When I made the decision to move across the country I knew I had to get rid of as much “stuff” as possible. I was selling all my furniture, my beloved but very crappy car and giving away pretty much everything else. I was not going to rent a moving truck or drive my now-sold car from Pennsylvania to California, which meant I was doing this move by mailing a few large (and heavy) boxes and filling two suitcases I’d bring with me on the plane.
I had already moved from a three bedroom house with roommates to a studio/one-bedroom hybrid apartment six months earlier, and had a huge garage sale with my roommates at the time (more on that here). And thank god I’d done that, because even after all that selling I still had way too much stuff.
So back to the downsizing. I’m not really a clothes person per se, but I have definitely accumulated a lot of clothing over the years. When I started packing all my clothes into the shipping boxes I realized I hadn’t worn some of them in over a year, which is the common rule of thumb for donation time.
Around this time I’d been introduced to ThredUp, an online consignment store. If you’re interested in selling your clothes to ThredUp, they send you a huge prepaid shipping bag to throw all the items in and once they receive it give you an offer for the clothes. They sell your stuff on their site, so you can also purchase discounted used clothing as well. It sounded like a perfect option for some of my less worn and more current pieces that I just hadn’t worn in a long time. ThredUp may not take all your items, but they will donate the unaccepted on your behalf.
While the process wasn’t a total win for me, all in all I’m very happy I did it. ThredUp has a few competitors, one of whom I heard about around the same time and decided to try out as well (called Twice – review coming soon).
What did I like best about it? Well, I loved selling clothing I would have donated or thrown away otherwise, and I really enjoyed how much information ThredUp gives you on the prices of your items. I could see exactly which clothes were accepted, the selling price, and even look at their listings to see if anyone purchased them. I absolutely love that kind of stuff. But what I was actually paid for everything was pretty low, especially considering some things were brand new or had only been worn once.
In the end, it was so easy that I can’t really complain about it. If you’re looking to make some serious money or aren’t sure you want to part ways with your clothing, I wouldn’t recommend ThredUp. You can pay $12 and have them mail back anything they don’t accept, but if you’re considering doing that I’d hesitate to send your clothes to begin with. But if you’re like me and are looking for a way to get rid of things you don’t place any real value on, ThredUp may be perfect for you.
It’s also a great website to peruse and shop for gently used or like new fashion. I’ve found some good stuff before, though I do think their prices can vary wildly from quite underpriced to severely overpriced. It really is just like a thrift store – there are bargains to be found, but you have to search for them. As a nice bonus, if you signup through my link you’ll receive $10 off your first order! Can’t hurt to look, right?
I’ve got a very simple and healthy recipe for you today. Plus, it’s delicious and perfect for the spring and summertime. It took me about 10 minutes to make from start to finish, which really can’t be beat.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
- 4-5 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 (10 oz or so) package frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Combine 1 teaspoon sugar, chili and chile powders and 1/8 teaspoon of salt into a small bowl. Toss shrimp in the spice mixture and make sure to coat them well
- Heat 3 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper & garlic to pan, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add remaining sugar and corn to pan, cook 3 more minutes. Stir in vinegar and cook one minute or less. Transfer corn mixture to a bowl and combine with remaining salt and green onions.
- Wipe off the pan with a paper towel – don’t burn yourself! Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes until done, turning once halfway through. Serve the shrimp on top of the corn relish.
The recipe below fed two people well with no leftovers, so go ahead and double it if you’re cooking for more or want extra to eat later (just don’t double the olive oil). And feel free to add in any crunchy veggies or other similar spices to the mix – it’ll only make the meal tastier!
Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend! I know I did; it was so great seeing friends and spending time in NYC. Without further adieu, let’s jump right into this week’s Friday Favorites:
I LOVE Chipotle. Like, cannot get enough. When I lived and worked in Philadelphia there was one two blocks from the office, so I’d eat lunch there at least once a week. But now that I have to drive in order to get my Chipotle fix (silly southern California) I’m eating there a lot less frequently…definitely good for my waist-line but not so good for my happiness. Last night I was grocery shopping at Target and on the way home passed a Chipotle, so take a wild guess what I had for dinner. I swear to you it made my week. Nothing like a burrito bowl with every single salsa to put a smile on your face
I don’t drink Starbucks a ton, but when I do I always pay with their app. I have a gift card that I keep loaded with around $30, and try my best to reload when there are discounts or special offers. Starbucks gift cards are often sold at a discount at grocery stores or on sites like Groupon, so it’s pretty easy to save 20% or more any time you shop there. Because I use the app to pay, all purchases are tracked. You earn one star per purchase, and every 12 visits you earn a free drink. On top of that, Starbucks runs promotions constantly that make it even easier to earn free beverages. Just yesterday I received an email saying if I visited any location twice in the next two weeks I’d earn 10 bonus stars! They also send out coupons from time to time, so you can save on things from iced coffee to breakfast sandwiches. The app has tons of other features as well, including a store locator and post-purchase tipping options. There really is no other way to pay at Starbucks. Plus, if you join with my link you’ll receive a free drink – just for signing up!
If you don’t already know the website A Beautiful Mess, check them out now. It’s an awesome site filled with DIY projects (some wayyyy too complex for me to ever try), recipes and fashion tips. They also have a shop full of craft items and recently launched a monthly surprise shipment called Happy Mail. As longtime readers know, I absolutely love monthly subscriptions. If I could afford it I would subscribe to every single one. The great thing about Happy Mail is that it’s affordable – if you sign up for a full year, you pay only $15 a month. Each mailing is packed with 10-15 items ranging from greeting cards to postcards to art prints. You can see May’s shipment above – in addition to what’s pictured we also received a sheet of phrase stickers, a fantastic wi-fi password print and some round emoji envelope sealers. I’ve been subscribed for three months now and cannot say enough positive things about it. I love having beautiful and unique cards to send friends and family for any occasion, and am now able to swap out the artwork in my apartment whenever I have the urge. There really is no better monthly option for the price. And who doesn’t love getting something fun in the mail every four weeks? I know I do!
Being away for nearly two weeks really made me miss my bed. After a six hour flight and what felt like 24 hours of travel, I could not have been happier to return home to the most comfortable place I know. It’s like sleeping wrapped in a cloud, I swear. If you don’t feel the same way I do about where you sleep every night, do something about it. Now.
Alright, time to finish up the work day and head out to buy a baby shower gift. Have any of you heard of a sprinkle? Apparently it’s a baby shower but for someone who’s already had a child, so it’s less (?) of a shower but still a party. I honestly have no idea. I don’t even know if I’m supposed to bring a present, but I refuse to show up empty-handed and look like an idiot. Wish me luck!
Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope you’ve all got some great things planned and you take advantage of the extra day. After a couple of weeks off, I am back today with my third Friday Favorites installment. Let’s jump right in.
I’m pretty nostalgic in general, so any sort of reunion gets me excited. Last weekend was my college’s 5th year and I had an absolute blast. It was so fun to see people I hadn’t seen in years, and catch up with good friends I don’t spend nearly as much time with now that I live across the country. And since I met my boyfriend in college it’s even more fun to experience it all with him. This weekend is also a reunion of sorts – I’ll be spending it in NYC with my best friends from high school. Again, since I live so far away it will be great to see them and hang out in person. I’ll be there for a full three days, which is the longest I’ve ever spent in New York City. But we are quite the group so I’m not worried about filling the time with all the fun things.
Apparently I’m the last person in the world on the Harlan Coben bandwagon, but man am I on it now. I read this book in less than three days and immediately bought another of his novels after I finished. I loved the plot and found the writing to be perfect for a summertime read. It’s not super trashy chick lit but you certainly aren’t reading The Infinite Jest…if that makes any sense. Summer is the perfect time to read a book (or four) per month, and trust me when I say you should add this one to your list.
I cannot get enough of this show. It is the worst kind of reality television, with a ridiculous concept and constant repetition when watching. I stumbled upon the show completely by accident (I swear!) but am now totally hooked and will be watching all the way through the finale. If you’re looking for something to do for a few hours on a rainy day there really is nothing better. Just be sure to tape them beforehand if you can, because I cannot even imagine watching this with commercial breaks.
My favorite fruit is finally back in season! I saw some for sale at a fruit cart in Philadelphia and cannot wait to get back to San Diego and buy all.the.cherries. I might go broke doing it – why you gotta be so expensive cherries? – but it’s much healthier than Chips Ahoy, my current dessert of choice. Yay for summer!
And there you have it – my favorite things this week. Now stop wasting time on your computer and go outside! Happy Memorial Day everybody!
For those of you that do any sort of stock trading, you know that the commissions can add up. I personally buy and sell only a couple of times a month, and don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to play with, so those $7-10 fees on each end of a trade do affect my overall profit (or loss…).
Enter Robinhood. Robinhood is a fairly new equities trading platform, available for download on iPhone only. It offers users the ability to buy and sell stocks with zero commissions, something unheard of in the business. The app itself is super simple, with a sleek design and intuitive interface. It is truly meant for someone who enjoys doing some light trading in the stock market, but doesn’t expect or need any fancy or complex tools or charts.
The app has improved since it launched, but there still aren’t many high-end features you’d find on a Vanguard or Charles Schwab-type website. That being said, you’re saving $7 or more on each transaction, so it really does depend on what you value in a financial platform.
After transferring funds in from any bank, you simply type in the ticker symbol and number of shares to buy any stock. The transaction will occur immediately (if you’re placing a Market order) and you will then be able to follow the stock’s performance and your overall gain or loss.
It really is that straightforward. Of course you should never buy or sell equities if you can’t afford to lose your investment, if you’re unsure about any part of it, or if you really have no idea what you’re doing. But if you’ve been casually trading on another platform and hate paying fees, Robinhood might be a great option for you.
Note: the screenshots above are a few months old, so they don’t represent the stocks I currently own. Trade at your own risk!