Thursday, June 3, 2010

CT Places: Talcott Mountain

Talcott Mountain state park is located on Rt 185 in between Simsbury and Bloomfield. It's only 1.25 miles from the trail head to the tower, but it's a difficult hike, not for the beginner or people in less-than-ideal health. I believe there may be a back way to get to Heublein Tower which doesn't require as much walking, but I don't have any knowledge of where it is or if that shortcut even exists. I just know I've seen cars up there, and women with strollers up there, when there were no other cars besides mine in the parking area below O.o

Anyway, the trail starts off nicely, then quickly turns into a nearly-vertical rocky slope- there are a couple of benches to sit and rest at on your way up, but it's rough going. Here's some pics I took from the top of the trail, looking down over the Avon valley- my camera battery died before I could get to the tower, so I'll have to go back again and shoot some more pictures another day, but I'll include a stock photo from the DEP website so you can see how cool it is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

CT Places: Fisher Meadows

This is one of my favorite places to go in the Farmington Valley area. There's tons of walking trails, a small playground, picnic tables, some with coverage from the sun, and lots and lots of sports fields, aka, wide open spaces. On the property is a small lake (or maybe it's just a pond?) you can go canoeing or kayaking in, and I'm not sure how the fishing is, but I've seen plenty of people having a go at it. Fisher Meadows is a great place to spend an afternoon, alone or with a group- there's pretty much something here for everyone.
Located right near Route 10, on Old Farms Road in Avon, it's adjacent to the Farmington River, and even has a few trails which will lead you to it. It's officially open from dawn to dusk, though the town of Avon website says that, with permission, you can use the property for camping as well! Check it out if you get the chance- here's some pics from my most recent walk around the pond, where I saw a snapping turtle laying her eggs!! She let me get REALLY close to her- I guess she was too preoccupied with the task at hand to chase me away :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CT Places: Enders

(This is the first in a series of mostly pictorial posts I'll be making, showcasing many of the mainly natural areas I frequent in this state. I love a good hike, and I imagine many of you might as well. Enjoy!)

Enders State park is located in West Granby, CT on Rte 219. It's like a 15 minute drive from my house and well worth it- the scenery is gorgeous, the uphill/downhill hiking is great exercise, and on hot days it's fun to go swimming in the natural pools at the base of the many falls along the trail. Check it out:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oh hi

If you're looking for that other post that was here, I moved it. I didn't want it to be the first thing new visitors saw when they came to my blog. If they were only coming here to read that, then they most likely were clicking on an external link which will still bring them right to it anyhow. If you're here looking for it, wondering where it went, go back through my older posts- I backdated it just so it's not on the front page at the very top :) I'm not going to delete it, as I feel the truth should be told, but I don't need to see it every time I come to my blog, either.

I'll be updating this space more frequently now with reviews on stuff I buy- hopefully I'll be able to post only positive things! :D

Friday, January 1, 2010

Metamorphosis Cosmetics- A Warning

You know the old saying (it's Latin, so it's really old) "Caveat Emptor"? It means "Buyer beware". Keep that in mind when shopping with Metamorphosis Cosmetics, aka, Gipsy Dreamer, aka, Diaphoni, aka, Julia Williams (not even going to go into how Gypsy is spelled wrong). I'm not going to digress into too much shit talking, as much as I WANT to right now, but just know that she has ripped me off, as well as at least 2 other people I have found here on the blogosphere. This is a fact, not an opinion.

I thought something might be wrong when I didn't get my order 2 weeks or so after placing it on March 22, 2010. I emailed her asking what was going on (very nicely, I might add- we were "friends" on Twitter) and got a prompt, super apologetic response about her being sick and she told me my order was going out that day or the next... except it never went out. 2 more weeks passed, and nothing. At this point, it's been a month and the 45-day Paypal window to file a claim for non-receipt is quickly drawing near. So I opened a Paypal dispute, because in past experiences with non-shipping sellers, this has gotten them to either send me my crap, or refund my money. Then, I went to Google to do some research. Lo and behold, there were others who shared my story- I realized it WASN'T just me, and that this woman had (seemingly)taken us all for fools.

Heather at Eyeconic Makeup also had pretty much the same experience as me, only she laid hers out in a nicely organized timeline on her blog. I only WISH I could be that organized!! In the comments on that blog entry, you'll find others who've had pretty much the same experience as I did with Metamorphosis Cosmetics (I also made sure to leave my story there). I felt both relieved and angry when I found that blog post, because it meant I wasn't the only one Julia had failed to deliver an order to, but sadly, it also meant that I wasn't the only one Julia had failed to deliver an order to.

I don't have an awesome timeline like Heather does, but I do have the text from my open Paypal case. I escalated it to a "Claim" on 5/4...Here's what's been said in the Paypal dispute so far (you'll have to start at the bottom and read your way up):
  • 5/4/2010 06:03 PDT - PayPal: Buyer escalated this dispute to a Claim.
  • 5/4/2010 06:03 PDT - Buyer: The seller provided me with a USPS tracking number, 2308 3250 0000 2510 5671, which shows a package delivered to WASHINGTON (where the seller lives, incidentally). I live in CONNECTICUT. I have absolutely no reason to believe that the order I placed and paid for was sent and I'd like to escalate this to a claim. It's been well over a month now since i placed my order. A quick Google search shows that this is not the first time she's scammed buyers: PLEASE, Paypal, shut this "seller" down before she rips off any more consumers.
  • 5/2/2010 07:44 PDT - Seller: Hello Becca, I am sorry that the post office is being such a pain at the moment, we have seen this happen where there is no tracking information until the item is actually delivered. If you truly want a refund then please mark the package return to sender and we will initiate a refund once we get the package back.
  • 5/2/2010 07:38 PDT - Buyer: I still have not received any package, and when entering the tracking number into the USPS website I get the following message: Label/Receipt Number: 2308 3250 0000 2510 5671 There is no record of this item. If I can just get my money back I'll be a happy camper. I don't want the product anymore and have grown tired of dealing with this. We all have better things to do.
  • 4/23/2010 07:29 PDT - Seller: Hi Becca, I am Julia's boyfriend and I am trying to help her get the shipping issues resolved. We have your package ready to go out in todays mail. You will be able to track it with the following number at USPS: 23083250000025105671 I hope this will resolve this matter to your satisfaction. Have a lovely day.
  • 4/22/2010 14:04 PDT - Buyer: I REALLY hate to do this, but seeing as emailing you hasn't gotten my tiny little order shipped, and it's been over a month since I ordered, I'd really just like my money back at this point. I'll shop elsewhere.

FUN FACT about that tracking number- it traced to WASHINGTON STATE, where Julia just happens to live. So, not only is she not shipping paid orders, and lying to people about her reasons for her delay, she's also providing false information to Paypal about tracking numbers.  Apparently this tracking information changed- I don't quite understand how the package went from being "delivered to Washington" to being "delivered to Connecticut", but it did. Which makes this part if this story irrelevant. Still, my point stands:  I cannot advise you strongly enough to avoid doing any kind of business with this type of person, and this person specifically. What she's doing is just so wrong. I (and others) bought from her in good faith, and she took our money and appeared to run off with it. If she has done this to you off as well, please, feel free to share your story here. Also, I encourage you to file a Paypal dispute/claim against her. Or mail Paypal Fraud about it if the 45 day dispute period has expire and your package has not arrived. I firmly believe hat had I not filed my Paypal dispute/claim, I would never have seen this order.

FUN FACT about my Paypal Dispute- the day I filed it, Julia took a break form her Twitter hiatus to tweet "If you have ordered from me and have not gotten your order, I'm sorry. Please don't start a paypal dispute, I've been sick and will work..." She hasn't been back since. I hope that nobody who saw that actually listened to her pleas; she's just trying to push you to wait until the 45 day Paypal time limit for filing non-receipt claims has come and gone.

I'm all for supporting the little guys. I'm all for buying from new sellers. I'm all about buying way more makeup than I'll ever wear. I won't let Julia sour me on any of that. But I will  be wary from now on of buying from sellers who tweet about how their utilities are about to be shut off, and who have "donate now" buttons in their webstores. I think I'll steer clear from them from now on :) Thanks for reading my rant, guys! <3 Here, haz a kitteh:

UPDATE: Talk about timing!! Guess what I got in the mail today? An envelope from Metamorphosis Cosmetics, much to my surprise. It was sent out on May 3rd, the day after I complained again to Paypal but the day before I escalated the dispute to a claim (it was STILL weeks after Julia's boyfriend told me on Paypal that he was taking care of things for her and my package would be shipped immediately- see above).  Anyway, the envelope is sitting on my countertop, unopened. I'm debating whether or not to risk sending it back for a refund- not feeling too confident I'll actually get my money back. I just know I won't be able to use these products and be happy about it... anyone want them?

I've edited this post to reflect changes to certain bits of information- the tracking number that magically changed delivery locations, and I took out a lot of the "scammer" stuff- seeing as I did get my package I guess it's not fair for ME to call her a scammer. If you haven't gotten your stuff though, it's still okay for you to do so.

ADDITIONALLY: If you're only here to start shit, don't bother, I'll be deleting any more RUDE comments, thanks. This post has been backdated so new visitors to this blog don't have to be subjected to this drama the instant their page loads.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Going Retail!

Well, sort of, anyway :) This is very exciting news, guys!!

As of December 4th, many of my jewelry and accessory items (and a few soaps, too!)can be seen and purchased at Brazen Betties in historic downtown Torrington, CT! Brazen Betties is a specialty boutique which features the work of hugely talented local artisans, and I'm honored to have had my product included in their eclectic selection. Here's a link to their site, so you can find driving directions and regular business hours, etc: Though it says they're open 5 days a week, from now until Christmas they will be open 7 days a week!

My favorite part of this arrangement is that I don't have to take pictures of items and come up with descriptions for them- those of you who have seen my shop on Etsy (, you know they type of work I produce, but did you know that for every one item you see up for sale, another 10 or more are sitting in a chest, unlisted? I produce far more than I can sell online, I just don't have the time, or the patience to photograph, edit said photographs, and write descriptions for everything I've made! So stop by Brazen Betties and get a glimpse at my FULL line of products!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the winner is....

Follower #89: Janil!!!
Congratulations! I will get your package ready to go out in the next day or two- hope you're ready for a box foll of STUFF!!

Thanks to all who entered; this was fun, if not a little drawn-out... I'll make the next giveaway shorter, promise! :D

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Tiny Meat Product Testimonial/ When I like something, I stick with it

Lately I've been starting random convos with people on Twitter, about this and that, depending on who's tweeting about what. Well, tonight I caught TinyMeat's post about a new checkbook cover... reminding me that I could use a new one. I bought one from him over 2.5 years ago and while it's held up well, and is still fully functional, it's starting to show some wear, finally. It's like the checkbook cover that wouldn't die or something, I swear. The thing has been with me through like 7 purse changes, and it's still going strong. I think I'm just looking for an excuse to spend money, I mean, check out these pictures- the thing actually still looks pretty good... I dunno how, lol- I abuse the heck outta my stuff.
Here's the original product shot:

And here are the pics of my checkbook cover, taken tonight (mine is blue on the inside, not green like the stock photo shows, due to variations in paint chips):


There she is- Wraith Pinned to the Mist in all her glory, still lookin surprisingly good after all these years. It's really just got a bit of dirt/staining at the corners, and there's some threads just starting to fray at the crease, though I attribute that to my habit of keeping a pen clipped to it at all times. Overall, I'm still super happy with my purchase, and I think I'm just looking for an excuse to buy this one from TinyMeat because it's so darn cool:

I dunno. Laser Cats FTW! My checkbook cover has certainly fared better than the TinyMeat wallet I bought for the hubby at the same time, though to be fair (to the wallet), my checkbook wasn't in my back pocket when I jumped out of a moving car :s And it should be noted that if that TinyMeat wallet hadn't been in *ahem* someone's back pocket when they jumped out of a moving vehicle, well, that person's ass would probably be disfigured and scarred for life. Yes, that's right- TinyMeat wallets can save your ass- literally.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Birthday Goodies!

So, yesterday was my birthday, and I told you guys I was expecting a fair amount of Etsy goodies as my presents... wanna see? Here they are (minus the earrings I already posted about):

A pendant from COOB Originals, I was totally bummed when I saw that this had been sold a month ago or so, but tptally psyched when I opened it up yesterday!! :D Made from a broken skateboard deck, this guy's really into recycling- he even packaged the pendant in a box he made out of some cardboard packaging, making this purchase even cooler, if you ask me.

I got this print, purchased from Kilkennycat, and after I opened it we both spent some time examining it to see if it was a print or a painting. The quality is amazing. Reminds me of good times in my old Volvos :)

And last but not least, I got this ring from Mixco. It's ceramic and it is so totally rad, I'm not sure what else I can say about it.

I guess I should also mention this *early* birthday present I got- lucky me, I checked the mail the day this came in, and hubby said "well since you already know what it is, you may as well open it now" :D I wear it all the time, it's probably my favorite thing as of late. It's a heart-shaped silver locket, with the front shaped like feathery wings. Both of the wings flip open to reveal the inside (which is currently empty on mine, but one day I'll stick something in there :) ). It was purchased from FashinJunkie4Life, on her private website, though, not from her Etsy shop. Since I have a million silver chains on hand at all times anyway, I don't need another and she offers a "just the pendant" option on her website that she didn't have in her Etsy shop.

I think I got some pretty fun handmade stuffs this year. I mean, there were also plenty of things bought from the box retail giants, but I think these handmade items give such a nice touch :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday today, I'm heading out to do birthday "stuff" and whatnot, but be sure to check back later- I asked for mostly Etsy stuffs this year, and I'm gonna update the blog and share all my Etsy b-day goodies with you guys! I probably sent out like 30-40 "buy me this on Etsy" emails, not expecting to actually get even half of them, lol, but we'll see what handmade surprises await me...

I already got a pair of earrings from DandyApple <3
Check em out: