Monday, March 31, 2008

Anatomy of a Garage Sale

Who can resist passing up the words GARAGE SALE in big bold letters on a Saturday morning? I'm guilty, but this past weekend, the tables were turned and now we were having the garage sale. My experience - shock and awe. In six hours, we managed to sell off 90% of our excess "stuff", making $300 worth of small bills and quarters. Crazy. The secret to it all - attitude, organization, and florescent pink signage.

"I just want to get rid of everything!" This was the frustration I expressed when I announced to my husband that we were going to have a garage sale. We had already gotten rid of old things, but still had been storing a lot of other things we weren't using. Not only was all our excess becoming a sore spot in our relationship, it was becoming overwhelming and a waste of time to keep all these things in order. I was desperate and this was just the attitude I needed to make the my 'everything must go sale' work. Yes, it was hard to sell things we had paid hard earned money for, for the cheapo price of five dollars, one dollar and even a quarter, but they had been a burden for long enough. By that morning, I was happy to give, give, give and see people hauling away my long time burden.

Grouping similar things together also made things move like lightening speed. I noticed that the early birds did not really buy much because they were still in boxes, but the moment they were unpacked and spread out on the driveway, the grass and on tables, they sold! We had spent the previous weekend taking everything out of the garage and then putting it all back in categorized boxes with the 'keep" boxes farther inside. This was extra work, but worth it so we could relax at dinner the night before, and then prevent any stress or confusion that morning. 

Lastly, florescent pink rocks. You can see it a mile away and once someone catches the necessary info (GARAGE SALE and an arrow really big, and the date and times really small) all they have to do is follow the pink blocks of color all the way to the treasure! One buyer mentioned how fun it was to follow the pink arrows through all our little streets. 

Amazingly, people came till the very end even picking through and buying from the little pile that was left (see pic below). They were determined to find gold - some sort of bargain whether they needed it or not. It was a little bit scary to see this side of American consumers, again something I am guilty of myself, but hoping to resolve after this experience. Admittedly, by the end we did take some things back into garage. Now, it was less overwhelming, more manageable.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Greenopia 2nd Edition

Greenopia: The Urban Dweller's Guide to Green Living's 2nd Edition is out. Greenopia is one of the few published guides for finding local eco-friendly businesses and resources. This new guide has 75% more listings than the previous. If that's not a sign that everyone is moving forward, then I don't know what is. What I'm loving most is that each category is prefaced with an intro by an expert in that field and more importantly, tips on what key things to look for in that eco-friendly service or product. In the eating out section, for example, there is a seafood guide indicating which fish to choose and which to avoid based on abundance and if they are caught or farmed in ways that hard other marine life or the environment. Hmm, I've been buying farmed salmon, not the best choice. 

I stopped by the book signing at Borders on Sunset this past Sunday to meet Gay Browne, the founder of Greenopia, and Ferris Kawar, their VP of Sustainability. Two really neat people who presented the new edition and are clearly in the know that the big players are committed to the green cause.


recycle back to m.a.c.

I just traded in 12 empty M.A.C. lipstick tubes for 2 new lipsticks, so 6 empty tubes = 1 free lipstick! This recycling program is just their commitment to the environment. If I even wear make up, which I really should some days, it's usually only lipstick and maybe a little bit of eye liner, so I've been collecting this bag of empty tubes for maybe the past... 10 years? Geez. Yay, new lipstick!! 

ps. I wish I would've snapped shot of all twelve tubes, but I was so excited, I finally remember and then actually found a moment to do it, that I forgot... oh well.


Friday, March 14, 2008


I love how these tomatoes transition in a sort of hombre from green to ripe red.  I've been keeping my tomatoes out on the counter rather than putting them in the fridge so not to lose the warm fresh flavor. Juicy!

Monday, March 03, 2008

food map container

Might be a little fancy for an herb garden, but I love the look of this food map container. It's meant to for growing little edibles, with proper drainage, casters so you can move with the seasons, and made of mostly of post consumer materials that have been and then can n eventually be recycled. Made in Los Angeles. Via Daily Candy.