A blog about me and my adventure as an ex-pat.
Because someone told me to... Thank you Gaby.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

going... going... gone!!

We did our first garage sale today and it went surprisingly well!

We live in a great neighbourhood for them. The whole housing estate is invited to do one on the same day so there is plenty of passing trade.
It was advertised to start at 8am but we had heard that the hard core garage sale goers get there early so we started to set up at 7am!
It took a few days to get everything out to sell. At first I didn't think we had much as we had gotten rid of a lot of stuff before we moved but I knew we had a few clothes so I decided it was worth it...
Well it's funny what you find when you start to hunt round your house! We had old kitchen utensils, baby clothes, toys, books, and a few things that came on the shipment from England by mistake (we only realised when the container had left and we went to take them to the dump only to find the back garden empty!!)
I had to be careful not to get too carried away but luckily Jeremy kept me in check!
Funny though because as the day of the sale went on and we saw what was selling, we started to bring more things out!

I was excited but nervous. I wasn't sure if anyone would want our clutter and I didn't know how I would handle people bartering with me. But I wanted to do it at least once, to be a part of the neighbourhood garage sale and to add it to the list of new experiences.

So Friday I spent most of the day arranging things on tables, labelling up with prices and trying to borrow more tables to display our wares. We managed to get a lot done by dinner time but our neighbours were up until midnight!!
I awoke early this morning and was down having breakfast by 6:30am. A quick drink and a bowl of cereal and I was itching to get started!

And, as predicted, our first customers arrived at about 7:30am! We had a crazy couple of hours with cars everywhere, people trying to barter and the kids getting up to mischief but by 10am we had settled down to a steady trade. I have to admit I didn't do very well with the bartering and probably could have made more cash if I had stuck to my prices but I was glad just to see some things go so I am not too upset.
We had all sorts of customers, from a group of Amish people (I was really excited and wanted to take a photo!), to people who were obviously traders looking for jewellery, bikes and dvds that they could sell on, Mums with babies in buggies, little girls hoping to buy stickers with their cash (cute!!), people from our neighbourhood and a lady I had met at my MOPS group.

The thing I was most sad to say goodbye to was the Bugaboo pram. I have lots of lovely memories of pushing the kids around in that pram from when they were just a few days old but it was just sitting in our garage and it needed someone to use it. Our neighbour used it for a while but they gave it back to us and I couldn't bear to think of it sitting in the garage getting dusty. So we managed to sell it to a neighbour's sister who is just starting to buy the many things you need when starting a family! They seemed really excited to have it and I was pleased to help them out. We got a pretty good price for it too!

The thing I was most excited to get rid of was our old rusty charcoal bbq that came over here by mistake (full of charcoal ash!!). We put it at the end of the drive with a sign saying free. After a few hours, a guy pulled up in a truck, jumped out and asked excitedly "Can I have it? For free?!" He put it in the back of his truck with a big smile on his face. And I had a big smile on my face as I waved goodbye to it. They don't have household waste centres here like they do in the UK so it can be a pain to get rid of big items and often you have to pay to dump them so I was relieved to see it go. Along with the faded old sun-lounger which we put out halfway through the sale and sold for $3!

We also sold a second hand gas bbq which we were going to give away but decided to try to sell it for $5. Someone bought it early, gave us the cash and said he would be back. By 2pm Jeremy was getting worried that he wasn't going to show and we would be left with it down by the road, but I told him to keep the faith! And low and behold a few minutes later he turned up with his Dad in a pick up truck. They loaded it into the back and set off rather precariously! We were nervous to see them driving down the road with this big old heavy bbq about to topple out of the back but they made it out of sight and we cheered!

I was pleased to sell some of my old clothes to a lady who said she loved buying labels that other people don't wear here. I was not so pleased when someone tried to buy one of Toby's sleeping bags, priced ridiculously low at $2 for a dollar! I said no and then gave it to my neighbour!

It was amazing what people would buy - old shoes, clothes, a sieve and used baby sippy cups!!

We have a few things left to go to the charity shop and maybe a couple of winter things to sell in the fall. Of course there were a couple of things we didn't sell - like the teddy that Charlotte insisted was her favourite and the snow boots that she threw a tantrum about and put on this morning to prove they still fit (it was 30oC today!!) so hopefully I can sell those another time. The kids did really well to let me sell their old toys so we are treating them to $20 each at Target to buy something new. Plus Toby was very pleased with his stunt Chuck toy which he bought from our neighbours.

We missed a trick though! Our neighbour's kids made a killing selling Mountain Dew, lemonade and 'chips'... Maybe we'll do something like that next year!

Unfortunately I underestimated just how hot and sunny it was today and how long we would be outside  for (7 hours in total!) and I am now sporting a bright red neck, arms and legs! Whoops! 
I only went inside once (to use the loo!) as I really got into it and was excited to see what we sold. Our neighbours were around and at one point we were all sat under the tree eating ice lollies (the 1 year old  was onto a good thing - making the rounds stealing licks of our lollies!) and I thought how relaxing it was, how lovely our neighbourhood is and how nice it is to sit on the grass in the sunshine! Happy days! 

So how much did we make? Well the Bugaboo was our one big item along with another stroller that we sold for $10. We took over $400 but we bought a few things from other sales so all in all we made $380! Not bad for a load of clutter and the basement looks so good now!! :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

our little entertainer

Toby is quite the little entertainer at the moment...

He is currently in the kitchen pretending to sneeze into his cup of water and then laughing his head off!

When I squeeze honey onto his toast, every time without fail, he excitedly shouts "snake!".

If he is feeling obliging, when asked to do something he says "course" which is very sweet.

He sits in the car watching Curious George, laughing his head off even though there is no sound, which makes the 15 minute drive to school a whole lot more entertaining for all of us as his laughter is infectious!

He talks to Diego and Mickey Mouse on the tv shouting out the answer (which is usually correct).

He is much more vocal than Charlotte and openly emotional, showing and telling us when he is happy. Charlotte seems much more reserved and will quietly sit and read a book or watch the tv, taking it all in but not seeming to react.

Toby is obsessed with the swing set. He stands at the back door, trying to get out, shouting swing! He loves to go 'high' and be twisted round so he spins in a circle (thanks Papa!). He could spend hours outside, swinging, dancing to the music on his 'Cars' bike and pushing cars round the sandbox.

Our little man has grown up so much this last couple of weeks. His language, after a slow start, is improving daily and he is starting to shoot up and lose his baby belly! I can still pick him up and throw him around playfully but it won't be long before he is too big or heavy!
I am trying every day to make the most of my baby boy!