Have you met Pinky the frog?

Well if you haven't, you might as well get to know her because she'll be living in my cell for a good number of years.

She's an African Clawed Frog (not to be confused with the African Dwarf Frog) and can live in for up to 20+ years! Here are a few facts about Pinky's species:

* She's aquatic
* She will grow up to 5 inches
* She has no tongue
* She uses her hands to shove food in her mouth
* If needed, she has claws on her back feet to tear food
* They will eat just about anything that will fit in their mouths from fish to insects, plants and organic waste
* They are hearty animals & can threaten a foreign ecosystem - they are illegal in several US states

I think she's pretty darn cute, even if she does have a freaky stare:

So what do I love about her?
* She's an albino variety, which has a unique beauty
* I can hand feed her and she nibbles on my fingers
* The way she gobbles food and uses her front claws/hands is very human like
* She's quiet
* She is a great part of the food chain: she "recycles" fish that pass on from our other tank.

While I think she is an amazing creature, I don't recommend buying an African Clawed Frog at a pet store. Why? Because they live so damn long, someone is bound to be giving one away. And releasing one in your local pond/river is simply a BAD idea because they can threaten survival of other indigenous specious. They survive because of their scavenger nature (they will never starve to death)so they just eat anything that's edible. And they've been known to make through mild freezes.

Pinky is a fascinating animal, but dangerous if you cant commit to half a lifetime's companionship, or if you put them in a tank with some prized smaller fish.

Appreciate nature, so do choose your pets wisely.

Listia.com Auctions for Free Stuff - An Introduction

A lot of the same general functions exist like the reputation system, auction bidding, paypal acceptance. What's different is that you bid with credits instead of money. And there are reputation and community features that aid in getting "experience points" or make your reputation look more legit. Examples:

  • Fanning a user: usually people do this when they see an auction they like, or someone they know
  • Commenting: Each auction has a commenting thread that is visible to the public. These are for asking questions to seller, telling them you are watching or fanned them, etc. It's a nice touch that makes it more friendlier than ebay.
  • Verification: By connecting your social networking sites, bank info and phone number, you look more like a legit person rather than a scammer.
  • Earning badges: You earn badges for selling, verifying, giving feedback, winning auctions, etc. See the complete list here: http://www.listia.com/badges

I've only just joined and I wanted to experiment to see how it works over time, and build a group of Muffins/PRs on there to make it easier to post item details and track reputations.  This being, in part, the overall model of fLeesmarket to post goods available, but not house the auctions and payment process (there are already too many to choose from!).  So how does Listia.com work?

1. Sign up: http://www.listia.com/signup/920696

3. Browse to bid or "get it now" / put an item up for auction as a "seller"

4. Wait, bid, refer friends and find out ways you can earn credits

Credits are used to bid on auctions. Here are ways to earn credits from a new account:

  • Watch the video tutorial
  • Connect your account with Facebook and Twitter, your phone # or bank account
  • Invite friends (referrals) and Send them gift credits
  • Complete special offers or make a purchase
  • Promote Listia on websites, blogs and forums
  • List auctions & become an active user

Below is an example of how I earned my first credits. Listed under "Credit Activity"

When you sell an item, you receive the winning bidder's credits. You can also use the Special Offers section and sign up for services like Netflix, as well as purcha$e credits as seen here: http://www.listia.com/account/buy_credits. It is ~10c a credit.  

Why would you buy credits? Well, I've seen some expensive items go up for auction (example: a diamond wedding ring) and if you really want something, buying credits may be the only way to get enough credits to bid. Here is the current credit purchase offering at the time of this post.


    Does the listing offer international shipping? Maybe. You'll need to check each listing as it depends on the seller and that auction.  Here are some examples:


    Who should I buy from? Each user has a profile. Check each before you bid by clicking on their username.  Look for:

    • 100% Seller Rating
    • # of Auctions (this is a relatively new site so some may be low)
    • Account Verification badges (twitter, facebook, bank account, phone number)
    • # of Fans (somewhat of popularity contest but active users get more fans)
    • # of Badges (based on activity)

    To see what a top rated user looks like, see screenshots below or click on this profile: http://www.listia.com/profile/168799


    Who should I NOT buy from?

    • A new user that asks you to pay for shipping
    • A new user that has a deal that's too good to be true
    • Users who auction electronic versions (pdfs, mp3s, images, etc). These are done to get points and are not tangible items)
    • Users who give vague comments about their auctions or don't answer bidder's questions

    What the heck does GIN, NWT, etc mean? Good question.  GIN means "Get it Now" sort of like ebay's "Buy it Now".  There's an acronym glossary on ebay that's fairly universal with auction sites here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/account/acronyms.html

      Free or to Low Cost (shipping)?

      Why do sellers ship for free? To earn points, make a listing more enticing or just because they have a few extra $ to spare.  As a seller, if you decide not to charge for shipping, there are caps on costs for standard items, pasted below, also listed here: http://www.listia.com/rules#sh

      • DVDs, CDs, VHS, Cassettes, Vinyl: max $3
      • Books: max $4
      • Video Games, Software, Computer Games: max $4
      • Jewelry: max $6

      fLeesmarket plans to use this for our giveaways, so please do sign up, even if you aren't ready to bid or sell.  Where do I sign up? Click on the banner below and thanks for reading our Listia introduction!


            P.S. If you read this intro and would like more tutorials on Listia, please <3 or leave a comment. We've got more info but need to know if these are helpful and worth everyone's time. Franks!

            Striped Baking Cups for Sale!

            Pin this Goth Striped Baking Cup to Pinterest!

            $ 2.00 USD   |   € 1.50 EUR (approx)   |    £ 1.30 GBP (approx) 

            These striped baking cups / muffin or cupcake liners are a must have for your Hallow's eve, Fancy Dress Party or Tea Party!  Each set comes in 25 baking cups (2 dozen + 1 extra cup). Buy several sets for future tea parties or give them to your friends!  Purchasing multiple will also save on shipping costs. 

            Note: The images with the blue background are of the actual product, the spider cupcake is a rendition. Depending on the batter used, the baking cups can slightly change color, a typical phenomenon in baking. 

            Stripe Color: Black + White Stripes Brown + White Stripes

            VIEW CART


            QUESTIONS?  First read above.  You can add a comment for a basic question or email flee@fleesmarket.com

            For lovers of striped stockings, Alice in Wonderland, goth culture, circus freaks or just plain baking. Perfect for parties: Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, tea parties, fancy dress parties and any occasion that calls for that special flair.

            Save on shipping! Add some Absomuffinlutely Stickers or Glitter Pine Cones to your order!

             Shipping, Payment and Refund Policies

            She's Crafty: Mini Striped Baking Cup Hats w/ Mini fLee

            I swear I had not a thing to do with this as I am hand counting black and white striped cupcake liners* for orders, but my little Mini is a crafty one.  She has the instinct to grab her (safety) scissors and tape, take the flattened baking cup I ironed (for the product photo shoot) and put one cup, upside down, directly on top of the flat one.  I didn't realize what she was doing until she taped it together and placed it upon her head with pride. "Look Mamma! A hat!"

            Of course, the proud Striped Stocking Society mother that I am, I beam with joy and race for the camera.  She wouldn't sit still very long but I was able to get these photos of my kindergartner's creation. Below are photos of the hat on her, as well as her most precious sleeping partner (she higs it at night like a stuffed animal); the 10 inch Tyrannosaurus Rex named Sue**. 

            Behold the Baking Cup Mini Hat....  Party favors anyone?

            Muffin Career Q & A: Interview Tips

            This question was submitted by Chris T: "Things to keep in mind while being interviewed?"  This is for the first time job seeker, while in high school, college, or starting your career post-university.

            • Don't be afraid if you are not completely qualified. Even before applying. If you've gotten an interview, be confident they are interested in you. But see below:
            • Watch out for the sh*t jobs. If it stinks like sh*t, it probably is. Watch out for fast talking people that will tell you anything to get you into an interviewwhen it's backbreaking work, or its paid by commission (sales) and your take home earnings may be low.
            • Commit. When scheduling, be absolutely sure you can make it. Having to reschedule will reflect poorly. Be respectful of other people's time.
            • Do not discuss wages in exact numbers. Use ranges to be assured the job has the earning-potential that you are comfortable with.
            • Print out your resume the day before.  Printing/computer problems could make you look unprepared.  Also, you will look more "together" if you have at least 3 copies available.  Simple white paper is acceptable, but resume paper can still be impressive.
            • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.  You may need it if you get lost to ask for directions, use it for Google maps, or use the address book for filling out an application.
            • Know who you are interviewing with. Make sure to memorize or have on hand the names of the people you are coming to see.
            • Have a check list in mind of questions you have about the job
            • Know where you are going and where to park. If you aren't sure about parking or location, ASK.  You can always call the receptionist ahead of time and ask anonymously if need be.
            • Allocate appropriate travel and parking time + 15-30 minutes.
              • Have a printout (or in your phone address book) of the names, addresses and phone numbers of where you last worked. 
              • Have a printout (or in your phone address book) of the contact information from 3 references. Generally a phone and email address is appropriate.
              • If you were ever fired or let go from a previous job, keep it positive.  They may ask you on an application "Why did you leave?", which can be worded to your advantage.  School, illness, scheduling conflicts or wanting a career change can all be voiced positively.  Here are some examples for "Why did you leave [previous job]":
            1. "I was returning to school full time" (for a summer position)
            2. "Scheduling issues"
            3. "Looking for a career change"
            4. "Left to focus on family/health"


            • Arrive 15 minutes early, unless they specify. If you are 30 minutes early, you may look anxious. Go to a cafe or kill time by reviewing your resume.
            • Always accept a drink when offered.  You never know when you might get cotton mouth.
            • Turn off your cell phone.
            • Present a copy of your resume at the start of the interview, unless they have a copy printed out.
            • If you are asked to give a summary of your work experience, start with the most relevant and most recent first, and focus on it.  Be brief about other job experiences that are not in the same industry, but point out the relevent experiences.
            • Open ended questions are not a trick. Here are some questions they may ask that helps them determine how you communicate and are not meant to trip you up:
            • Do your best to remember EVERYONE's names that you interview with.  If appropriate, ask them for a business card, or write them down.  Asking them how to spell complicated last names is okay.
            • Bring up your questions near the end, or when they prompt you. Here are some examples:
              • When are they looking to hire / fill the position?
              • What is the pay range? (if not already stated)
              • What is a typical day like for this position?
              • What is a typical day like for the person who is interviewing you?
              • If salaried, what are the benefits?
            • Shake hands.
            • Follow up with a thank you within 24 hours. If you have an email address, send a very short email thanking them for their time.  You can also highlight the skills you feel you have that are appropriate to the job, but be concise.

            If you don't hear back, it is normal. Don't feel you didn't do a good job or weren't qualified as hiring managers and human resource people are too busy or don't always communicate with a candidate they did not hire.  If you are extremely curious, you should always contact human resources, not the manager or interviewers. In many cases positions are put on hold, another candidate was hired for some reason, or you may not have been the right fit. 

            Getting hired for a job is stressful, but keep moving in a positive direction and don't give up! 


            "Eighty percent of success is showing up."  - Woody Allen