Raising Boys, Working From Home, Music and Another Lesson For Me

No Doubt JAG
No Doubt JAG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m no different than the rest of the parents in the world — I think my kids are the coolest. You busted me. From time to time, I’ve even used them to further my Facebook [insert sarcasm] popularity. I never wanted to be one of those parents, but, I can’t help it at times.

Personally, I think I’ve done a fine enough job of embarrassing myself. Here are more Facebook status updates from the archives of my life.

Judge for yourself.

Courtesy of Robin Matteri Facebook

As a mother who works from home, it’s hard to balance work, guilt, and everything else. Summer vacation proved to be an obstacle course similar to a set-up on the television game show Wipeout.

My son wanted attention, and I needed to work. After a few days, staying home began to make me feel more guilty than dropping him off at daycare. Finally, I had to break it down to him. Here’s how it happened:

Me: Nicholas, you have to pretend I’m one of those normal moms who goes to work each morning in an office or something. I’m so sorry but I can’t cater to you every second of the day. We’ll play hockey in a couple hours. Why don’t you go read a book for thirty minutes.

Nicholas: Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t hear you since you’re at work in some office.

My oldest is eighteen now and I’ve been blocked by him on Facebook more times than I can count. It’s tough raising boys when you’re a sappy mom who has NO clue. During a time when I wasn’t blocked one of Tyler’s Facebook status updates made my heart sing. (See Screenshot below)

I think what he’s trying to say is that his love of music is diversified and because of this, he’s become a more culturally aware person. His ability to love No Doubt and Eminem defines him as a person who appreciates art.

I taught him early to respect people who were free in showing vulnerability through music. I allowed him to listen to music that no other mother would have believed. I explained to him how art evolves in many forms and words translate differently to everyone.

In this respect, I am completely triumphant as a parent. So here is the actual screenshot from his Facebook page. Pay attention to the comments which are hilarious and sweet. Bottom line? I didn’t completely “f” up as a mother.

THIS boy LOVES me. :)

Screenshot courtesy of Tyler Hall Facebook


Old School Social Networking: No Fancy Wording or Insights. We Called it MySpace! Yep, Yep!

Back in the day, social networking was simply called MySpace. Instead of Photoshop, we introduced ourselves with music that defined our spirits and an themes that told their own story. That’s networking homies!

There were no fancy terms designed to amplify views or increase user engagement and everyone blogged for the purpose of telling a story; not monetization. Content Marketing was something the bigwigs of NYC did from nine-to-five. We logged on, stalked like crazy with advanced searching that was on point,  spammed the hell out of everyone with friend requests looking for connections and potential dates.

I’m pretty sure I was a rock star at age thirty-two, kickin’ it on MySpace. No joke, my son was ten at the time and he set up an account for me. OMG, he’s going to be a fantastic writer — my crazy antics have made it easy for that child (now eighteen), to fill journal after journal with notes to have analyzed at future psychiatric visits.

He was also a personal photographer for my online dating profile picture

Facebook and MySpace collaboration would’ve been cool.

What am I — a teenager?

How to Decorate a Kitchen with Junk

I’ve decided to share one of my true passions. Vintage. I love it. I love all things cheap, so of course, I’m a yard sale whore, an auction junkie, and what I like to refer to myself as, a Vintage Groupie.

It’s been said that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and I genuinely live by that rule. In following this philosophy, I’ve also learned to decorate with a mix of vintage and modern, all of which were at one time someone else’s junk. Here are some examples of mixing odds and ends to make a cozy space.

The window is above my kitchen sink and is home to treasures that I value. From left to right, let me help you recreate this look.

Vintage and yard sale finds help create an awesome decorating style.
Vintage and yard sale finds help create an awesome decorating style.
  1. Vintage postcard is framed and matted. I found the postcard at an auction and the frame in a bin at a local flea market.
  2. Chicken plate found at yard sale.
  3. That’s a turtle. FREE decorating tip: Use kids art. This piece was created by my son when he was in the 3rd grade. YES! It’s a turtle.
  4. Yard Sale picture frame holds a photo of our kids.
  5. Random bottles from friends who sale online.
  6. A certificate that belonged to my dad who passed away a few years ago.

I love how everything in this spot is meaningful to me. Without a lot of walls to use for decorating, I had to improvise. The window ledge has worked great to showcase fun things without obstructing views.

This look cost less than $2.00 to create. Find unique vintage items and yard sale treasures on eBay, Etsy or other online marketplaces, like Facebook, if you’re unable to make it out to a yard sale.

Vintage and Yard Sale Treasures to Decorate a Kitchen
Vintage and Yard Sale Treasures to Decorate a Kitchen

I’m in love with my kitchen so I’ll show it off. The cookbooks are a collection of vintage books that I found at an auction, and a more modern one found at a Thrift Store. I can’t help it. All of the chicken art was a yard sale find from a friend, and the Portuguese chickens on the ledge were a gift.

This area of the kitchen cost less than $5.00 to decorate.

I’ve spent years trying to use books, trends, and sales to customize the look of room’s in my home. Without trying, I added such character to this kitchen for very little money.

Lesson learned.

Vintage Groupie — Top 5 Questions About Selling Online: Do You Agree?

Portuguese Chickens-- Not for Sale but FUN to collect.

If it’s time to sell unwanted yard sale, or vintage collectible items but don’t have time to research all the online marketplaces available these days — your problem is solved. Vintage Groupie is a website dedicated to those who love to buy, sell, and collect yard sale and vintage items.

The initial focus will be on helping people sell online, but from time to time, we’ll throw in buying tips as well.


The million dollar question(s) we hear repeatedly are:

5. “Is eBay better than Etsy for selling vintage?”

4. “You can sell your own stuff on Amazon?”

3. “Isn’t Craigslist a bunch of creeps and spammers?”

2. “Are Facebook yard sale groups as great as everyone claims?”

1. “Which marketplace is the best for making money? Profits?”


Here’s my answer (Robin):

As a reseller, I’ve spent the last year selling both yard sale and vintage items at Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, and Facebook. What I’ve discovered is each online marketplace has positive and negative aspects depending on the item for sale. Yes friends, in my NOT-even-close-to-scientific experiment, I’ve found that each spot works for profitable selling — it depends on the individual item, the time of year, your physical location, and, networking.

How Do You Make Money?

Understand each platform. It’s overwhelming, daunting, and time consuming to read, navigate, and understand everything, I know.

That’s where Vintage Groupie comes in. We’re going to share insights, easy how-to’s, tips, advice, and all the other stuff that can seem complicated at first. 

In all honesty, many people don’t have the time to read through the hundreds of guides, and tutorials for each web site; understandable. 

Stay tuned as we break it down for you, as best we can.

This is a great time to mention that Vintage Groupie DOES NOT claim to be an expert in the field of online selling, vintage and antique collecting, or Internet technology. We are a group of average people who enjoy selling yard sale and vintage items. Throughout our learning process, we’ve taken notes, watched trends, asked people for help, and navigated through the sea of sellers to carve out small profits, and a LOT of fun.

If you feel like you have something better to contribute, feel free to let us know.

If you disagree with one of our theories, let it rip.

If you have something to sell, PLEASE share it with us by using the (hashtag) #VintageGroupie on Tumblr, or on @Vintage_Groupie on Twitter.

We also love to buy, learn, explore, and share…. we hope you do too. 



Vintage Groupie(s)

6 Facebook Updates From the Archives

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