Tuesday, June 8, 2010

~ I Love LanoLips Lip Ointments! ~

I know I am not supposed to shop anymore. I know I know I know! I really need to stop reading all the beauty blogs because they always make me want to shop! I was reading Lipglossiping and I saw an article about LanoLips with all the benefits and swatches and I was sold! I had a mild obsession with lip glosses a few years back. I have suppressed it for a while, but it really flared up when I read the article. So, I shopped around and got these.

Basically, these are only sold in Australia. There were about 3 websites that sold these and I ended up buying from Addicted2LipBalm because they have packages which are a pretty good deal. Plus they have 10% off for first time buyers and free gifts! I became a Facebook fan and just in time to see that they were giving away free Palmer's Cocoa Butter Dark Chocolate and Cherry Lip Butter. I didn't even know Palmer's made lip products!

Here's the other free gift I got. Haven't tried it, but I will. :) It looks so yummy!

Anyway, I got these in Dark Honey, Rhubarb, Apple, Sunshine and the original 100% pure Lanolin. So far, I have only tried Rhubarb, Apple and the original. I love Apple! It looks really red in the tube, but it's a beautiful sheer color on the lips. It looks like what I would like my natural lip color to be. Rhubarb is also pretty nice. They are all very sheer and I think they looked more sheer on me than the pictures I see on Lipglossiping. But I wasn't building it up for color. I also love how my very long hair doesn't stick to my lips when the wind blows my hair onto my face. That's a big plus for me. Another big plus is the SPF15. It's not much, but at least it's something. None of the lip products I own right now has SPF so that justifies my purchase!

I think I bought way too many. But, it's ok. I am going to share with my mom. And maybe my cousins if they are nice. Lipglossiping stated that the original can be used to eczema so I may share some with my friends who have eczema. Or maybe, I should have a blog sale and sell all the stuff I got from Hong Kong that I will probably not use like nail art stickers, boots that are too small for me, pandora style bracelets, earrings and such. Dilemmas, dilemmas :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

~ I Ate Momo at Ma & I Thai Restaurant ~

Yes, that's right. I ate Momo. It was yummy!

I don't know why that sushi roll is called Momo. It doesn't even have peach in it (momo means peach in Japanese). But, I saw it and I just had to have it. I never had asparagus in sushi before It was pretty good!

If you want to try Momo too, then head over to Ma & I in the South Loop of Chicago. It's a cute little place on Michigan between 13th and Roosevelt. The food was good. The staff was polite and service was quick. What I love the most is the layout though. They have these huge windows that were open when we were there. It was a nice, quiet Chicago evening and it just felt great to eat in that relaxing, urban environment.

Besides Momo, I also tried their curry. It was decent. Not too spicy. Overall it's a great little place to go to. If I live in the South Loop, I would probably walk over there for a relaxed dinner a few times a month. Sometimes, I do envy the urban life.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

~ Stats from My First Month on Artfire ~

It's been a month since I paid my $14 to Artfire for a Pro account. No, I am not abandoning Etsy. But for selling low priced items like supplies, just the listing fee is daunting for Etsy. For example, I like to sell these lover dolphin brass bells as a package of 2 because they are cute that way. Listing fee for Etsy is $0.2 which is about 10% of my selling price. I try to make my packages bigger so all my items are at least $3.

Even so, I have tons of supplies to list. Right now, I have 221 items in my shop. 221 x 0.2 = $44. That's about $44 in listing fees!!! Granted, it's not like I list 220 items a month, but still. This kind of math makes Etsy look pretty bad as a venue for selling supplies. But I think, that's the only major disadvantage for Etsy. Yeah, Artfire has global editor and coupon creator and all that. But, I just like how my Etsy shop look and feel. This just doesn't look good to me.

Anyway, let's see some stats. It's pretty much expected that I would sell more on Etsy since it's a more established shop. However, I closed my Etsy shop for 2 weeks this month when I was on vacation. I left my Artfire shop open. The dollar amount sold on Etsy is about 3x what I sold on Artfire. My Etsy fees was only twice as much as my Artfire monthly fee. I definitely get more traffic on Etsy, about 5x Artfire traffic.

Here's my Google Analytics for Artfire

Google Analytics for Etsy. Note that my Etsy shop was closed during the last 2 weeks of May. During the 2 weeks that it was closed, it was still getting more traffic than my Artfire shop which was not closed.

On a side note, in my Artfire shop, there are 79 (27%) visits resulting from Artfire directly. In my Etsy shop, there were 384 (25%) direct visits. And yes, that's with 2 weeks being closed. So, it looks like there are just less people finding my shop on Artfire. Notice that I didn't say there are less people shopping on Artfire in general because this is just my stats. I can't make a general statement like that with the limited set of data I have. But, if you want to know which community is more active, you can just check the forums. On Etsy, you can always find posts that are less than 1 minute old. On Artfire, that's rare. Maybe Etsians are just more talkative.

In conclusion, I am definitely not making as much money on Artfire. And the monthly fee is not justified at this point. It's still early though. I am going to try it for a couple more months. It is more work to split the tweeting between Artfire and Etsy and having to list items on both sites and keep the inventory in sync. Sometimes, I think the amount I sell doesn't justify the time I spend running the shops. I love running the shops though. But, perhaps a price increase is in order?

Friday, June 4, 2010

~ Feature Friday: Hello Zoe ~

It's been so crazy that I didn't blog for a whole week! It was the trip and work and wedding planning and everything else in between. But of course I have to feature a shop. It's Friday afterall! This week, I am loving the quirky and cute plushes from Hello Zoe. Don't be fooled by the name. The artist behind these plushes is Nicole. She said got the name from hylozoism, which means a lot to her. I looked it up on Wikipedia. I still don't get it though.

Anyway, Nicole's plushes are not for little kids. They are for older children who wants a unique friend. Well, older children and people like me who loves dolls even though I am approaching the big 3-0. These are awesome because they are sophisticated with a quiet child-like quality. Check out this little bear! He's ready for adventure!

I think this is my favorite. It's so pure and innocent. It looks kinda like a giraffe, but supposedly, it's a Palla Abino Tlyaci. It made it to the front page of Etsy recently. Isn't it great that she's already getting to the front page even though her shop is relatively new?

This is one of her biggest plushes. It's a sloth but it looks like one of the robots from Castle in the Sky to me. His name is Murphy by the way.

Nicole has other talents too. Looks like she just started a blog and she wrote about her paper cutting experience. This is pretty good! I love the details! This inspires me to take out my exact-o knife and start cutting.

So, here you go! Cute yet sophisticated plushes for the inner kid in you! These will also be great for those preteens who think they are too old for plushes and don't realize they are still just kids. And they are one of a kind! Some of them use upcycled fabrics too! And....just take a look for yourself :) Have a great weekend!

~ Do you want to be featured? Leave a comment here and I will take a look at your shop. I will pick one to be featured every Friday! ~
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