Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's the little things.......

I was redirected to a wonderfully simple blog by accident today - about the little things in life that give us blissful moments. Click the link above to take a peek...

Some of my favorites in no particular order:

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Who Wants to Go Camping?"

Vintage Camping Equipment found on Etsy 

My Husband and I just returned from a fabulous camping trip on an island off the coast of Georgia.  The only access to the National Seashore is by ferry, so packing light is essential due to the long walk from the ferry to designated campsites. We aren't known for camping "light", just the opposite actually, we typically look like the Beverly Hillbillies arriving at the campground with gear lashed to the top of the SUV and me squished into the passenger seat holding overflow items from the cargo area in my lap. We carefully open the doors so gear doesn't spill out when the pressure is released.  No, we're not known for camping light.....   

Vintage Camping Equipment found on Etsy

 Lightening the load was a challenge; we both like to camp comfortably.  How was I suppose to survive without a plush rug under my feet when I got out of bed in the morning? For that matter, how was I suppose to sleep without a camp cot covered in soft linens selected for their breath-ability? And just how was I going to cook our gourmet breakfast without my 15" cast-iron fry pan that is so heavy it takes two hands to lift it...hmmmm?  

Well after sorting through our gear three times, we did come up with a good assortment of must haves that wouldn't weigh us down too much.  WE successfully survived 5 days without most of our beloved gear.  You are probably thinking that we will continue to camp "light" in the future, but some habits die hard...LOOK what I found on Etsy today!  All are must haves and shouldn't take-up tooooo much room in the SUV.

See you on the road, we'll be in the vehicle that looks like it might explode...

I love to camp! Cheers!

Links to the Etsy items featured in first image:

Links to the Etsy items featured in second image:
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Logging My Favorites......

This is the sixth installment of a ongoing log of my favorite things. Once a month I will post a favorite. It might be a person, or a place, or even a event. Hopefully it will help you get to know me a little better. I'd love your comments and I hope to make some connections through our mutual enjoyment of these treasures.

Key West, Florida

I love Architecture; Key West is home to one of the largest collections of intact 18th century homes. The Key West historic district, with quaint tree lined lanes and stately mansions, is a national treasure to be savored.

I love history and culture; The Island has superb museums as evidenced by the Lighthouse Museum, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, the Ernest Hemingway Home and Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum. I even love the annual Ernest Hemingway lookalike contest and the friendly cats at the Hemingway House.

I love to people watch; Key West was once a landing spot for rum-runners from Cuba during the prohibition era. Even after all these years it has maintained its persona as the perfect place to party and Duval Street is at the hub of it all. Duval Street is one mile of the most fascinating array of great places to dine, fashionable shops and art galleries, nightclubs, Ghost Tours, street performers and exotic animals. It's a people-watching paradise and you'll be entertained for hours!

I love breakfast; At the Blue Heaven Cafe it is especially pleasant sitting outside under the shade of the banyan trees enjoying the banana pancakes with maple syrup.  Key West's free ranging chickens are welcome at Blue Heaven. In fact, they feel right at home. In this supremely laid-back restaurant in old Bahama Village, cocks, hens and chicks roam along the dirt-floored patio pecking for bugs or the occasional scrap of pancake offered by a diner. It’s not unheard of for a particularly bold rooster to hop onto the back of an unoccupied chair at YOUR table and crow to wake you up in the morning; works better than a triple espresso.

And last but certainly not least, I love Key Lime Pie; Key West is renowned for many things, not the least of which is Key Lime pie. Story has it that William Curry's cook, known as Aunt Sally, first created the pie in the late 1800's. The lack of refrigeration on the island led local cooks to develop their own way of doing things, and condensed milk "cooked" by the acids in key lime juice produced a very tasty pie. Although Aunt Sally is given a lot of credit, many believe she merely perfected a recipe that had been knocking around among area fisher folk for years. 

There are many other reasons why I love Key West; the tropical setting, the gardens, the locals, the artsy feel of the community, the seafood, etc...etc...! Too many to list.  I Love Key West!

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Why shop locally?

Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than nationally owned businesses, considerably more of your cash is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to build up the economic base of your community.

Where I shop, where I eat and have fun -- all of it makes my community home. One-of-a-kind businesses are an important part of the distinctive character of my neighborhood. I try to do all my shopping from local  businesses.  I've made some connections for my business and I've enjoyed several new friendships with other small business owners.  It's just a win-win situation.

Tourism businesses also benefit from buying local.  “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust 

Take a peek  at these great finds on Etsy from my local community…Atlanta, GA:

  1. No-Bottle Shampoo and Conditioner Pack -
  2. SAHARA-Necklace and Earrings with African Trade Beads OOAK -
  3. NEW Double White and Light Pink Satin Flower Fascinator Set Clean and Bright -
  4. Wherever You Go, Go With All Your Heart Necklace -
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Negative Feedback….YIKES!

Have you ever gotten negative feedback in your Etsy shop? Do you think it had an impact on your sales? Two months ago, I received negative feedback on four items from a seller. I paid quickly for my items using paypal, did not ask for a refund, and I left the seller positive feedback on each item. I could not understand why they gave me negative feedback.

After many emails I determined the seller was upset that I had sent a message asking about the finish on one of the items I had purchased. I did not give him negative feedback or ask for a refund, I was just asking a question. For two months he refused to change the negative feedback, the seller said I was “a trouble maker”. Contacting the Etsy support team was not successful; they could not help me because the seller did not leave a comment, he just selected negative for each item. In my opinion this is a bad Etsy policy. Maybe the feedback system needs an overhaul.

After some research on Chinese traditions and more emails to the seller about bad Karma and losing face, he finally changed the unfavorable feedback to positive this week (two months later).
Today, I had my first sale since the negative feedback was changed. I do feel that potential customers may have been lost during the time that my score was not 100% positive. During the two months that I was negotiating with the upset seller, I did not have one purchase.

Please give me your thoughts on the effects of negative feedback. Would you purchase from a seller that has less than 100% positive feedback?

Thanks for your comments in advance…..
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