Joyfolie Review 2: BUYER BEWARE!!!!

I want to start off by saying, once upon a time; this company was a really great company that I LOOOOVVVED shopping with!  I even wrote a positive review Joyfolie Shoes Review!  If you scroll through my daughter’s IG page zizah_the_gymnast_diva, you’ll find her dolled up with an ABUNDANCE of pieces from this company.

I would say for about the past 2 years, I haven’t really shopped with this company.  This is mainly because my daughter is over the dress up stage, she is a competitive gymnast who spends the vast majority of her time in a leotard in the gym,  and when she does have down time, she is relaxing trying to be a normal kid. Whenever an occasion to dress up would arise, I still would typically get her stuff from here. Shoot, I even started getting some of the boots they sold for women for myself!

Hands down, they have unique styles that are absolutely stunning….they always have. However, over time as this company has grown, the quality has deteriorated. Jessica Hernandez (the owner), started off making everything by hand and selling on Etsy. You would get one-of-a-kind quality little girl shoes that were sure to receive several compliments. Not only that, because they were so rare, well made, and desired, the resale value was awesome! It truly was a win-win for moms all around. As the demand rose, she moved to having her products manufactured.  Things slowly started taking a turn for the worse. Buttons/jewels/flowers would fall off, sizes don’t correspond with their size chart, one wear and they are destroyed, and so forth. Despite these flaws, the customer service would always make it right some way somehow, which in my book was a fair trade.

Now over the past couple years of my hiatus from shopping, I have seen that during big sales they had a flood of angry customers due to shipping, lack of communication, issues with products and returns etc.  I just never dug deep into it, because I assumed customer service handled it as they’ve done in the past.

May 20th (this Sunday) my daughter has an award ceremony for gymnastics. One day out of the year she will get to dress up. I turned to Joyfolie as I have always done. There is a stunning Catrin “Red” dress online that my daughter and I both agreed was the one. Plus she already had red shoes from Joyfolie, that would match! I ordered a cute dress for myself as well. Before I ordered my daughter’s dress, I noticed it had a note “dress run big”. Seeing that, and knowing my child is small for her age, I contacted them, gave them her measurements, and ordered what was recommended by their staff.

Honey baby, let me tell you; that dress was NOTHING like pictured. The color was wrong, the size was wrong, and it was so cheap, it look like something from the dollar store. The dress I ordered for myself had a zipper that was sewn together. I spent 30 minutes fixing that, and then it just was not a great fit. Could just be me since I’m petite so I didn’t even complain about that one.

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“No big deal,” I say to myself. I’ll contact customer service and they’ll fix it. Boy was I wrong!!!!! As of today (started contacting them 5/2) I still have no credit, no product, and they have received their products last Friday. My daughter has no dress, and they could care LESS. They assured me they wanted to make this right, but really had NOTHING TO OFFER but an exchanged dress…which due to the manufacturing flaw of it running big, it would NEVER fit my daughter.  Not only that, it was like 4 shades lighter than the color, and totally didn’t match the shoes (I attribute this to the photographer’s editing use of saturation).

I have went back and forth with these people for TWO WEEKS trying to give them every opportunity to remedy their mistake. I explained the importance and time sensitivity of getting a replacement dress. I was even willing to exchange for something else (despite the fact I want nothing to do with them).  They were steadfast on offerinv me another cheap, punch (not red), too big dress. OR I could return them, wait for a credit, reorder something else, and pay $30 for expedited shipping!!!

I even went a step further and contacted the owner on her personal IG page (she’s traveling the world from stealing people’s money and making crappy products inspired by her travels….eyeroll). She basically took no ownership of her piss poor products or  the pitiful customer service AND BLOCKED ME!! At the end of the day, if you buy something from here, you BETTER be prepared to be stuck with it, or a store credit. Like I said, unless you pay full price, a refund is not an option. I suggest you throughly read their Return Policy After dealing with them and their customer service, you won’t even want the store credit! At the rate she’s going, she barking up a tree for a law suit or being out of business soon.

What I have come to learn is this; they know they are selling bullshit products, because their refund policy, is now a joke!! They don’t want to return your money, unless you pay full price! Due to the inflated prices and POORLY MADE products, NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND IS GOING TO PAY FULL PRICE!!! They know this and are always offering a promo code to keep your money. This was NEVER THE CASE IN THE PAST!! I didn’t even know they changed their return policy to this shady mess, until I started doing research! In my opinion, NO company who stands behind their product would have a policy such as theirs.

They are not even accredited with the BBB due to ALL NEGATIVE COMPLAINTS. Reviews of this company are barely a 2 out of 5 stars with BBB and other review sites.

As it stands, I had to dispute this through PayPal and I am awaiting a resolution.  I plan to sponsor this post 3 times the amount I lost dealing with them, so as many people can learn about this shady behind crooked company.  If you have an experience, good or bad, please leave a comment! Also share this so other people can at the minimal be warned when shopping with this company.

Thanks as always for hearing my rants!!!

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Going to Belize?? Skip the Taxis and Rent a Car!

Last year my friends and I went to San Ignacio Belize on a flight deal and had a blast.  I loved that little area we were in! It was like someone made a resort and threw it in the heart of where the natives lived. It was everything! We had the best of both worlds, luxury, and authentic cultural experiences.

Our initial plan was to go to San Ignacio and then go to the Cayes for a day or two.  After a bit of research and native word of mouth, we learned without private transportation, that was an impossible task.

Public transportation is poor to say at best.  It requires water taxis, regular taxis, buses, maybe even a flight to travel around the country.  ALL are EXPENSIVE.  We vowed to go back, stay longer, and split our time between the two to experience it all.

Practically a year to date I found myself back in Belize. An executive decision was made to rent a car for travel and it was by FAR THE BEST DECISION EVER!!!

We were able to come and go as we pleased, allowing us to visit Belize City, Dangriga, Hopkins, Belmopan, San Ignacio, and hopped on over to Guatemala for the day!  It was nice to be able to venture out on our own safely, and unrestricted at any given time of the day.

The tour our resort offered to Guatemala was over $275 per person. It cost two of us about $150 including gas, country entry/exit fees, park entry fees, and fumigation fees to make the trip by renting a car.  A tour with the hotel to the Belize Zoo was $85 per person, and it only cost $15 per person for entry if you had your own transportation.  We came to the realization that these tours prices are based on gas.  Gas is about $4.50 per gallon in Belize, and travel between most places can take some time to get there.

Having our own car, also allowed us to save a great deal of money on food. Due to the fact we could drive to local restaurants, our meals were a fraction of the cost at the resort.  Dinner on average was $25 pp at the resort.  At a local restaurant, it may have been $20 or less for two, including drinks. Plus, the food was much more appetizing and filling.  We even saved money on alcoholic beverages! Went to “The Mall” and brought a whole bottle of wine for $10.  A glass at the resort was $8 easily.

When it was all said and done, we probably spent about $200 on gas.  Considering the various cities we visited (some twice), the fact we went to a whole different country, AND just went joy riding.  All and all, I definitely believe it was worth it.

For the BEST EXPERIENCE of an amazingly beautiful country, do yourself a favor and RENT A CAR!!!

Flying to Orlando: Must Pack

I will admit, I have not flown to every city in the good ol’ USA.  However, I have flown enough to know, one destination in particular is by far my least favorite.

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IF you are braving the air to this destination, you BETTER pack two essential items:

  1. Headphones
  2. Patience

Anything else you bring along is just extra.  Anything else you could ever want, need, or desire, you can buy when you get there.  However, if you want to make it there with your sanity intact, you better bring the two items above.

Why do I say Orlando is the worst flight? Here it is:

  1. There is a guarantee there will be kids…many kids on this flight, on their way to Disney World etc.  These kids will vary with temperaments from the most docile child to the tantrum throwing brat that you pray doesn’t sit next to you.

 

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I get this face ALL THE TIME with The Duke

 

My family and I just visited Orlando this past week for a baseball tournament.  I haven’t been here in 2 years, and forgot how dreadful this flight can be!

All other kids aside, I’d bet money my son was THE WORST ONE in the air.  I swear I wanted to pretend I was an annoyed passenger in the seat with strangers.  However he blew my cover with Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mommy….every chance he got!

This less than 2 hour flight feels like pure torture when you have a little one as ornery and active as mine. I genuinely would like to take the opportunity to apologize in advance to every and anyone who has to grace the air with my rambunctious son.  Again, if you see this face waiting to board a plane, check for your headphones, and patience before boarding (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED).

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On another note, for parents with a child/ren like mine, here are things I pack to TRY and make the flight as smooth as possible

  • Ipad/Tablet with headphones- make sure you download their favorite shows BEFORE hand!
  • Snacks/Juice box
  • Blanket/Pillow
  • Portable Charger
  • Coloring Books/Crayons
  • The one toy your child simply can’t live without (my son’s is an etch-a-sketch)

In conclusion to my rant, I will leave all those flying with small children with this:  If you can get a late flight…things will be so much smoother, I promise!

Costa Rica Esplendor Hotel Review

This past weekend was a girls trip to Costa Rica!!! We all decided on the Esplendor Hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica! On a scale of 1-10 I would give this place a 6.5, and here’s why:

Pros:

  • The view is AMAZING! When you pull up you are greeted with cool towels (so I heard…we did not get this royal treatment, but I’m sure it is the normal) a refreshing drink, and a breath-taking view of the infinity pool overlooking the ocean.

EsplendorThis literally is how it looked when we pulled up! (Unedited!)

  • The pool was awesome! We loved the infinity pool and the view we had to the ocean. The swim up bar was an added bonus!

 

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The pool from our room!
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  • It was very clean! I loved the fact the grounds were well maintained, the property was litter free, and the housekeepers were awesome with cleaning up after us messy ladies!!

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The lobby area
Things to consider:

  • Location.  This hotel has a spectacular view because it is situated HIGH (and I mean HIGH) up in altitude.  Walking down to the town isn’t bad per se…but walking back up was a nightmare.  We paid $5 a night to avoid the hill after one trip up.
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This was me motivating myself to walk down the hill one last time!
  • Transportation. The hotel does have a shuttle service, HOWEVER it ONLY runs every 30 minutes, with a 2 1/2 hour break around lunch and stops at 8pm.  The shuttle seats about 12-15 people and was always full leaving people to wait or walk.  Beings as though the ONE STOP to town (besides the beach house) is only a TWO MINUTE DRIVE (we timed it), they really should and NEED to run this van a bit more frequently.

 

  • Breakfast. I honestly can say they served THE SAME FOOD EVERY DAY WE WERE THERE! It was free and included, but after awhile, beans and rice, bacon, fruit, cereal, and toast was old.  For beverages, the options consisted of orange juice, milk, tea or coffee.  On the last day there, they ran out of eggs at 8am (they serve from 7-10am).

 

When it was all said and done, overall, we really enjoyed our stay.  We probably wouldn’t stay here again, just because we would like to try something new, and avoid $5 hill taxis.  We hope this lovely establishment take these suggestions into consideration to improve on an already awesome home away from home!

Birthday Surprise

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I am a fat chick in a skinny chick ‘s body. I love food and everything about it; it truly is the way to my heart.

My Mister decided to take me on a surprise run for my birthday. I was just getting off work and fell asleep for most of the 2+ hour drive. When I woke up a saw and a building with the word “GEORGETOWN” written on it. INSTANTLY, my response was, “Are we going to Georgetown Cupcakes?” He said, “What would make you say that you’ve been sleep, you have no idea where we are.”  I googled Georgetown Cupcake and it was .4 miles straight ahead.  The Smile on my face was priceless.

When we pulled up, as usual, the line was down the block, but I was ready to wait with my “bae” for cupcakes, but he was smart enough to order ahead.  I jumped in the passenger seat, he picked up the cupcakes, and off we went.

NOW let’s talk about these cupcakes. I SWEAR on EVERYTHING I LOVE, this place has PERFECTED the cupcake.  The icing is like silk. It’s not to heavy, not too sweet, not too whipped, but JUST FREAKING RIGHT! The cupcake is so moist my friend described it as “juicy”.  They are so soft and moist, you can barely pick them up out of the container

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The ingredients are fresh, evenly balanced, and match the name of the cupcake to the “T”. Their cupcakes are so good my favorite is Carrot Cake, and I don’t even like Carrot Cake! I ate 4 cupcakes on the ride home 3 for breakfast the next day, and 2 for a midnight snack.

If you are in the DC area, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you stop by. Here are a few tips if you do:

  1. ORDER AHEAD ONLINE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE- unless you want the experience of waiting in the line that is ALWAYS down the block and around the corner, this is by far the best tip I could ever give you.  Georgetown Cupcakes
  2. Some of my favs include
    1. Carrot Cake
    2. Red Velvet
    3. Strawberry
    4. Raspberry Lemonade
    5. Vanilla Birthday Cake

3.  Remember all flavors are rich, flavorful and  true to taste; you truly are going to get                what you ask for. 

Needless to say my birthday surprise was a hit, and I’m not even going to mention we went back the next weekend with his sister and some friends and family!!!