Collections

Gumtree selling haul

15.05.18

Gumtree is Australia’s biggest classified community and I’m a big fan! Thinking back, I’ve actually been a Gumtree user for a really long time. As a student, I remember my first purchase – a retro teak and tiled coffee table and a timber bookshelf. I actually still have the bookshelf, I gave it a coat of paint a few years ago and it’s now used in Rafferty’s room. Later in life as a Props Buyer in the film industry I’ve always used it to find some really unique pieces that would take me forever to scour in all the bricks and mortar shops out there. It really has been a lifesaver at times when I’m working on a shoot deadline.

I’ve also had success in selling my own home decor items on Gumtree over the years. Getting rid of unwanted ‘stuff’ around the home is a really good way to make some extra cash. Not to mention the great feeling you get when you’ve de-cluttered your space. If you’re like me, cleaning up and letting go of possessions you no longer use or need can feel really therapeutic. Bringing my kids in to the mix has brought a whole new layer of ‘things’ we have in the house – so I actually feel like I’m needing to cull things every couple of months these days.

From an environmental perspective, recycling your second-hand goods extends the life of things, avoiding the need for more resources to go into the manufacture of a new product, which is going to help reducing landfill. I also love that used products don’t have packaging. When you buy almost any new product (especially kids toys), it comes with some kind of packaging – plastic casing, cardboard box, styrofoam, etc. The packaging materials, along with the actual product, use energy and resources to create. It can be really difficult to find a way to recycle all that packaging, or even more annoying, to have to throw it away. When you buy used items from Gumtree, you don’t have any packaging to deal with. So, it really is a win-win for so many reasons!

Gumtree recently asked me to have a think about some things I could sell around my home, and I came up with this small selection:


If you’re interested in any of the items, you can view all my ad listings here (there are some bargains to be had):

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-seller/BRIAR/1000979294

My selling haul has a definite kitchen/homewares theme, as these are the cupboards at home that always seem to need culling!

Pictured above (starting top left) is a hand made ceramic salad bowl with a textured glaze that I bought from a ceramicist on the South Coast, a never-been-used Mortar and Pestle, a gorgeous white Feather Garland that used to hang above Sunday’s bed (which would also make a gorgeous party decoration). I’m also selling a set of ceramic Tapas Bowls (that have never been used), and a Marble trivet in a cross shape that I bought from Country Road last year. One of my favourite books is also up for grabs – “The Selby Is in Your Place” was conceived when Todd Selby began taking portraits of dynamic and creative people – authors, musicians, artists, designers and other cultural tastemakers – in their home environments and posting them on his blog, it’s a great read! I’m also selling the white ceramic serving plate which has a lovely eggshell finish, and the hand made ceramic glazed serving spoon. The pair of sweet pink coffee mugs are also for sale, and I’m letting go of the set of ceramic coasters from the cult brand Jonathan Adler. Last but not least, the sweet speckle blue ceramic plate is also available. I think the collection looks really lovely sitting together – there is a definite theme going on!

Before posting my free ads, I did some research on what makes a successful ad and I came across these helpful tips:

1. Be descriptive:

Include details in your listing, such as:
How frequently it has been used and if  there is any damage
What condition the item is in currently
Dimensions of the item (a really important factor)
Colour of the item
Where and when the item was purchased

2. Make your ad visual:

When selling your items, it’s really important to include images in your listings. Try to upload well-lit photos with a good resolution and include a couple that show off the item’s best angle.

3. Manage your listing:
Ensure you keep on top of your incoming ad responses. I created and managed my ads from my laptop, but you could download the Gumtree app on your phone so you can manage your ad on the go if you’d like.

Armed with my laptop, camera and a tape measure I was ready to create my ads. Below are three examples of photos I used in my ads. I made sure I was surrounded my natural light and got clear/good quality shots so my buyers knew exactly what they are looking at.

Buying and selling on Gumtree truly is easy. I’ve actually got my eye on some indoor plants I’d like to purchase from a local seller. Maybe I’ll use the spare cash I make from selling the items above and treat the house to some new greenery! Give Gumtree a go if you haven’t already, I promise you you’ll enjoy it!

Briar x

A traditional christmas tree

29.11.17


Sunday’s excitement levels for Christmas Day this year have been bigger than ever, so a fancier than ever tree was on the top of our wishlist.  I first learnt about Balsam Hill trees last year when I made an enquiry after spotting a range used in a display at my local shopping centre. I was impressed with the stunning realism of the artificial trees from the USA, a true step up from your run of the mill trees that are available from the usual Australian stores. Hand-crafted with care, I’m in awe of the huge range now available for all of us in Australia from the Balsam Hill website.  Check out the huge range of different tree varieties available here.

After checking out the big range of options, I chose the Fraser Fir tree, which is inspired from the Abies fraseri, which is widely regarded as the best Christmas tree species in the USA. It arrived with their Easy Plug feature, with gorgeous fairy lights ready to go – all I had to do was plug in to the wall. It’s a warm and inviting tree with substantial foliage that is truly so life-like. It really gives off that southern charm you see in Christmas movies that I grew up with. I know, that setting is a far stretch from a hot Summer Christmas that Australian’s are used to, but there is something about the charm of a traditional Christmas that makes it that bit more magical for kids.


The tree arrived really quickly and I knew it was a special tree when I was unpacking it, as included in the box was a premium tree stand with scratch-proof rubber fee, a sturdy off-season storage bag, two sets of gloves to shape the tree in style and extra bulbs for the fairy lights. I was very impressed!

It was the first year that Sunday has really been able to help me properly decorate the tree, and we added the gorgeous ornament set also from Balsam Hill to our collection this year. Generously proportioned and lovely quality, the ombre french country ornament set is inspired by antique European ornaments. Check out the big range of decorations here, including the tree collar pictured above. The galvanised tree collar is a cool alternative to a traditional tree skirt, made from 100% iron and features two hinged pieces that easily wrap around to cover the tree stand. Now all I need to do is add around the tree base all those lovely Christmas presents for the family that I’ve hidden away from Sunday’s curious eyes.

Briar x

Giftwrapping with TK Maxx

21.11.17

Christmas is definitely my favourite time of year, and the festive season kicked off a little earlier than usual this year with a media event at the new (and huge) TK Maxx store at Top Ryde. Having never been inside a store (it’s an established shopping chain with over 550 stores in the UK and Europe though), I really didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by a one-stop shopping destination that stocked everything from underwear to pet supplies to cooking utensils. The retailer sells a huge assortment of big names and top brands at a great discount to what you’d find in a department sore. With new deliveries arriving several times a week, you’ll never know what you’ll find from one day to the next – so it really is like one big treasure hunt. The trick is to visit regularly, because once it’s gone from the shelves, it’s gone.

The fun couple of hours I spent at the store involved a giftwraping workshop with clever cat and wrap expert Vivienne Anthon, who is the founder of the blog The Daily Wrap. Vivienne sent us all on a mission to go shopping with a $100 budget, and come back to the workstations with our goodies.

I was almost overwhelmed with the choice I had on my little speed-shopping spree. I ended up choosing a pair of gorgeous leather sandals for Summer for $30, a stoneware baking dish and then in the end I just couldn’t pass up the incredible selection of Christmas ribbons, now pictured above happily at home in my office ready for the wrapping rush Christmas always brings.

We all can back with such an eclectic mix of things (one blogger even brought an upholstered stool back to the table). Vivienne took us through a range of gift wrapping ideas, and I was especially drawn to the idea of using calico (or fabric) instead of paper. As some of you would know, I’ve long been a very enthusiastic gift wrapper, so I was really in my element with the workshop. I also loved her idea of adding small Christmas bells in to your parcel for a festive sound effect, and her trick of wrapping up mailing tubes for a collection of those fiddly/hard to wrap shaped gifts.

Vivienne made the workshop fun, she’s got a great sense of humour so there was a lot of laughter going on.


Lovely bloggers Jen and Kathy doing their thing…

 
Above is an example of the kind of things you’ll find in-store on any given day. Christmas is a big focus that’s on display at the moment, but you’ll also find huge fashion, accessories, beauty and toy departments. The trick is to go in with an open mind and really hunt for that amazing bargain, it’s safe to say that TK Maxx has some clever and affordable Christmas gift ideas! To find your local TK Maxx store visit www.tkmaxx.com.au

Briar x

A second car

26.07.17

We’ve been a one car family since just before Sunday was born, which we found really worked for us, financially. The apartment we were living in gave Mark a two minute walk to work, and we found having a second car an expense that wasn’t necessary. We figured the money saved on registering and insuring another car could pay for a cab if our little family ever got stuck without wheels.

Things changed dramatically when we moved to the burbs earlier this year! Mark found himself with a commute to work for the first time in ten years, which needed a car, mainly so he could easily drop Sunday at Preschool on his way in the morning. So, it was clear we needed a second vehicle for me to get around town with the kids and my day to day work errands. Dreams of a Fiat Beach Buggy obviously weren’t going to happen (can you imagine dashing around the beaches in one of these minty green cuties though, talk about adorable). Looking at a safe family friendly car option was the brief, air bags, leather seats and all.

Making our own funds magically increase in our bank account overnight to make this purchase happen didn’t work out unfortunately, especially after renovating our home (don’t get me started on landscaping costs), so I started shopping around for a car loan. It had been years since I’d dabbled in that area, so it was with perfect timing that the NRMA contacted me and asked to check out their offers. I’ve long been a very loyal member of their roadside angels from Roadside Assistance, but had never considered the NRMA for a car loan before. Looking further in to it, I was impressed with the following; A really quick and easy application process, no monthly fees, pre-approval within 5 business hours and funds available the next day. Loans are available for new and used cars as well as motorcycles, caravans (another dream is to have a little vintage caravan sitting in our backyard one day for extra accommodation and just for the thrill of owning a vintage caravan), motorcycles, motorhomes and boats. The NRMA also offers a 21 day loan satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, you can pull out!

I’ve been checking out a few different cars to purchase and had a go of the NRMA’s handy car loan calculator and the very clever service that gives you a car history report, which I think is really important when buying second hand.

So, it really has been a positive experience and our want of owning a second car is being made that little bit easier. Meanwhile, I still can’t get over this cute little Fiat twin set, which was available for sale back in 2014. I spotted these photos on one of my favourite sites, Messy Nessy Chic. If the buyer who ended up with these 1950’s vehicles is out there, let me know – I want to hear how these sweeties are going. 

Known as “La Spiaggina”, literally meaning  “beach-ette”, the Fiat beach-buggy was marketed worldwide as the Jolly, meaning “joker” in Italian. They were available in pink, coral, white, pale yellow and sky blue. Aristotle Onassis owned one and allegedly used it aboard his sizeable yacht. It is believed that fewer than 100 exist today, each one with its own unique quirks. This particular model may have been one of the 32 Jolly cars that were used as taxis on the island of Catalina off the coast of Los Angeles from 1958–1962. I just had to share these with you, because it’s not often I get this excited about a car!

One can dream, right? 

Briar x

My love for the Steam Mop

22.05.17

I’ve mentioned on here before that I appreciate a neat and tidy house. If my surroundings are organised, my mind feels more at peace – simple as that. I’m sure anyone reading this with those tendencies will also appreciate a good steam clean. So fresh! I make sure to get our sofa processionally cleaned every six months or so, and now I can say I can actually start doing it myself!

How you ask? Godfreys asked me to trial the Hoover ‘Dual Steam Plus’ Steam Mop. I unpacked it from the box and was pleasantly surprised at the easy to follow instructions. I tackled Sunday’s room first, as her asthma cough is always at the back of my mind, I like to keep her room dust free as much as I can. I was honestly so pleased with the results, it heated up within 30 seconds and after a quick lap around the room, the carpet immediately looked and felt fresh…even Sunday noticed how clean her little room looked.
 I was on a roll, so took the carpet glider off from the bottom and hit up the two bathrooms. Having never used a steam mop before, I was so impressed with the streak free finish on the floor tiles. Glided around the tiles with ease, talk about easy!

The element that makes this mop stand out from the others is that it transforms in to a detachable hand-held steamer. Nothing can stop me now – I’m going to be steaming everything, it even has a window squeegee kit!

Pictured above is the water tank that you have to simply fill before use. It’s a really eco-friendly way of cleaning as you don’t need any chemicals.

If you’re in the market for something like this, you’ll be interested to know Godfreys has a stocktake sale kicking off on the 25th May, and free shipping is available for all orders over $99.00 (Note: The website will have all the products for the current Mighty May sale but will update on the 25th with the Stocktake sale products, including this steam mop).

Happy cleaning! 

Briar x

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