Site Recommendations

Estate Sale Survival Kit

by Jamie Sanford on April 22, 2015

It’s been at least 2 years since I started going to estate sales here in New Jersey. I don’t know what it was that led me to EstateSales.net, but I fell into the vortex and was quickly hooked. Last year, after my BFF David moved back here from California, we started a weekend ritual of trolling all of the local estate sales for treasures. Will joined in soon enough, and we have had 2 guest sailors who have come to visit and requested to come along with us.

My preferred term is “estate sailing.”

So, in the midst of going to more than 100 estate sales in the course of a year, you start to dial in on the things you need to have with you when you go. And so, I now give you the official JamieSanford.com Estate Sailing Survival Kit.

1. Hand Sanitizer

You are going into houses that have sometimes not been lived in for some time, and you will inevitably touch a lot of stuff. The first thing we do upon getting in the car is to all use a generous amount of hand sanitizer before we move on. You may just want to go ahead and carry around a travel bottle, because we have had a few circumstances that made us want more immediate access to hand sanitation, such as when there was dank water under the cap of a camera lens.

2. Mini Flashlight

I specify the mini for ease in putting it in your pocket when you don’t need it, but we have run into more than a few homes where we forgot the flashlight and regretted it.

3. Measuring Tape

This is for both measuring items at estate sales, and also for measuring the spot at home that will be the new home of whatever item you are purchasing. You definitely do not want to go through the process of buying and transporting something, only to find out that it does not work in your intended space.

4. Mobile Device or Smartphone

Take your phone! First of all, estate sales make for WONDERFUL Instagram photos, and second, you never know when you will need to research the artist on a painting you are checking out. Before he was coming with us, I would also text Will pictures of things and ask him to research them for me. The phone-a-friend is a good solution, particularly if you aren’t having the best time surfing for information on your phone.

5. Bottled Water and Portable Snacks

We recently went to 7 estate sales in one day, all without stopping for lunch until after we were done. Sometimes we span something like 50 miles in a day, and when sales start at 9 and end at 3, and you have all of that driving to do, it is important to stay hydrated and not be starving. For the summer months, you may want to use a small cooler as well, to avoid drinking hot water and melty snack bars.

There you have it – my Estate Sale Survival Kit. My post on the weekly process of planning your estate sailing is coming up soon!

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WordPress Plugins I Use And Why

by Jamie Sanford on August 6, 2013

This is one in a series of posts pulled from Chris Brogan’s “100 blog topics I hope YOU write.” (#68)

JamieSanford.com has been built on WordPress since the beginning. My previous blogs were also on WordPress, and I built The Noritake Dish using WordPress as well. I also use Thesis on JamieSanford.com, and used to use Genesis on The Noritake Dish (since removed since the WordPress blog is now built into the site within Magento).

SIDE NOTE: I use and love Thesis but I am on version 1.8 or so. I am not impressed with Thesis 2.0, I find it a million times harder to use.

On to the plugins!

1. Akismet. Kick-ass spam comment killer.

2. Hello Dolly. It puts quotes from a musical in my WordPress dashboard. What is there to dislike about that?

3. LinkWithin. Find relevant posts in the blog and links to them from the bottom of each post. I have seen lots of other bloggers using this, and it is a great way to find other content on a blog and start cruising around.

4. Scribe. This is a paid plugin, and well worth it. All of the content I’ve created using Scribe has performed better than the content without it. Scribe guides you to better keywords, titles, and post descriptions than you’re probably writing on your own, and it has trained me to do things properly in all blogs.

5. SEO Facebook Comments. I use this for the Facebook comment form that gets attached to my posts. Much easier for people who don’t want to provide other login credentials to comment.

6. Super-simple Pinterest Widget. This is pretty straightforward. I plugged in my Pinterest account information, and a few of my recent pins show up in the sidebar. Much better than just a link, readers can actually see what I’m pinning.

7. WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Hat tip to Shauna on this one, because I just added it. Quick and easy backup of your content to your DropBox account.

8. WordPress Editorial Calendar. I don’t know how I kept track of the blog without the editorial calendar! I wrote about how following a blog schedule has been really positive in my life, and this plugin gives a great view of posts I have written, those I have scheduled, and so forth.

9. WordPress Video Plugin. This one is wonderful for adding video content to your blog! Once the plugin is active, you just have to know where the video is posted, and what its ID is, and you’re all set. I use this for all of my Sights & Sounds posts, and will never go back to pulling sharing code from individual sites again.

I would love to hear what WordPress plugins everyone else is using. What’s your recommendation?

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Site Recommendation: Cute Roulette

by Jamie Sanford on April 19, 2011

Cute Roulette people! I love cute animals on the Internet and this is like cute animal porn.  You scroll through YouTube videos of animals, mostly baby animals, doing adorable things like sleeping and existing.

Oh, you want examples of said cuteness? If you insist.

[youtube fzzjgBAaWZw]

Ninja kitty! My husband and I laughed so much watching this last night.

[youtube WPwZE-1h5YA]

Tiny puppies that look like Ewoks. You know you love it.

This is possibly even cuter than ZooBorns because of the video factor.  But you should check out ZooBorns too because it is also amazing.

That’s all for this short post. If you have cute websites to share, let us know in the comments.

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Blog Recommendation: Swagger 360

by Jamie Sanford on March 16, 2011

Today’s site recommendation is a fabulous style blog that I’ve been following for a while, Swagger 360. Brought to us by Karl Edwin Guerre, the focus is largely on men’s style, with women (generally) featured in posts focusing on details such as shoes or accessories. The “Sick Shoe Game” posts are probably my favorite, but I enjoy everything I’ve seen on the blog. I’ve been meaning to feature the blog on my site for a while, but was especially wanting to do so today, since watching this fantastic short film covering Guerre and Swagger 360 in Paris during fashion week. It provides a fantastic view of Guerre’s thought process and follows him while he shoots.

Watch the film here.

 

 

Swagger 360 interview with Karl Edwin Guerre during fashion week in Paris from olivierlalin on Vimeo.

 

Go subscribe to Swagger 360 now.

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Ancestry.com Gift Membership

by Jamie Sanford on December 21, 2010

A few weeks ago, someone gave me some old family photos that sparked my curiosity.  I started doing some research on my own and found some information about the photos.  I then joined Ancestry.com and started a basic family tree, filling in what I remembered.

I broke down and bought a paid membership to the site, and in just a few days I have worked my way back to my 9th great-grandfather, who came to the United States in 1630.  I have since found out that while the graves of he and his wife are unmarked, that they are both listed on a monument dedicated to the town’s followers!

Given the great information I’ve received in just a short time, I have to suggest a gift membership to Ancestry.com for anyone on your list who is interested in history, particularly family history.


The site makes fantastic family trees – I have so many relatives that I never knew about!


There are options for US-only and Worldwide memberships.  I have started with US-only but feel like I’ll be upgrading soon so that I can access records from England and track my family there as well.

US-only gift memberships are $89 for 6 months and $159 for 1 year.  Worldwide memberships are $169 for 6 months and $299 for 1 year.

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