Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Nelly's know-how to... Consign Clothes!

That's right! Consignment! As one who has been a dedicated consigner for two years now I am always surprised by how many of my friends have never tried it and know nothing about it. Consequently, they are just as surprised when I tell them that I have made hundreds, yes hundreds of dollars from consigning my clothing. It is far too worthwhile to pass up so I am going to share my consigning tips with you to help you make a few extra bucks while freeing up a little room in your closet. Weeee!

Consigning (in case you don't know) is when you bring your lightly used clothing, shoes or accessories to a second hand clothing shop; they sell it for you and once the clothes sell the shop keeps a small percentage of the sale and the rest of the money goes to you!

Tip 1: The best places to go are high-end consignment shops. They usually take mostly brand name or designer items. I know what you're thinking - I don't have a bunch of designer clothes! Neither do I. But you probably have things that someone else might find cute or stylish that just don't suit you anymore. Most shops suggest you bring in everything because you just never know! Keep in mind, consignment shops prefer clothes that apply to the current season; sweaters during winter, tank tops during summer, etc.
Tip 2: What one shop won't take another likely will. If you're in the Santa Barbara area you are welcome to follow my consignment pattern.
    First stop: Renaissance Fine Consignment. Their demographic tends to be middle aged women but they like to have a wide variety of styles. I like to go there first because they tend to get you a bit more money for your clothes, have an easy policy and the people are pleasant to work with.
    Second stop: The Closet. They're demographic is younger so they accept more trendy items. They don't require appointments so you can go straight from Renaissance to The Closet with your bags of clothes!
    Third stop: Jessica Consignment. I would make this my second stop but Jessica requires a bit more effort. They wants your clothes ironed and all on hangers, bleh! In their defense, they often accept a larger quantity of clothes, get you a good amount of money, and sell your clothes really fast, meaning you get your money sooner! So, they're definitely worth stopping by.
After that point I'll usually donate the rest, although you could take them to thrift shops who will buy them off you on the spot for a lesser amount.

Tip 3: Don't forget to check the status on your clothes! Most of these places won't contact you when your clothes have sold so you have to check in to see if they have money for you. Also, the shop will give you a report of what clothes they took from you. I recommend keeping track of that everytime you find out something's sold so you know what is still left. 

Tip 4: Remember your expiration date! Consignment shops usally give you about 1-3 months for your clothes to sell. They'll give you a date by which, whatever clothes of yours have not sold, you must pick up or the shop will claim permanant ownership of them. Again, the shop will not contact you to remind you of this so you must keep track of your expiration date and pick up your left over clothes in time.

Every shops policies are different so it's best to find out before you commit to it. A lot of shops require you make an appointment so.... what are you waiting for!!!

P.S. Don't forget to look around for something for yourself at a consignment shop. You can find great one of a kind or designer pieces for a great price.

Have you had a great experience consigning? Have any more great tips? If you're going to try it for the first time, let me know how it goes! Good luck!

tuesday's two things I love around my home...

I found this super cute blog of an acquaintance which has caused me some considerable Blogger's envy. Every Tuesday she has fellow bloggers "link up" (new blog feature for me - eek!) and share two things they they love or appreciate around their home. I thought this was kind of a nice idea so this is my first ever edition of Two things I love... around my home from Bacwoods Fern:

1. My little antique photo hangers. I think they are so sweet and a nice alternative to a picture frame. I found them at one of my favorite vintage shops called Punch. It is now moving to state street in Santa Barbara and I can't wait to go back and see what else I can find!
2. My lime green bath towels from Anthropologie. They're super soft and cozy and I love how colorful they are! I've considered painting my bathroom wall to help them pop, but that's quite an undertaking for towels... we'll see. 

What are your two favorite things? I linked up kind of last minute today, but feel free to play along or join in next week, link here. I think I'll try and join each week if I can!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh Mr. Darcy!!!

Things have been looking up!

Not to worry, my main squeeze and I have reconciled, through tears (mostly his) and frustration (mostly mine) we have, as hoped, come out stronger. Those of you who know that our break was just barely over two weeks may be cynical about what could possibly be accomplished in such a short amount of time. And let me stop you before you dismiss us as weak or pathetic for not holding out longer - not speaking to the person that you call multiple times a day to say, “I was just wondering, do you think I'd look good with bangs,” or “I’m on my lunch break, yup that’s it,” or “I think one of my teeth feels wiggly,” is incredibly hard! Not to mention that is 14+ days of not knowing if you’ll get back together! Given the topic, I would like to apologize to my friends that had boyfriends in high school or college whom I would roll my eyes at when they’d heave an I miss him sigh while on a girls weekend away. So, my Hunka-Love and I are back on and it was just in time for Valentine’s Day, thank God! In the words of Mr. T, I pitty the fool who takes a break right before Valentine’s Day. Duh! Oh the Stupidity!

We celebrated Valentine’s on Saturday by going to one of our favorite restaurants in town, Opal. If you are in the Santa Barbara area consider this restaurant on high recommendation. We love Opal because…

The food is amazing, every time
The atmosphere and location are great
We get V.I.P seating and they treat us like royalty!

Although, on this occasion the highlight of my night came just before dinner. As all Santa Barbarians know, the S.B. Film Festival has been going on and none other than my absolute favorite, Colin Firth, was in town accepting the Performance of the Year award at the Arlington right next to Opal!!! When we were headed to dinner he was arriving at the venue. He graciously went around to all of the fans spilling over the barricades. I was springing on my toes like a mechanical rabbit, gripping my camera in ready position, I can’t believe it’s him!! Mr. Darcy!! Normally, I am much too cool to lose it over a celebrity but for him I made an exception. I shakily asked him to take a picture with me and slipped my arm around his silky suit jacket and thought, am I allowed to touch him - I'm touching him! I think my expression in the photo says it all:
(don't know who the creepy photo crasher is on the left, don't let her ruin it for you)

After the photo was taken I realized our moment was up, so before he could move on to the next crazed fan I blurted out, "You're my favorite!" He gave me one more priceless Mr. Darcy smile. I'm sure he'll remember me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rx: Eat Chocolate As Needed...

As I write this, I am burrowed in my huge down comforter on my bed. My hair is pinned back the way I used to wear it in Junior High. Beside me is a one-pound box of See’s Candy - given to me, that is the only redeeming aspect of it. It has been a rough several days. I have had the house to myself this past week, which turned out to be unfortunate timing. My boyfriend and I decided to take a break, for various reasons, hopefully amounting to the strengthening of our relationship. We have not spoken or seen each other for what feels like an eternity. As our time apart grows I feel like the island I am on is slowly floating further from his shore and I am becoming accustomed to being alone. I wish a roommate would come home so I could hear their shoes taping around the house!  My dad offered his support, all though not in the way I'd hoped, suggesting I date around because he feels getting married before thirty is a good way to ruin your life. In addition, there are the usual culprits: work has been chaotically busy, all my pants have mysteriously shrunk, my neck pain is taking on a life of its own and today I sent freshly brewed coffee cascading across my desk full of papers.

So, what does one do in a time like this? I bought a hair brush - the first one I have ever purchased. I have always argued that hair brushes are unnecessary, conditioner does the job. Maybe my hair has gone through a change recently, because after leaving work late, nothing sounded better than combing out that baby dreadlock on the back of my neck that’s been showing up towards the end of each day. Sitting in my car, I brushed my hair with my new brush. It felt so comforting, like I was nursing my tired self. It reminded me of when my mom used to brush my hair when I was little and pull it back into a neat ponytail with a frilly hair tie. I brushed for awhile, slowly, feeling the pin points of the brush rush over my scalp, working through the knots, making my hair calm and soft. I finally understand why those girls in school would have their hair brush in hand at the start of each period and run it through their hair like a nervous tick. If I’m not careful, this could become a dependency. I think I’ll give my hair just a few more quick strokes… again. Can you brush too much? Should I be concerned?
For tonight, along with the See’s candy, I will put away my daily nagging stresses (beat them off with my hair brush actually) and let go of my uncertainties. I know they’ll be right where I left them tomorrow. I’ll have my hair brush ready.