I am sharing tips for buying items on Ebay some of them based on bitter experience.

Obviously, I love Ebay because I love anywhere in the online or offline world where I can potentially pick up a bargain. I know that even if I became a millionaire I would still love the thrill of the chase when it comes to getting something lovely for very few pennies or pounds. Whether a jumble sale, charity shop, flea market or car boot sale, don’t be surprised if you bump into me looking for quirky finds.

So here are a few tips on buying items on Ebay.

1. Always start small

If you are new to Ebay, just as with anything in life, it is important to start small until you are familiar and confident with how it all works. There are loads of items where bidding starts at just 99 pence so you can play a little before you move on to more expensive items.

2. Communicate!

Once upon a time, we needed a new car after ours was written off. Picture the scene of us working at desks on our laptop computers with our backs to each other. Both of us decided to bid on cars and within seconds both won our bids on two cars. We only needed one and could only really afford one! Learn from our expensive mistake and communicate properly with family members and put only one person in charge of the bidding on pricier items.

 

3. Consider the implications of collection-only items

Collection items can seem tempting as you can think there are no delivery costs. Of course it does not take a genius to work out that there are delivery costs because you are either going to have to collect the item yourself or arrange for someone to do so.

Picking up in person is a potentially dangerous situation. It is unlikely that you know the seller personally. You could go with a friend or tell someone the address of the place you are going to but it is still fraught with danger depending on who answers the door at the other end.

To be honest, it is far simpler to find a courier to get your item delivered. If you check out Shiply you will see that they can help. I love how you can see examples of items delivered and journeys made too. I wish I had known about this site as it could have saved us a fair amount of money recently when we needed to get several items to our new home.

4. Explore the web

I would also advise everyone to see if they can get items for free via sites like Freegle, Gumtree and parenting forums online. We have benefitted from such sites and I loved giving a much loved cot to a family who were struggling when my first son moved into a bed.

There are just a few quick tips for buying items on Ebay but I am sure you have more so please do leave a comment and share them.

 

 

 

The Pramshed

Do I fit in?

The Best Boot Forward questions for this week are challenging.

1.Do you feel you fit in and if so, where and who with?

Fitting in has always been a challenge to me. I reflect that perhaps because I was given away as a baby, I will always carry that sense of rejection and perhaps sometimes see it when it has not happened. My late Dad always said that there was a void that even he and my Mum could not fill despite their very best efforts.

Apparently the community in Yorkshire I moved to at just under a year old welcomed me with open arms. I went to school but as soon as you said you were adopted you inadvertently marked yourself out as different. This was compounded by the fact that my parents were so much older than other children’s and my brothers were around 16 years older than me so we were not the average family in that way. I remember doing OK socially in primary school from what I remember but at secondary school I always felt alien, picked on, bullied and lonely. Perhaps that is unfair because there were of course happy times and good friends too. I just felt people did not really like or understand me especially as I liked learning and did well academically.

Ironically, when the working class kid from Dewsbury went to Cambridge University, it felt OK and right. I always felt there must have been some mistake that they had let me in in the first place. However, it was easy enough to find your tribe and I remember a lot of kindness from people both male and female. Some people were particularly wonderful seeing my shyness and making efforts to include me. That is beyond the call of duty and I appreciate the memories made as a result of such kindnesses to this day.

These days social media has brought contact with some of those people. I don’t really fit in now as although still bright, I don’t have a dazzling career or pots of money. All that went wrong somewhere and that is something to think about in another post.

I worked in charities before becoming a stay at home mum down the line. I think people saw me as that bit different but we shared a common cause in helping people. Certainly when working in advice agencies and the like, I felt at home kicking ass with others and fighting injustices.

With the men I have ended up with (only two!), I really did feel a good fit. With both I was ignoring pretty obvious warning signs just grateful someone wanted to be with me and laugh with me. They tired of me quickly enough resenting my analytical nature or my belief women should get a fair deal.

The blogging world became a sanctuary to me and I am so thankful to have had such an outlet for thoughts, feelings and opinions. Real friendships have emerged from blogging and I value having people in my corner.

Where I absolutely fit is with my three lovely children. Although I don’t think I am the most wonderful mum in the world at all, I do stick by them and keep them safe. We laugh together and fortunately they are all thinkers, feelers and up for a debate any time.

2.What prevents you fitting in? Should you accept this or change it?

Some of my history just means the fact is I am an outsider. I was born in London when most of my peers at school were born in Yorkshire. I am adopted and most people aren’t. I was the working class kid at Cambridge and most people weren’t. I always say that it was quite a leap for someone whose Mum was a cleaner to find herself having her own cleaner aged 18! Cambridge Law graduates were not that common in the charity world as the pay tends to be poor and funding insecure. Do I need to be like everyone around me? One of the brilliant things about going to new places all my life is that I have met a diverse range of people and learned from all of them in one way or another.

The fear of rejection has led to me pushing people away over the years. The truth is once I let people in, most do seem to like me even quite a lot. That gets way easier with age of course. Now I can just play and not worry too much but I am still hyper-vigilant for someone turning on me.

3.Are you forcing yourself to stick with something that is just not healthy or right for you? Who can support you to extricate yourself from that situation?

I find this question difficult to answer. I absolutely know life circumstances can be changed but you do have to sure the grass really is greener on the other side. My marriage if far from perfect but it has its good aspects too. My work fits for now around parenting and stuff. I do wonder if it might be nice to get a job at some point but equally I love the freedom freelancing brings. Home education is something I constantly question because it really is quite a tough choice and although I think it is absolutely right for my children at the moment, that does not necessarily mean it is right for me and my wellbeing.

4.If you could find your ideal place anywhere whether location or circumstances, where would that be and why?

I have a long-standing dream of learning about floristry and selling flowers by the sea! I also know that if I ever decide to pursue this, it is perfectly do-able.

Winnettes

My Random Musings

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Hot Pink Wellingtons

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

A positive blogger is not hard to find. Time and time again we hear how supportive and lovely the blogging community is and that is true on the whole. However, there are some stand-out people who are just special and particularly helpful to others. One of these is Becky from Cuddle Fairy so I was delighted when she agreed to take part in my series of blogger stories.

Positive Blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I started Cuddle Fairy to spread positivity. I felt really motivated towards that but wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve that goal. Initially I wrote about parenting in a positive way but it evolved into quotes and mindset and positive lifestyle posts.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

I was kind of terrified when I started blogging to be honest. I had no idea what I was doing and I remember on my lauch day loads went wrong. It’s been a real learning process but one of the best things I learned is not to panic if something goes wrong on the blog front!

How do you feel about blogging today?

I love blogging, and feel calm and happy about it most of the time. I have some stressful days or days when I worry about something but I aim to keep my mindset positive which helps a lot. I find a lot of joy out of writing, taking photos and making videos!

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

I wrote a blog post about my daughter’s hip dysplasia. She wore a brace as a baby and it was a difficult thing to accept and to deal with at the time. I googled and googled and found it so hard to get information or articles written about practical life with a baby in a brace. So, when I started my blog, I wrote the post about my baby’s hip dysplasia so other moms out there would know that how they feel is normal and a few tips I learned on how to manage the brace. I get messages from moms every few months who have read my post and who’s baby was just put into a brace. I feel for each of them so much. I’m so happy that they have someone to reach out to and an article to read that they can relate to. I have a few positivity posts that I get feed back on as well. So to make this long story short, the positive feedback from blog posts is my proudest achievement.

What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?

The Netflix Event in London! We had such a great time. Netflix had activities organized, delicious food and great company in a stylish London penthouse. We were treated so well!

Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?

Brands and PR’s started to email me about collaborating. I am quite choosy when it comes to who I work with. But I did start accepting offers and as time has gone on I have gotten more and more happily!

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Not taking things personally and holding my self worth was challenging at the beginning. It’s hard to understand as a new blogger why everyone who emails is looking for things for less or nothing or pushing for something. Or times when work didn’t come in, not to think there was something wrong with me or blame myself.

What surprised you most about blogging?

How many friends I’ve made through it. I didn’t expect that – at all! I have made blogger friends who are some of my best friends now.

How do you balance blogging and family life?

That was a tricky one for a long time actually. I have blog stop times and start times and I take Sunday off. Sometimes the stop time can go late if I’m very busy but I really try not to do that. So by keeping hours I have family time preserved.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

I hope nothing. It’s my creative outlet and I really love it! Unless I started something else that I felt more passionate about, but even then I’d hate to say good bye to my Cuddle Fairy!

What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?

Not to stress! Do not stress. Everything will be ok with your site and your social media. It all takes time to learn so give yourself a break. Join blogger groups, ask questions and take help when you get it. Only focus on one social network at a time, don’t over load yourself. I know that’s more than one lol

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Blogging has brought me so much from friends to a place to be creative to a voice outside my home. And a connection with people out there I never would have met otherwise. To any bloggers reading this who loves their blogs, never let yourself or your blog feel inadequate from what someone says or does. Hold your worth and value always and enjoy what you do!

So if you want to find a positive blogger and have not visited Becky’s blog yet, I urge you to do so because I know you will not be disappointed.

If you would like to share your story of blogging with me, just get in touch.

Positive Blogger Becky Shares Her Story

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Mummies Waiting
My Random Musings

Win tickets to The Baby Show at London ExCel which take place from 2nd-4th March 2017.

Baby Show

This March get ready to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience at the UK’s leading pregnancy and parenting event of the year. The Baby Show, with MadeForMums, will be taking place from Friday 2nd until Sunday 4th March at the ExCeL London. Find everything you need for bump, baby and you – with amazing offers all in one place, for three days only!

The Show features over 200 exhibitors offering an unrivalled choice of top baby brands and products – including the UK’s widest range of buggies, pushchairs and car seats – all under one roof. There will also be innovative product launches and boutique, not-on-the-high-street brands.

Again, there will be a wonderful line up of speakers on The Baby Show Stage including experts from the world of birthing, breastfeeding, sleep, baby development and nutrition.

Take advantage of one-to-one specialist advice, hundreds of discounts, plus the opportunity to try before you buy. It really is a must-attend event for those shopping for their new arrival – especially for first time parents!

We’ve team up with The Baby Show to give away three pairs of tickets worth £20 each!

The Baby Show at London ExCeL is open from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th March from 9:30am until 5.30pm each day. Standard on the door tickets are £20 and children under 14 go free! For more information please visit www.thebabyshow.co.uk

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Ticket Competition Terms & Conditions

No purchase necessary. Entrants must be aged 18 years or over. Competition is open to UK residents only.

Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions and your agreement to be bound by the decisions of The Baby Show.

Entry is strictly limited to one person per ticket code. The winner will be notified by email or phone call once the competition closes. The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time. All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise. Entrants will receive a ticket code which can be activated at http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/. Tickets cannot be sold on to third parties.

ethannevelyn.com
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The Pramshed

In my series of interviews with bloggers, I spoke to journalist turned blogger Nicole. I hope you enjoy her story and visit her blog.

Journalist

Why did you start to blog?

Before I became a SAHM, I was a journalist with a lifestyle newspaper. So writing has always been a huge part of my life. When my son turned two and started part-time nursery, I found some free time and decided to get back to doing what I loved – writing.

I had written for all mediums before from newspapers to magazines to websites, but I had never blogged. And blogging seemed the best avenue to pursue writing around being a full-time mum. And so my second baby – Tales from Mamaville – was born in Jan 2016!

How did you feel when you started blogging?

Extremely excited and completely clueless! I was glad to get back to writing, excited to be starting my very own blog but quite clueless about it all. Thank God for google in the beginning, and then as I found my feet in the blogging world, the blogging community helped me hugely.

How do you feel about blogging today?

I wouldn’t know what to do with my time if I didn’t have my blog! It has consumed me, but in a lovely way. I am forever chasing deadlines and making mental notes about posts, always on my phone catching up on social media, and staying up late to get blogmin done – and it’s exhausting doing it around being a full-time mum – but I love it. It’s given me a new sense of purpose, and I like referring to myself as a blogger and not just a SAHM.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

It would have to be the fact that I self-learnt everything I know about blogging and literally started from scratch! I did a lot of research before hitting publish on my first post, tried out themes, thought long and hard about my blog name etc etc. And even though I still have loads more to learn, I’m proud of the fact that words like SEO and DA don’t frighten me as much. And I’m so much more confident with tech!!!

What is the most exciting event you have attended as a blogger?

I’m attending my first-ever blogging conference this year (booked my ticket already) and I can’t wait to meet so many bloggers who I interact with online and of course learn so much about different aspects of blogging.

Do you monetize your blog and, if so, how?

I recently started to do so – another mini blogging achievement for me! It’s nice to be able to earn a little income while doing something I love and can do while being a SAHM. I do reviews, sponsored posts, link insertions and social media advertising.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Finding enough time to do it all. There is SO MUCH to do from planning posts to writing them, finding or clicking suitable images, SEO-ing the text and images, pinning the posts, promoting them, scheduling future promotions. Then there are deadlines to meet for paid opportunities and emails to send to PRs and brands. And the blogmin is another day’s work – fixing broken links, updating plugins… blogging is a 24/7 job. There is no off switch.

What surprised you most about blogging?

The fact that it is so time-consuming and that promoting your content is so crucial to your blog, especially if you want to monetize it. If you just write and sit tight, nobody will know you or your blog exist!

How do you balance blogging and family life?

I’m still figuring that one out haha. I try and sneak in blog work whenever I can during the day (like catch up on social media or reply to emails on my phone while cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil), but most of my blog work is when my son is at nursery or late at night.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

I don’t know if I could not blog now. I’m addicted haha. I might slow down when we plan and have baby number 2 or when other responsibilities come calling, but I think I am too much in love with it to give it up completely.

What is your top tip for a new or inexperienced blogger?

Be yourself and write for yourself first – let your personality and own writing style shine through your blog. Promotion is key but content is king.

For more tips, here’s a post I recently penned…

https://talesfrommamaville.com/post-on-blogging/

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’d like to add that the blogging community is absolutely FANTASTIC. Bloggers are so helpful and sweet, even to the newbies, and if you ever have a question about anything blog-related, just ask on a blogging group or social media and boom, you’ve got your answer! I have made so many blog buddies online who I hope to meet in real life soon.

Blog: https://talesfrommamaville.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MamavilleTales

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MamavilleTales/

If you would like to share your blogger story, please do get in touch.

ethannevelyn.com
Mummies Waiting