Monday, August 12, 2013

Treading Water

Hello readers I am still here and will continue to post on this wonderful blog. I have been absent due to some medical issues and set backs in my search for a fix to my chronic back pain.

 I feel like I am just treading water, not really moving anywhere at all. My days are filled with ever increasing pain and a lack of care provided by my doctors. I don't want surgery, but it seems that's were I'm headed. I am limited in what my insurance will cover and approve. And now I am not a person in pain but a medical chart / number that is being passed around as each doctor runs out of options.

So I just pray for healing and a solution to this wonderful mess that is my life right now and look to the future.

I hope to be back at my projects and tutorials soon and hope that you will all hang in there with me and continue to read!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pinned It / Tried It - Banana Muffins With Struesel Topping

Pinned It / Tried It - Banana Muffins With Struesel Topping

Salllys Baking Addiction

Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Streusel
  makes 16 muffins
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 cup mashed bananas, very ripe (about 3 large ripe bananas)
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt) -  
  • I used vanilla honey yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts -
  • I did NOT use walnuts my family doesn't like them
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line muffin tin with baking cups or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Make the streusel first by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, gently toss together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric stand or hand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and egg in a large bowl until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. On low speed, beat in the mashed bananas and yogurt. I mixed the banana and yogurt together in a separate bowl then added it to the batter. By hand, stir in the dry ingredients mixing until everything is *just* combined. Do not over mix.
Layer one spoonful of batter into the muffin cup. Sprinkle with streusel. Layer another spoonful on top and layer with more streusel. Continue to layer batter and streusel into each muffin tin.
Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425F degrees. Lower temperature dial down to 350F degrees and continue to bake for about 14 more minutes until the muffins are set and lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tins and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

I am not that great at baking and these muffins turned out perfect and were gone within hours. They are so fluffy and moist. I love the topping!!!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Top 20 Tips for Selling at Craft Shows & Flea Markets

Most vintage sellers and upcyclers / repurposers (like me) participate in flea market type shows. I only do about 2-4 shows per year, but other sellers often do 1 show per month. These shows can be very profitable, but they require a lot of work. Here are some tips that I try to follow to make these events run smoothly.

1. Have a plan - I normally start planning a month or more in advance for what I am going to sell and how I want me booth to look.

2. Get organized - Get everything tagged / priced and packed the night before.

3. Have an attractive display - This does not mean that it needs to be organized to the T or need to have expensive props. But if the customer doesn't want to look at what you have then they won't come over and make a purchase.

4. Have a balanced sellers personality - You need to be friendly, but your mind needs to be on making the sale. Don't be overly loud and aggressive because that will scare the seller away. Be sure that if you have room to come down on the price, then accept the buyers offer.

5. Be nice - You want to make sure that you are engaging and polite. Many people will make a purchase based on your interaction with them.

6. Change your display - If you are selling the same item at each show / event then make sure to change your display. If you display is the same every time people may get board and not stop by. You want your buyer to be excited about your product, want to look at it, and want to purchase it.

7. Restock and have new merchandise - If you are participating in a 2 or 3 day show make sure that you have plenty of inventory that you have bring out as the days go by. Having a trailer or U-Haul is important.

8. Sell what people want - I already know what you're thinking "how do I know what others are going to want?" Well after doing a few shows you will start to see what people are buying, especially if you have done the same show more than once. I can tell you that at smaller flea market / vintage type events smaller items are better. If you are at Alameda or a LARGE show then larger items might sell better.
9. Price reasonably - Don't be greedy -  Make sure to price your item with a profit, but you cant expect that your buyer is going to pay through the roof when they can get it two spaces down for less.

10. Advertise - Most shows / event hosts will advertise, but that doesn't mean that you cant do a little of your publicity. But an add on craigslist or contact the local paper.

11. Social Media - This goes along with advertising - post sneak peeks and event info on twitter, facebook, instagram, etc, etc. Using social media might get you sales before you even get to the event!

12. Enlist the help of your friends - You cannot do a vendor show by yourself...YOU WILL NEED HELP! Plus its always more fun when you have someone to talk too! And that way you can shop!

13. Get there early - There is nothing worst then getting stuck in a line of cars and cargo vans all trying to get to their spaces and get get their early!

14. Be flexible and embrace change - Nothing every works out exactly like we think it will, so be flexible and embrace changing the plan or changing the design.

15. Take notes - Take notes along the way. Whether it be about what other vendors are doing, what you want to change the next time, or what you might learn from talking to customers and other vendors.

16. Keep good records - You want to make sure that you are keeping track of your sales. You want to do this so you know what's selling, how you are making, and in case their is a problem. I use The Square and sometimes its a little finicky so I always keep a note pad with the customers name and the amount of purchase just in case.

17. Have business cards - You don't want to have stacks of them laying out everywhere because you pay for them and it adds to the bottom line, but if you want people to call you or find your shop / Etsy then give them a card. I also give keep customer that purchases a card.

18. Use a canopy or pop-up tent - This will protect you and your buyers from the weather and give your space a more store like feel. You don't want you buyers dying in the heat or getting wet if its raining.

19. Signage - You want to make sure that you have a sign clearly showing your name or company name so people remember you. Have repeat customers at an event is very important and since you might now always get the same space you need to have signage.

20. Have FUN!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Going Camping - Be Back Soon

Just wanted to let you know that my family and I are off living in the moment. We are camping with family for the next week. Be back blogging when I get back.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not Enough Hours in The Day

I don't know about you, but summer is always one of the busiest times for me. There are just not enough hours in the day. Today is a perfect example, non stop go since 9 a.m. and here I am at 11 p.m. writing this blog post. And I still have some pictures to take of my sneak peek for my 1st Instagram Sale. The weekends are no better because we are off having fun with family and friends.

The good news is that my family and I are having tons of fun! And next week and weekend we will be camping with more of our family - in-laws and cousins! Pictures to come.
I could really use some tips on how to stay a little more organized and to increase my time management so I can get more done during the day (A.k.a nap time).
If you want to follow along or see whats for sale in my Instagram sale @ thehouseofdiyshop - find me personally on Instagram @ houseofdiy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Camping

Our family is going camping @ Snowflower Campground Ca next week. So here are some camping pictures to get inspired by.

Country Living Magazine