a no brainer; every single episode is hilarious and it's something we can watch together. 

Oh, hello beautiful costumes and beautiful people. This show has it all. Of course, it is nowhere near accurate as far as the real Mary Queen of Scots goes but this is so much more entertaining. It has STDs, the plague, illegitimate children, whores and all types of people keeling over dead from poison -- I love it!   If it wasn't for the non-existent indoor plumbing, I would probably have wanted to live there. 
So, this just started and it is based on a real person; so far I think it's entertaining. I don't know about it getting a full season because sometimes it's so unbelievable while trying to be believable.
I like the characters and the stories but every time I see federal agent Cabe Gallo I see the terminator, and he scared the shit out of me.

Of course, other than these shows I also watch The Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, Teen Wolf, Supernatural, New Girl, The Mindy Project and a bunch more, but these are shows that I binge watch. I let a bunch of episodes build up and then watch several back-to-back while doing something else. It usually just depends on what is going on and what the weather is like. I like to watch tv when I have a lot going on during the day and I don't want to talk at night so we turn on a show and just get involved in someone else's life. 

Monday, October 6, 2014


We went on our birthday hike which was, as usual, fun and exhausting and I don't mean the hike. The talking, laughing and the stuffing my face with food is what kicked my butt; all the fresh air and the sunshine just about killed me. 

Mia and I baked chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies and hot lava chocolate cake this week, and then I weighed myself. I am just going to keep to myself what happened after that, but let's just say I think I invented some new curse words.

Lately, I haven't been doing much except watching a crap load of tv because the fall shows are all starting and I am still catching up on summer shows. I love to watch TV but I also feel guilty if I do it without doing something else at the same time, like painting or cleaning. So I drink wine while I am doing it so I am drunk and can't feel anything.

Mia is finally in Kindergarden and she is doing really well. This is the moment that I have been waiting for; I actually have a couple of hours to myself every morning and I have absolutely no idea what to do with that extra free time. This is what happens when you don't do change well. I am completely overwhelmed.

I got sick with the flu, which in turn, means Christopher got it too and when it was finally on its way out of our house, I put my retainer back in (that I didn't disinfect) and I got the flu again! Of course, I was a mouth breather due to the fact that my nose was completely stopped up, and I gave it to Christopher again. Isn't love grand?

The littlest one in the bunch got a nasty wart while we were away on the retreat. After trying to get rid of it with over the counter medicines and watching it get bigger and bigger, I finally iced it.  I hope this takes care of the problem because she is starting to walk on her tippy toes and that is not good.

Let me tell you about my friend, Vicky, who is a damn hoot and a half; she about killed me. She managed to fall down the escalator with her kid, and her kid got her ear and arm stuck in the elevator. She is the nuttiest, nicest, most accident-prone person I know and I can't imagine not knowing her.

This is about as random as you can get, but this has been my life lately. There you have it! I hope you enjoyed it. not really, I could care less.