Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Progress finally!

For the whole month of January I only lost one measly pound. February has come along and BAM the weight is finally coming off again! I worked hard in January on portion control and exercising but I guess not hard enough. Of course the weekends as usual were quite a bit damaging, but at least I didn't gain weight like I did over the winter. (Australian winter, that is.)

So here I am reflecting over the last 24 days and thinking WOW! I managed to lose one pound per week so far this month (my best month ever) which puts me at 15 pounds down or 25% of the way DONE! My goal is to lose 60 pounds. The biggest thing I've changed this month is I have increased my strength training and I have switched up my cardio routines to include new equipment that I never used before. I also have started consciously eating less processed foods. I never ate that many to begin with, but I think every bit helps. I hardly ever feel bloated anymore after meals which I think is because I am not eating a lot of refined carbs. I still have trouble with the weekends, but I trade off and do one or two days during the week at pretty low calories -usually on my day off from heavy cardio or weights. I never actually have a full day off because I have to walk everywhere and that counts too!

Many months ago I promised myself a new purse once I hit the 25% mark. I am moving back to America in about 6 weeks so that new purse will be one of my first purchases! Things are just so darn expensive in Australia that I can't justify buying one here. I can't decide between Coach or Burberry.

I will give myself another big present when I am halfway there at -30lbs. In the meantime I think I'll give myself some small gifts when I hit -20lbs and -25lbs. Maybe a few new lingerie pieces or a new belt -something that I'll need being a bit thinner.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Now that I have a few days to myself each week I have decided to check out the local gym. Currently I am using a 5-day free pass. The pass expires on Wednesday so we'll see by then if I decide to pay for a membership. So far I really like the center. There is so much variety there that after going 3 times I have not done the same cardio routine twice. The first day I did the elliptical and regular stationary bike, the second time I did the tread climber and recumbent bike and today I did the rowing machine and elliptical. There are still some cardio machines that I haven't tried yet. There are also many choices for strength training, plus a pool, tennis court and classes. I think the next four weeks of workouts are going to fly by!

Today's menu so far:
Breakfast: 1/2 bagel with salmon, capers, cream cheese & avocado.
Lunch: seaweed salad, 2 sushi rolls
Snack: skinny latte, smoothie
Dinner: cannelloni & salad
Dessert: yogurt & watermelon

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Moo Brew Hefewiezen Review

Anyone who knows me knows that I like beer. One of my favorite styles is hefeweizen. Recently on a trip to Tasmania I visited the Moorilla Estate which is home to my favorite Australian beer -Moo Brew.

Moo Brew Hefewiezen is brewed at the Moorilla Estate near Hobart in Tasmania, Australia. Moorilla is well-known by microwbrew drinkers in Australia for its Moo Brew range of beers.

The Moo Brew Hefewiezen is a German style wheat beer with a delightful cloudiness. It is also preservative free. You can drink it straight from the unique shaped bottle with original artist-commissioned artwork or pour into a glass in order to experience all the aroma and goodness the beer has to offer. The body is medium in the mouth and the head is smooth and heavy, but not overly creamy. Aromas are caramel, banana and lemon. The color of the brew is a bright cloudy gold.

I have only good things to say about Moo Brew Hefewiezen except for the price. In Australia beer is pricey -one bottle of Moo Brew costs $5.00AU. The cost isn't the fault of the brewery, it is just the way alcohol is taxed. Even a 6-pack of Corona will set you back $20.00AU!

Other mentionables:

There are other Moo Brews, such as stout, dark ale, pale ale and pilsner. Personally, I enjoy the stout and pilsner in addition to the hefewiezen. If I remember correctly, the pilsner is only available in Tasmania since it does not travel well in bottles.

Moorilla also makes wine too and the Pinot Noir from the Muse series is very good with a nice finish. Unfortunately I cannot remember the year of the one I had!

The Moorilla Estate also boasts a fine-dining restaurant called "The Source", but it was closed for renovations when I visited.

If you are ever fortunate enough to visit Moorilla, the staff is so nice, helpful and knowledgeable.

I originally published this review on the website Viewpoints. You can read it in the original form here.

Add to Technorati Favorites

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

6 ways to improve your sales on eBay

Many people can tell you what to do to increase your sales on eBay, but you don't often see a list of what not to do. Here's a small list of tweaks to help you avoid selling mistakes. Tips are listed in no particular order and are only the beginning of the path to more sales.

eBay don'ts

#1. Do not compete with yourself. It's pretty simple really. If you have eight auction listings for the exact same item simple supply and demand rules will cause you to get fewer bids per item which will lower the average sell price per listing. A better option is to only list one at a time and let the bidding raise the price, or list the duplicate ones at a higher price in the buy-it-now or store inventory format so people who really want the item but don't want to bid can buy immediately.

#2. Don't overlook the second chance offer option. This goes along with #1. If you have duplicates of an item, why not offer bidders who didn't win a second chance to purchase the item at their highest actual bid? This is only a good option if their bids were acceptable to you. Remember though, the item must be exactly the same as the original listing. You will have the opportunity to pick and choose which bidders to send the second chance to. As an added bonus you will not pay listing fees for any second chance offers that are taken, but you will still pay final value fees.

#3. Don't overlook the best offer option for fixed price and store inventory listings. You'll be surprised at the amount of fair offers you will receive for your item if it is an item people want. Don't be afraid to set the price a little high and see what people will actually offer you. Of course you will get some silly offers, but those are easy to say no to.

#4. Don't open an eBay store unless you have sufficient sales and stock to justify it. Opening a store in itself will not guarantee you an increase in your sales. A store is a good option for a seller who has a lot of inventory and needs a way to keep the listings up for longer durations. There is no magic formula for this but I suspect if you are selling like hotcakes, making a good profit and always have loads of stuff to list a store may be for you.

#5. Don't be negative in your listings. Use your listings to make potential customers feel welcome not warned. As an avid eBay shopper I frequently hit the back button when I come across a seller that is hostile towards buyers. I don't need to be warned that the seller has no control over the post office, that I must be sure to know my size since there are no returns, that I must ask if I can bid if I have zero feedback or that I will be reported if I don't pay. I just want to find my item and buy it from someone who is happy to sell to me.

#6. Don't delay shipping an item, ever. Always get it out as soon as you can or as quickly as you advertise. Buyers are not patient and do want their merchandise as quickly as possible. They can and will leave you negative feedback if you are a slow shipper and you will deserve that negative on your record. A bad reputation will hurt your sales. Take it from me, I stay away from sellers who have bad feedback due to slow shipping.

As a former silver powerseller I learned quite a bit about what worked. Of course my list is in no way inclusive and may not work for all niches. I hope to take my own advice when I return to the USA and start selling again this summer. More tips to follow.