This Little Shopper Went to Market

Have you ever been to a flea market? I have. Tons. In fact, I’ve sold at them probably more than twenty times. I love it! I love shopping there more than selling though. ;-)

There’s something so thrilling about searching for something you’re in dire need of, and then finding it for only a fraction of the cost of if you bought it from the store! No, it’s not always used – sometimes you can find new items too. Last weekend I sold at the flea market in Wentzville and the lady selling next to us on the left had nothing but new household items. She had everything from toothpaste, to laundry soap, candles, and pantyhose. The guy selling on the right of us had brand new sunglasses (over-priced if you ask me because I know how much he got them for at the wholesale house).

Now what do I sell? I get rid of anything I don’t need. I sold a toilet paper roll holder for a dollar and some kitchen canisters for three. I sold some of Gene’s video games, and this speaker thing he had (no clue what it even was). I’ll sell anything! The hardest thing about selling at the flea market is trying not to go walk around and spend the money you’ve made!

When I sell I’m not out to make a ton of money so I price cheap (I take after my Mom), but you’ll see people out there trying to get rich in a day. Gene and my Dad are even like that; if they had their way they’d get what they paid for the item every time! Granted nobody would buy it so that’s a moot point. Anyway, like I was saying, people trying to get rich make up about 85% of a flea market. They over-price all of their items hoping to get the people that won’t bargain down (like my Mom). Don’t be shy. Seriously. They price their items for those bargainers, so never, EVER pay what they have on there. Unless you’re dead set on it and can’t live without it.

Here’s a tip, and this one is especially good for furniture or bulky items: If you’ve found something that you like and the person won’t come down on it, walk away. Chances are, you’ll surprise yourself and find the same item down the strip for less. If not, go back right before you are leaving and ask again. It happens all the time so don’t think you’re doing something weird. It’s just one last shot for the person to make a buck; if they pass, it’s their loss. Again, don’t use this tip if you’re going to die without it because it does backfire. My Dad always has the motto “Somebody will pay for it.” Well, not always, and how long are they willing to sit on it before it sells? The worst thing for a person selling is to have to pack up and take back home a ton of crap, especially heavy items.

If you decide to try out selling there, here are some good pointers:

1.       Get there extra early – the prime spots get taken quick (some people will get in line there at 3am)!

2.       Presentation is key – don’t expect to even make your “rent” if you just lay your stuff out on blankets… tables, like items together, larger items in back. *Yes, it will cost you to rent their space. I wouldn’t pay more than $25 per spot, per day.

3.       Price everything – it’s just like a store… if you come across something and you don’t know the price, how often do you go ask someone?

4.       Be willing to negotiate – Hey, that’s half the fun!

5.       I definitely suggest going to shop a flea market before you sell there because you need to get familiar with the location and the customers. Each flea market is not the same. It also wouldn’t hurt to talk to some of the vendors to see if they have any suggestions.

Well, if selling isn’t your thing I highly recommend going to paruse the bargains. This is the prime time of year because it’ll probably be over by the end of October and sellers don’t want to have to hold onto all of their wares until next spring. So bring your pocketbook and be prepared to walk A LOT! Have kiddos? Bring the wagon! No pets though as they aren’t allowed most places, even those outdoor ones.

Suggested Flea Markets:

-          CWE Flea (1st and 3rdSaturdays)

Have fun with it! And make sure to give yourself plenty of time.

Happy bargain-hunting!


New Season, Old Feelings, Current Happenings

I love the fact that in Missouri we really get to experience the change in seasons. Where other than the MidWest can you see Spring’s blooming flowers sometimes covered in snow, and Summer’s blazing heat change to a mild 70 degrees overnight, and Autumn colors starting to show during the remnants of the summer temps, or a WHITE CHRISTMAS worthy of movies? Well, Maybe in other countries, but Missouri is a prime location in the U.S.! How funny I say this when most times I’d rather live a million other places than in St. Louis.

Along with fall I change too. Each season I reminisce about last year’s holdings at this same time. Or the year before. Or ten years before.  I get flooded with so many emotions when the weather changes. It’s wonderful and heart wrenching at the same time.

I daydream about what I want to do with and without Emma this time of year, and how I’d like to decorate my house, and foods that correlate with this time of year. Of course, I get smacked down because I can’t really do a lot of the things I’d like to with Emma (Oktoberfest, bonfires, football games, tailgating, etc.), and I can’t really decorate my house because I’m still trying to make having a nosey child and 1,000 moving toys work into the household as it is! So I think about food (shocker!) and things to do with Emma.

Gene and I recently took Emma to the “Brink” family reunion. It was actually the Kaibel family reunion, I think. Some family owns the MikusFamily Farm (Pumpkin Patch called PUMPKINS GALORE) in Wright City so it was held there and I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was! If you’re looking for an awesome place to take the kiddos, try there first! We spent four hours there! Emma skipped a nap, and was still going strong! She met two goats, a donkey, some chickens, a bunny, some turtles and a cat. She swung on a swing, played in feed corn, see-sawed, rode a kid tractor, played in dirt and rocks, and so much more! They open this coming weekend to the public and they’ll have snacks, a bounce house, hay rides, pumpkin picking, pumpkin cannon-shooting, and lots more. I plan on taking Emma back if I can make the time!

A lot of Mommy friends took their kids to pick apples. While I decided long ago that Emma wouldn’t be too into this, and I don’t need that many apples, I think I’ve changed my mind and have decided to go ahead and take Emma. We’ll see if I ever get the time to do this or not, but I’m going to try to squeeze it in. Plus, I’m sure Gene would love some more apple crisp!

While we are skipping Oktoberfest this year because of some work issues on Gene’s end, we can now fit in Taste of St. Louis. Yum! Just what I need, more food. I WAS on a diet, you know. Haha. Well, we’ll probably hit that up on Saturday night once Gene gets home from work and hopefully it’s not too busy down there. Have you been? It’s ah-mazing! Pricey, but oh so good. FYI – it’s not very kid friendly because they do not have diaper changing stations. They do have very large handicap port-a-potties so bring a changing pad.

We have one last Cardinals game to go to as a family. The 29th is the very last “regular” season game and we have tickets. Don’t get me wrong, I love going as a family because it’s something important to Gene and I, but we can’t really watch a game with Emma because she does not sit still for long, and we can’t all eat at the same time because she is on our laps, and then she will get cranky and/or hot and we will have to leave early. I have given up watching games at home too because one of us has to keep her entertained and I can’t half-watch. I just can’t. So I keep updated on Twitter a bit and I keep up with wins/losses, but I couldn’t tell you who’s on first (oh stop, haha) or who they even played last (okay, that’s not true, we played the Brewers… and lost last night!). So I’m anxious to get this last game over with so that next year we can start fresh with Emma being a little older and hopefully a little more into the game.

What also comes with the weather changes? The outdoor to-do list of course. So, before winter I need to weed and feed the grass again, pull the flowers from the flower bed, and paint the outside of the house. While I’d love to pay someone to paint the outside of the house (I know a good handy-man if you need any work done btw – he's a little eccentric, but an awesome person and very reliable) I just can’t do it. I hate painting the house. Yuck. I also need to put away any items that the frigid winter weather will harm. Boy, when will I ever get all that in?

Ever since the first “chilly” day, I’ve wanted to make chili. Haha, see how that works? The only reason I haven’t yet in simply because I know Emma can’t really eat chili. She can eat the meat, and some beans and crackers, but I wouldn’t feel like she would be eating a well-balanced meal. So, I need to sit down a figure out what I could do to get her veggies in as well. Carrots in the chili maybe?

I made apple crisp a couple weeks ago. It was so yummy. I used directions off the back of a bag of oatmeal cookie mix by Betty Crocker and three giant Honeycrisp apples. Speaking of Honeycrisps, did you see how much they are?!? Wow. Thank goodness Emma kept me occupied and Gene paid because I would have told them to keep those stinkin’ apples and we would have eaten oatmeal cookies instead of the yummy dessert. There truly is no better apple though.

I baked pumpkin bread last night and the house filled up with the wonderful smell of fall (pumpkin spices really, but to me, that’s fall). I kept taking in deep breaths just to savor it! The bread was okay, it turned out more like a spice cake really, but I still ate almost half of it between last night and today. Haha.

What are some other good fall foods? I’ve already eaten my fair share of Happy Apples. Haha.

I’m totally looking forward to what the rest of September, October and November have to bring! And then, best of all, we’ll be on to the most wonderful time of the year!

Do you have any exciting stories or plans for this time of year? I’d love to add some new memories to my list!


THIRTY on Thursday

So it has been so long since I’ve done a real post, and I feel like I’m not keeping everyone up-to-date on all things Brink. While 30 lines are nowhere near enough to cover everything going on in the Brink Family, it’s something. Maybe I’ll do another next week too. Anyway, here we go:

1    1.                  So I had my surgery follow-up appointment today and they supposedly removed all abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells from my cervix. Dysplasia is beck to zero, and I go back in January to have it all checked out again. Because it’s from stress, I’m worried that it will automatically come back, so here’s hoping I’m wrong.

2.                   They weighed me today. Ouch. That’s it. It’s official. I’m going to TRY to lose weight now.

3.                   I have memories of hugging my Doc after the surgery, but I’m not 100% sure since I was heavily sedated.

4.                   I won an award for Managed Care excellence at work. There are two people who can win this award, and it alternates every year. So needless to say, it does not make me feel appreciated.

5.                   I’m not sure why some people at work find the need to suck up to me… I’m nobody really. But yet, it happens… it happened just two days ago. Big time.

6.                   I found out a co-worker is an Avon rep. on Tuesday and I ordered 4 things already! I’m super excited for them to come in!

7.                   Christmas is right around the corner, and yet my Dad won’t quit buying things for Emma.

8.                   I’m working at PYC again. I’m not sure if it is temporary or not. I can’t remember because it all went down when I had surgery so I’m not sure if I said yes or no for long-term.

9.                   I still haven’t found a church. I had some prospects, but the geek in me checked out reviews and got scared away. How do you know that the church isn’t all cult-like?

10.               Speaking of church, I was leaning towards Baptist churches, but I keep hearing more and more about Westboro, so now I think I’m scared of those too. I want a homey, friendly, non-biased, cake-making, events-having, family-friendly church. I also do not want to join one, and then have to switch in a month. That’s why I’m so picky. Honestly, I’ve prayed about it so much I’m kind of frustrated that one hasn’t landed in my lap yet. But, He works in mysterious ways, right? Cayla, if you’re reading this, tell your Dad to go back to TT so I can end my ridiculously long search.

11.               I’m still questioning moving to a part-time job or staying at home with Emma. I’ve been actively praying and searching for an answer, and there might be something on the horizon. I’m not going to jinx it by saying anything yet.

12.               I need to reduce my stress. I know that much. But, I have no idea how. Anyone have any thoughts?

13.               I cannot wait for Christmas. I say that every year, but this year I don’t want to side-step the other holidays in the home stretch either. So, maybe I should say:

14.               I can’t wait for Halloween! I think Emma might be a strawberry this year. Haha. I’m waiting until it gets closer to decide for sure though because you know me, indecisive and all, I’ll change my mind before then probably.

15.               I can’t wait for Thanksgiving either. I always have fancy table-setting thoughts swimming around in my head, but alas I do not have a fancy house, or fancy parents, or fancy friends really. I wish we fit into that category, but I think only my dreams do.

16.               Oktoberfest is right around the corner. While I’m looking forward to it, the Mom in me keeps vetoing my drunkard plans. Ugh.

17.               Oh! We have a family reunion to go to on the 21st. We will probably only know one person there (literally) but we are going anyway. It’s at a pumpkin patch! It should be fun, but I have to bring TWO sides and I have no idea what to take. Hmmmmmm.

18.               We have three Cardinals games to go to this month. Gene is taking this Friday, Holli and I are going the 23rd, and then the Brink Fam is going on the 29th.

19.               Can the weather please change already? I always get like this. I want it to cool down and the leaves to change colors. Then I want snow and Christmas. Then as soon as Christmas is over – like, the next day – I want it to be Spring. It’s a cruel cycle of seasons.

20.               I cannot get enough of the song Blurred Lines. And while I have mixed feelings about playing it around Emma, she can’t get enough of it either. She will instantly dance and throw her arms around when it comes on. At least it’s the radio version… right?

21.               Emma has been working hard on mastering the sppon and fork. She’s a long way from perfect, but she can feed herself! Slowly.

22.               I feel like I’m in a rut. That’s another reason I think I need a change in my daytime schedule. I come home and play with Emma for about 3 hours and then I go to bed once she does, and I wake up and do it all over again. My weekends are consumed with family events. While I love my Emma more than anything, I need to have guilt-free time to hang out with friends. Why do I say guilt-free? I feel guilty when I go out without Gene because I know he wants time out too (which he gets but clearly doesn’t feel guilty about), and I feel guilty when my parents watch Emma one Saturday night a month because they watch her four days out of the week. I know they love her and don’t care (supposedly) but I do, and it’s the principle of the whole thing.

23.               I can’t seem to find an early morning yoga class. I need like a Tuesday class around 6:30am. Anyone know of any?

24.               I’m officially penny-pinching to save up for Christmas and such. I spend money way too freely. It’s funny how regardless of how much you make, it’s always only just enough because your lifestyle seems to change with your salary. I need to get out of that mindset.

25.               Emma’s vocabulary is getting extensive! She shocks me every day! She has even learned to say “I did that.” Lol. She has also started to say “Bo-Bo.” I have no idea what that is though! None of us do. Imaginary friend?

26.               I got word from the doctor today that in a couple months or so we can start trying to have another baby if we want. I’m starting to second guess having one for now. I mean, Emma is hard work sometimes. She’s at the point of throwing tantrums and screaming when she doesn’t get her way. With no resolve. It’s bad. I cry. I don’t know that I could handle that AND a newborn. I think because of everything that went on with my body I’ve lost that window for now.

27.               I’ve signed up for another 5K in December, and this time we are going to run it. My friend Alyssa is actually a blogger for the run we are participating in and the run is called the Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K. They are running a few giveaways and such so if you’re remotely interested, check out her blog for lots of fun stuff! She is also posting her training for the run, so if you’re interested in training yourself, or if you just like to watch someone’s journey, check it out!

28.               My friend Liz is having a Halloween Playdate on October 19th. I’m not sure if I will put Emma in her costume or not because there will be fun stuff like painting going on, so I think I might just have her wear a cute little Halloween outfit. Oh! Liz is pregnant with Baby #2 right now! She also has a blog and can I say she’s an awesome blogger?!?! If you’re a new Mommy or you’re expecting, check out her “favorites” posts. (To toot her horn, she’s also VP at a fancy company in downtown STL)

29.               I find myself very tired lately. I’m not sure if it’s the season change, or from my body healing after everything it has gone through the last couple months, or maybe it’s just that I need to change up my vitamin intake.

30.               I think I need to get glasses. I really need a lasik enhancement, but the lasik pros think that the PRK may not work as well as I’d hope with such a low Rx. So, I’m guessing that my best option is to wear glasses until it gets bad enough to enhance. I’m not too thrilled at that thought. 

     Well, there you go. 30 things that are rolling around in my brain. J
     Thanks for checking in! Look for another post like this in the near future, because there are so many things I didn’t get to put out there!
     Ciao for now!