Friday, December 19, 2014

Close5 Sponsored Post and App Review!

This is a “sponsored post.” written by me on behalf of Close5.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s rules and regulations.

Those who know me know I cannot stand clutter.  I’m always cleaning out, moving furniture around and changing my space because a lack of organization makes me CRAZY.  Recently I had the opportunity to review a new app that makes it possible for you to sell old items!  Close5 is a new app with a simple concept- it allows users to post items for sale.  Users in the nearby vicinity can review, comment and make offers on each items. 

I personally sell any items on Facebook swap boards so I was curious, would an app make it easier to sell items?  What sorts of items were people looking to unload?  Would there be any people in my area?

Downloading and Adding Items

Downloading the app is very easy, I just searched Close5 on iTunes and it was the first application to pop up.  After downloading I allowed it to access my Facebook account and boom, my profile was created and I could add an item!  There is a simple menu that pops that up that allows the use to easily access any part of the app they need to like selling and searching items.

I chose to put up one item to start off.  It was an extra set of travel bags I had purchased a few years ago and never used. 

First, I allowed the application to access my photos.  The app guides you to resize your image to fit the uniform sizes of all items that you scroll through.  It also allows you to add multiple pictures showing different angles of the item.  This to me is a huge perk.  For example if you sell something on eBay you have to pay for additional images but Close5 allows you to add them, all for free!  Second, I added some descriptions of my item and a price.  Pressing done will add the items for sale and then you wait until someone comments that they are interested.  Here is the finished product!

Pros and Cons

After almost 4 days for sale my item hasn’t sold BUT I have played a bit with the application and here are my thoughts.  The app doesn’t seem to be location stable.  So, if I’m in San Francisco and choose to place an item, that item is listed as SF as my area.  If I go home to San Jose and post another item that item pops up under San Jose and as far as I can tell there is no way to change the location.  This creates problems of course, I should be able to list items in whatever area I choose, not just were the locator on my phone says. 

These issues are minor however as I can see that this application has the potential to replace Craigslist.  The user interface is so simple to use and gone are the days of endless back and forth emails requesting more pictures and details.  Close5 gives you the means and audience to sell your items.  I like that you can share your posts to Facebook and Twitter which means you don’t have to limit your potential buyers to just Close5 users.  I think that’s a great touch.  One other thing I noticed is there there is a private message system.  So, if you are interested in a item it looks like you need to leave a comment or press the make an offer button.  I suspect that might prompt a new private window but although I didn’t sell my items, it’s clear that there is a private way  for items to get negotiated and exchanged.  

Overall I think Close5 has the potential to be a great way to sell items laying around your house to people that are in your neighborhood.  Have you tried the app out?  Would it be something you would ever use?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top Five Mommy Must Haves and a Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Today I'm partnering up with Ashley of Heart Hug Designs to bring you another giveaway this week! Ashley asked me to share my top five Mommy Must Haves and here they are!

1.  I know people reach for the Sophie the Giraffe but with Kiki, we tried out the Vulli Chan Pie Gnon Pink and she really liked playing with it.  It's a squeaky toy that also doubles as a teether.  It's easy to keep clean and fits nicely in our diaper bag for those days where I need to bring stuff to keep her busy.

2.  We love these Zoli Baby BOT Straw Sippy Cup - Purple - 9 oz sippy cups!  There a weight on the bottom of the straw that makes it easy for your little one to get the last of the water in there.  They are easy to clean and BPA free, we have about 4 of these in the house.

3.  Aden + Anais Swaddle Blanket, Bamboo Rayon, 3 count, Azure are the softest, coziest blankets EVER.  Even though we don't swaddle Kiki anymore these are perfect for a light blanket on those hot summer nights.

4.  Cloud b Sleep Sheep - On The Go - Travel Sound Machine is a great item to bring while traveling.  Both of our kids are used to their sound machine and when we bring this, it adds some comfort to them while sleeping in a different room.

5.  I'm all about eco friendly products and the Seventh Generation Baby Lotion, 6 Ounce is a must have staple in my home.  These products smell a tiny bit like citrus and are gentle enough for baby's skin.

I'm giving away a $25 Amazon Gift card to help start you off with your own must haves!  Enter in the rafflecopter square below and be sure to visit Heart Hug Designs who is also giving away an Amazon gift card and sharing her must haves!

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts and a Special Edition EOS Giveaway!

  • How is everyone doing today? I’m huddled down in the house with hot tea, working from home since the Storm of the Century has hit the Bay Area. At first I was sort of thinking that it was the newscasters going crazy over nothing but now I’m realizing that this is serious business. The flooding and trees down in my neighborhood is nuts!

  • My husband sent this movie trailer to me and I must say, he knows me quite well. Disaster movies like this are my jam and this one is about the San Andreas fault!?!? I’m in!

  • This is the earliest we have ever put up a Christmas tree and I was stoked to see our new stockings arrive. I’ve been on the hunt for cable knit stockings forever and Lands End came through. 

  • In honor of being homebound because of this storm, I’m giving away some of my favorite lip balms! EOS came out with a Rachel Roy special edition and it can be yours, just enter!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Acure Organics: Party with a Purpose Product Recap and Giveaway

A few months ago I was selected to take part in the Acure Organics Show Your Face party.  The premise was simple, watch a Acure produced documentary and throw a party with friends to try out Acure products.  Acure makes skin care products mostly made with organic ingredients so I was looking forward to trying them out.  All of their products are gluten free with no synthetic preservatives, and they are cruelty free!
My friends and I we already having a girls night out so I brought out all the products for everyone to try.  My personal favorites were the Clarifying Mint Body Wash which has a really strong scent but I love that it wakes me up first thing in the morning!  I thought it lathered up and rinsed cleanly but the fact that the scent is amazing and the ingredients won’t make me have an allergic reaction makes me love this stuff even more!
My friend C tried out the Shampoo and Conditioner and she reported back that she liked use the products on her curly hair.  I also tried out the Facial Moisturizer and found that it was gentle on my skin but didn’t give me the soft feel that my Simple facial moisturizer did.
If you've never tried Acure products, here is an opportunity.  I’m giving away a few full size Acure Organics items, so feel free to enter below!

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*Acure provided some products but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Alameda Antique Fair

After a busy Saturday I met up with the Best Friend and we made out way to Alameda to source stuff for our collection and to help her sister finds some goods for her rustic wedding in the spring.  It was a gorgeously perfect day in Alameda, cool enough for a jacket and scarf, but warm enough that coats were able to be shed throughout the course of the day.

I’ve previously posted on what to bring to Alameda for a successful day but as a refresher, bring comfortable shoes, water, something to write with and CASH!

First, we stopped at one of my favorite French vendors where we spotted this white cart.  That was gone by the end of the day of course, I made sure to check just before we left.  That cart would be perfect for a pantry or book case-it's definitely something that I've seen styled at Anthropologie in the past.  

After visiting our favorites we headed toward the back of the fair and made our way up front. If you want some deals and don't mind sifting through some unorganized vendors (some are but not all!) start in the rear of the fair.  We  found some amazing teal Mason jars for $5!  This is a steal considering they have the latch and the tops still on.  The BFF picked up some chippy window panes for her dining room to use as wall art and we wandered around where we found some more really great deals.  We found frames, drooled over some gorgeous furniture and ate the fresh donuts that are always available that day.

After a solid day of sourcing we loaded up "Angel" our shopping cart and headed home.  I put out my jars to display right away which caused my husband to just shake his head.  Aren't they beauties??

Monday, November 3, 2014

Uniqlo Great Mall, Milpitas

I’m taking it easy after a wonderfully busy weekend. It kicked off Thursday of last week when I was accepted to join a blogger event that celebrated the new opening of the Uniqlo store at the Milpitas Great Mall.  First impressions are everything and the location is not that far from the South entrance and I loved the touch of the words 'Japan to Milpitas' sign outside the store. 

My BFF and I chatted with other local bloggers, sipped champagne, ducked from the freaky Double Robotics Ipad robots and discussed the clothes the models were wearing.  One thing I noticed was a light puffer vest on one of the models and made a note to check it out in the store.  

(Loved this puffer vest and with a pair of riding boots I could totally see myself chasing after the kiddos in this outfit)

 Those plaid shirts are so amazingly comfortable!!

There was a performance by a local Taiko group and then we were able to enter the store!  I admit there is something so thrilling about entering a new store that you’ve never actually stepped foot in and I liked that the narrow hallway opened up to a huge space.  

While the mingling and chatting was fun, lets talk about the important stuff...the clothes!!  I would say the store reminded me of preppy clothes but with a punch of color.  I saw lots of amazing colors, textures, clothes for work, play and a wide range of kids and men’s clothes.  The space itself is nicely set up with plenty of room in between the racks, good sized dressing rooms and a ton of registers in the center.   My only minor complaint was that there was not enough room around the registers, it felt like the lines wrapped a bit too tight around the racks in front of the registers. 

Uniqlo generously provided a gift card to use in the store and I was able to try on a good amount of clothes.  I did go with that amazing puffer vest, several basics like v-neck sweater and a plaid stole for winter.  Here is the bestie modeling that stole!

I fell in love with these plaid shirts and picked up this blue and white one.  Thank you to Uniqlo for inviting me to this great event!  

We finished out the weekend by celebrating Halloween and a trip to the Alameda Antique Fair.  I can’t wait to share my finds with you all!

*I was compensated with a gift card to Uniqlo however all opinions are my own.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Blissful Binge Watching: Peaky Blinders

Last week, I took advantage of some rest time to allow my cold from HELL to work it’s way out and to finish binge watching Peaky Blinders.  After watching the entire first season (on Netflix) I was so excited to find the newer episodes online.  I didn’t know if I was going to like it and I’m happy to report that I LOVED it!  I’m going to avoid spoilers so are are some of my thoughts… 

 The characters are called Peaky Blinders gang for the razors that they sew into the peaks of their caps.  When they fight (and they do, quite often) they ofter use those same caps to blind their adversaries with the razors.  Season one sets up the story of these Shelby brothers, Thomas and Arthur, who suffer from PTSD after being in the battle of Verdun during WWI. It's the early 1920’s in Birmingham England, and they find themselves in a position make the leap to expand their illegal bookmaking enterprise.  Although Arthur is older, it’s Thomas that is the leader of the Peaky Blnders and the Shelby family itself.  Calculating and always looking for a way to move his family up in the underworld, he rules his gang and family with a mask of steel.  Thomas is played by Cillian Murphy and he is amazing in the role.  He’s clever, practical and very loyal to his brothers and his friends who he served with.  But he's not the only strong actor in the series, Helen McCory as Aunt Polly is pretty fantastic. 
Everything about this show is visually stunning from the cast to the sets to the costumes.  When I heard that Tom Hardy was playing a new character in Season 2 that totally sealed the deal for me.  I’m almost caught up on the second season and I’m finding it a great substitute for Boardwalk Empire which ends this Sunday.