Kudos to You! Finally, An Online Shopping Site With A+ Customer Service

I’m all about giving kudos where it’s well-deserved — especially when it comes to good customer service (and it’s pretty rare nowadays). So, today I want to tell you about a company that has blown me away with their amazing customer service: Shoplately.com along with one of their featured sellers glint & gleam.

It’s pretty unanimously agreed upon that shopping online comes a fair share of ups and downs: the convenience of not leaving your home and browsing through merchandise at your leisure without the hassle of crowds and lines vs. the teeth-pulling difficulty of reaching a real human being through automated customer service systems and then actually having an issue being solved. More often than not, the customer has to either:

  1. Fill out an mind-numbingly irritating form that’s — understandably necessary, but also like filling out a letter to Santa Clause: you’re hopeful it’ll be read and will result in that gift you want so bad, but you’re realistic — customer service is probably just a myth someone made up.
  2. Call a 1-800 number that has you go through a maze-like game of “where will you end up next if you press this number?” only to make you call back over and over, hoping you’ll just get through to a freaking PERSON to talk to.
  3. Giving up and losing your money, merchandise and hope in online shopping, altogether.

It’s truly a shame, but this is really what bad customer service in online shopping companies has been like for me, and I’m sure for about 562,773 people (but that’s just an estimate). So, when I had such an issue with a company and its customer service not only solved it for me, but went to such great lengths to make sure I  was happy, I wanted to take this opportunity to dole out an appropriate amount of kudos.

The Issue:

About a month ago, I ordered a beautiful bag from a company called Shoplately.com, which sells gorgeous fashion accessories from various sellers. This particular bag was by the seller glint & gleam, and I’ve bought multiple items by this seller and from this site — always with great experiences. The quality is impeccable, and the service is great. The bag in question was the Cool Contrast Structured Handbag in Turquoise and Orange. I had been looking for a great summer bag, and I was about to make a big move from Texas to New York City, and this bag was on their Sale Rack for a mere $40 — I was sold!

Shoplately’s merchandise usually took about one business week to arrive and I was leaving in eight days, so I had no worries it would make it on time. However, when the time came for me to leave, my bag wasn’t there. …and let the saga begin…

The Resolution: 

I’ve had minor questions about my purchases before, and have always gone to Twitter with my concern. Within minutes, I had a response from their account asking me to fill out an inquiry on the site. Very impressive! I did this, and I was told within the next day that USPS took a longer time to deliver larger packages, and the company would be switching over to UPS for this exact reason to deliver items like purses.

Now, I was pretty upset because I had already moved, and when I tracked my package, it had arrived at my old location the next day! I went back and forth with Shoplately for about a week and half telling them I wasn’t happy about paying to have my mail forwarded, and simply wasn’t going to to do it —  until they told me that the seller, glint & gleam, had decided to send me a brand new bag, free of charge!

I was blown away that the company was doing this (especially considering they offer $2.99 flat rate shipping, and the postage for this purse was close to $14.00 both times) — the retail value of the purse alone is $96.00!

The Bag:

The customer service was great, but I am beyond in love with the purse I purchased! Like I said, I’ve purchased other things from Shoplately.com and by the seller glint & gleam, but this bag is one of the best investments I’ve made to-date.

The purse is valued at $96.00, but seeing it in person — I can vouch that it is totally worth that much. The detailing, quality and stylishness of the bag is absolutely phenomenal — the color is super on-trend for the summer, and it’s functional with the extra clip-on strap!

Did I mention the uber chic gold-tone metal feet detailing? I’m so tired of having bags that don’t sit up by themselves, and I made a conscious effort to pick this bag knowing that it wouldn’t be an issue!

Check out these pictures of the Cool Contrast Structure Handbag I purchased from Shoplately.com by glint & gleam:

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Thank you, again, Shoplately and glint & gleam for your impeccable customer service and wonderful product! I will definitely be shopping with you again — and very soon!


NYC GreenFlea Market: 2 Stalls You Have to Stop At

GreenFlea Market

For those of you who know me (or have seen any of my previous blog posts) know that I absolutely love vintage finds. Last time I was in New York, I had the privilege of digging up some great stuff at a flea market that I’m still getting compliments for to this day. So, naturally — it was a matter of time before I made my way to one of the most talked about flea markets in The Big Apple: The GreenFlea Market on the Upper West Side. Since it’s only open on Sundays from 10 am – 5pm, I traipsed up there around noon, today before the crowds hit.

Boy, oh, boy — did I strike gold today! (And that’s only slightly an exaggeration after you see what I picked up). I had done my research about this place beforehand and read great things about vendors selling a mix of great vintage designers pieces, food items and original creations. Truthfully, though, I didn’t know what to expect.

I ended up picking such great things, but there were 2 stalls and vendors that especially had such beautiful things to sell that I want to tell you about. More than that though, they were incredibly personal and made the shopping experience for me thoroughly enjoyable, which I think is super important at a flea market.

If you’re visiting the NYC GreenFlea Market anytime soon, make sure you check out these 2 stalls:

Mary Campbell & Phyllis Jackson’s Stall

Mary and Phyllis at their stall

These ladies’ booth is one of the first stops when entering the market, and what I loved (besides their gorgeous selection of jewelry and accessories) are their personable natures. My heart stopped when I saw a beautiful gold-plated belt that I was told was from the Victorian era. Now, as I’m both obsessed with belts and with history — I knew that I was going to have a hard time walking away from this belt.

A portion of Mary & Phyllis’ great stuff!

Phyllis told me she couldn’t bargain with me much more since the price had just been marked down, but I told her I was a poor gal who couldn’t afford the what she offered me and walked away hoping I’d find something else. Lo and behold: 45 minutes later, and I was back with the belt in mind. However, these ladies were so personable and genuinely sweet knowing how much I wanted this belt that they gave me a great deal, and I came home a very happy camper! They also had cases and cases of necklaces, earrings, brooches and much, much more.  Thank you, ladies — I will definitely be back for some more of this great stuff!

*The pictures of the belt I bought are at the bottom of the post with my other purchases’ pictures

Bruce Snell’s Stall

Designer everything at Bruce’s stall!

When I heard you could pick up some designer duds and jewels at a flea market, I had absolutely no idea it could be in this volume. Again, I was just blown away by the gorgeousness of everything that Bruce had tucked away in his glass cases, and as we got chatting, I learned that vintage buying and selling was in his blood. As a 3rd generation vintage hound, Bruce looked like he knew his stuff — and it was clear just by the hoards of lingering ladies that seemed to know him well from shopping trips before.

More of Bruce’s gorgeous designer jewelry

Although the price tags were well within bargain range for Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and the like — they just weren’t agreeing with my entry-level media salary, and I was honest with him about it. Once again, connecting with someone on a personal level seemed to work, and instead of getting discouraged that nothing was affordable — I asked him if he had anything within my price range (which was much less than anything marked). Surprisingly, he pulled out a pair of beyond gorgeous gold Dior C-shaped earrings that were marked for about 5x the amount for what he quoted me! I walked away once again, super happy with my purchase, but even happier with the personable interaction of the vendor. Thanks for the great deal, Bruce! I’ll be back for more!

Bruce also sells his stuff online here.

Here is what I ended up bringing home with me:

Vintage Christian Dior Earrings, $30

Other belts I bought, about $3 each

My First Week in NYC and a Pocketful of Finds

Last Friday, May 18, I made a very stressful move to New York City from Texas. We’re talking two 50 lb suitcases, a carry-on suitcase that was probably dangerously close to about 35 lbs., and a “purse” that was actually a tote bag that housed my purse, laptop, Nikon DSLR camera, Flip blogging camera, another digital camera, vitamins, makeup, phone, iPod, chargers for every electronic mentioned, and large blanket thrown over everything. Oh, then of course I had to dress in boots and a very warm sweater to lessen the weight of my suitcase, so I looked like a nutcase walking around the airport when the weather outside was about 80 degrees.

But — in the end the madness was worth it because even though my back muscles gave out on me, and it took me two hours to get to my apartment after landing and another hour to get into my apartment after that because I couldn’t figure out how to work the key in the lock, I am now living in the best city in the world. After an incredibly rough year, I’m  now employed and the happiest gal in the entire world! What’s unbelievable is that it’s already been a week, but I already have a pocketful of sunshine and goodies! Check out some of my pics of where I’ve been and what I’ve picked up so far:

1. East River Plaza, Harlem

East River Plaza

Since I couldn’t bring a lot of my necessities with me, I needed to do some grocery shopping immediately so I set out to explore my whereabouts from where I’m subletting on the Upper East Side and where did I end up but the super cool and awesome East River Plaza in East Harlem. Something of a new complex, this place made me feel like I was right back in Texas as soon as I saw its parking garages and its huge Target and Marshall’s. It has a Costco, Best Buy, Old Navy and a few more other stores and is a super cool place for some good commercial shopping on the weekend. Considering I had literally stepped off the plane from Texas hours ago, I was having major deja vu shopping here. The weird part was stepping outside and seeing the New York skyline hit you — talk about culture shock! This place is a gold mine though. I love New York for its boutiques and department stores but I can’t stay I wasn’t thrilled to see a friendly bulls-eye staring at me when I realized I just needed some toothpaste.

2. 9th Ave Food Festival, Midtown

9th Ave Food Festival

How perfect was it that the exact weekend of the 39th annual 9th Avenue Food Festival would be when I show up to town?! Too perfect, I think. A college friend and I were lucky enough to enjoy absolutely beautiful weather last weekend (before it got super icky for the work week) for this food and overall fun fest. We got some good grub, of course — but I picked up something even more exciting! What’s better than really great food at a food festival?

C.O.P.A. Medley Soap bars

Well, if you’re moving across state lines in a handful of suitcases and you forget to bring soap, I think handmade soap would take the cake. (No pun intended) We stopped by the Beekman’s C.O.P.A. Soaps’ stand and I picked up a box of four Medley soap bars, or as they are affectionately called “Frankensoaps”. Oh.my.gosh!! The soap is made with mixes of lemongrass, tea trea oil, shea, lavender, and other amazingly yummy stuff. I bought four gigantic bars for $10, and got a free sample of their lavender soap. Score! What’s amazing is how fragrant this soap is; it literally doubles as air freshener for the bathroom even without the steamy shower. And don’t even get me started at how buttery smooth my skin is. Seriously.so.in.love.

3. Georgetown Cupcake, SoHo

Earl Grey Tea & Lavender cupcake

You can imagine how thankful someone like me would be about just having a job after a year of unemployment, let alone to be working in New York (which just happens to be my dream place). But somehow my dream continues because not only has work been actually been pretty fun and my coworkers pretty downright fantastic from the get-go, but there also turns out to be a Georgetown Cupcake right around the corner from where I work! Yes, the Georgetown Cupcake – from TLC’s “DC Cupcakes”  — also known as the place that gives out a free cupcake everyday! Now, I won’t pretend like I was in the know about all of this, but I do know of the show. What I did not know was how amazing their cupcakes were and what a gold mine of a location their new spot in SoHo is. If you go at the right time,  you won’t even hit a line. Now, this is an absolute New York heaven.

I’ve done so much in just a week and have so many stories to tell, and these were just a few tidbits. Hopefully I’ll have my camera on me to record videos and snap more pics to come back and share more! My New York adventure has just begun, and I’m already falling in love this with city all over again.

My Favorite Spring Trend: Quirky Animal Jewelry

If there was one fashion trend that I had to grab by the horns (I mean no puns so early on in the sentence) and run with for the rest of the year, I’d choose the quirky and yet effortlessly chic animal-themed accessories whole-heartedly.

They’re everywhere this season, and unlike the butterflies and doves of yesteryear today’s jeweled animals have fangs, stingers, tusks, claws and a few feathers for good measure. The best part about animal-themed fashion jewelry is that there’s something out there for everyone, whether you’re looking to bring out your inner beast or not. Remember to make sure you style down the rest of your look when you wear a bold piece of jewelry, though; that’s the only rule. (If there is such a thing.) After that, it’s all for you to show off! Check out my favorite accessories from animal kingdom and where you can get them, below!

Here’s where you can buy:

  1. Glint & Gleam Dangle By The Beach Necklace
  2. NOVICA Sterling Silver Elephant Pride Band Ring
  3. Forever 21 Jaguar Knuckle Ring
  4. Couture by Lolita Peacock Cameo Cuff
  5. Kenneth Jay Lane Emerald/Gold ‘I Love My Alligator’ Necklace
  6. Glint & Gleam Daisy Bee Stud Earrings

The Top 4 Bargains You’re Probably Missing

It’s a funny thing about money and spending it — nobody truly enjoys doing it. No matter how wealthy,  everyone wants a great deal on what they buy. Whether it’s a sparkly piece of jewelry or the occasional greeting card, we all glance at the price tag at least once — even if it’s for a millisecond — before heading to the check-out counter.

There are many of you out there, however, who are missing some fabulous deals that are right under your noses! Just because they’re not blasted through advertisements certainly doesn’t mean they’re any less legitimate or unworthy of taking advantage of.

The images of clipping coupons after hours of research and buying discounted deal vouchers may come to mind. But on the contraire, you could be saving boat loads on everything from books, music, jewelry, and even greeting cards without using any newspapers, printers, or scissors!

Here are five places that are hiding some show-stopping bargains, and there’s something good for just about everyone you know!

1. ShopLately.com: Accessories & More

Buying fashion jewelry, bags, and other accessories can really cost an arm and a leg. Sales can come and go, but on ShopLately.com this is never the case. The company Glint & Gleam keeps customers stock full of themed sales every single day and prices for earrings, necklaces, rings, and so much more can often start at only $3.00-$5.00 (like these Tangle-Free Rhinestone Earrings in antique silver that are priced at $5.00). In addition, ShopLately features many more luxury fashions from top name vendors. Stylish tops, outerwear, and other unique accessories are regulars on this site. And with shipping charges always at $2.99, you won’t spend twice the amount just to get your gorgeous goods!

2. Amazon mp3 Store: mp3 Music

Music piracy has been huge since the 90’s, and it’s because everyone hates paying for music. The invention of the portable mp3 player turned listening to music into a Catch-22: the convenience of it makes spending easier to do. Buying your favorite jams through iTunes is simple, and for the most part cheaper than having to go out and buy CDs the old-fashioned way. Even purchasing entire albums this way can cost about $5.00 less on average. But save even more and take your business to Amazon.com’s mp3 store. Chart toppers can start at measly $0.49 a song and $4.99 an album (Buy Coldplay’s latest album “Mylo Xyloto” and David Guetta’s “Nothing But the Beat” for $4.99 right now!) ! Amazon features frequent sales and over 1000 albums for free, including music from rising stars and new artists. Its entire selection comes to over 18 million songs. Once purchased, the Amazon mp3 Downloader transfers your music straight to your iTunes or Windows Media player so you can instantly start jammin’.

3. Dollar Tree: Greeting Cards, Gift Bags & More

Greeting cards are just as enjoyable to gift as they are to get, but sometimes they’re a little pricey. It’s the thought that counts, so spending close to $5.00 for a card to say thank you, sorry, congratulations, or get well soon is a bit steep. That doesn’t mean that the card should be cheap in quality! After all, a card says a lot about your sentiments so it should reflect them accordingly. Dollar Tree is a chain of discount stores that prices every item for only $1.00. While other similar stores have emerged to mimic the idea, Dollar Tree also often sells brand name items. Popular brands of greeting cards like American Greetings and Tender Thoughts are sold at Dollar Tree for $1.00 while stores like Wal-Mart, Target, etc. sell them at their sticker prices. Sounds skeptical, I know. Often such discounts are available because the product is defected, but there’s no such catch here! Pick up beautiful gift bags/boxes, holiday decor, stationary items, even certain discontinued brand name beauty products for much less here. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save without compromising on quality products.

4. SpreadSong Inc. iPhone/iTouch Apps: Free Books & Audiobooks

How many times have you heard people use the excuse, “I’d read more if I had more time.”? This is probably true, but since the emergence of portable books readers like the Nook, Kindle, and the ability to download audio books to mp3 players – it’s not as valid anymore. What’s more, there’s no hassle of lugging around heavy books or even leaving your house to pick it up at the bookstore or library (for the few that even have a library card these days). Now you can read on the go in the passenger seat, riding the bus, while on the plane, in the waiting room at your doctor’s office – pretty much wherever! But you’ll still have to pay for most of the time – or not. SpreadSong Inc. has created two revolutionary apps for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad that brings you almost 24,000 free books to read or listen to! There is even an option to email your downloaded books, so you can send them to yourself to access on any computer. Titles include classics like Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Aesop’s Fables, Great Expectations, and literally thousands more. If you’re a student, don’t waste your money on buying from the bookstore. Teachers and parents can do read-alongs with their kids by playing the audio books out loud to follow along with or just listen to. The options are endless, and it’s truly a great way to reread your favorites or find new titles without spending an extra dime!

Shield Yourself with Vintage

My 1960’s vintage shield ring

Vintage never goes out of style – that’s kind of the beauty about it. It’s fashion of the past reemerged and reinvented for today. For many, vintage style alludes to fashion that’s classic, timeless, and forever wearable. Depending on the piece, it can remind us of more glamorous times or funky periods in fashion history.

My personal style always includes a fabulous piece of jewelry – most often a gorgeous cocktail ring. Not too big of a statement that it takes away the attention from your entire look, but just enough to add something special. They can be pricey, but if it’s in my jewelry box – you can rest assured it wasn’t! A few years back, I spent a winter in New York City and I made sure to scour the local flea markets. While I didn’t find anything at most of them, I met a darling, old Jewish man at one who was selling all sorts of odds and ends. As soon as I started to leave, I spotted a treasure box of old jewelry. Amongst them, my prized possesion: a gold-toned, filigree shield ring with a robin’s egg-like stone in the middle. The seller told me it dated somewhere from the 1960’s, and it was like love at first sight.

I’ve worn this ring with many, many outfits and never cease to get compliments from it. The best part? It’s vintage and has a great story! The 2nd best part? I bought it for less than $5.00! The moral of this story: gorgeous pieces do not need to cost you an arm and leg, and finding vintage-like items don’t either.

My new favorite shopping portal, ShopLately.com, is like heaven for someone who loves to find show-stopping pieces, hates to pay huge shipping costs, and lives on a budget. I’ve made my fair share of purchases from this place, and as a bargain fashion finder – I can assure you that I’ve had nothing but great experiences and fabulous bang for my buck!

After my vintage purchase, my eyes always gravitate towards similar shield rings. So, when I came across these beauties – I knew I had to share. Check out the prices, and shipping is always only $2.99. (Thank goodness – don’t you hate when S&H almost doubles your purchase price?)

What do you think? Leave me a comment and let me know, and tell me about your favorite vintage finds!

Nature Takeover

Fashion Accessories

Image by Skyscrapers and Sand via Flickr

Fashion is relative – that much is true. What appeals to one doesn’t always to another. But when mankind set out to make fashion – where did we first turn for inspiration? What has been timeless and organically beautiful since  before people even landed on earth? And what do we turn to over and over when seeking something that will appeal to almost any taste?


From the cosmos and glittering twinkling stars to deep-sea dwellers and the leafy florals in between – every gal can find a fashion accessory that mimics something straight from nature to add an extra something special to her wardrobe. Textures, colors, and shapes are abound with these accessories and it’s really a fool-proof way to add some sass to your style.

Check out some of my favorites that I pulled from the fabulous new deal site ShopLately, where you can find these accessories often starting at $5.00 with only $2.99 shipping! The relatively unknown deal site was highlighted by Forbes.com as one of the few companies in the daily-deal sector doing something right among the other dwindlers who are losing money for themselves and the companies for which they offer deals.

The Skies Above

Some ladies live for the glitz and glam, and would be dripping in sparkle if possible. Then there are those who are just looking for a hint of shine to ice the cake. Whichever category you fall into, you can’t go wrong with looking up to the stars for a little inspiration. The epitome of twinkle, astronomically inspired pieces will have you feeling dreamy.

Earth, Wind, & Fire

How amazing is it that just by taking a step outside, we’re blown away with an endless array of colors and fascinating shapes? From the full blooms and leafy greens to the earthy boulders, nature has given us molds for everything we could possibly need for a little boost of organic beauty.

Sea to Shining Sea

The oceans can invoke serenity and calm with their hues of blues and greens. Venture below the waves and a whole new world of life awakens. Mesmerizing creatures live quietly with their understated beauty, where many will stay unseen. You can easily enliven your wardrobe by bringing the buried treasures to the surface.

Remember that your style should always reflect you, but if you need a little inspiration – just take a look at the beauty surrounding you because fashion is everywhere! And you really don’t have to break the bank accessing it because you definitely wouldn’t be reading it on my blog if you did. All the items I highlighted were an average of $6.00! Get creative and start hunting for those hidden treasures – you’ll be surprised where you find them!