Minimal Always Wins: From unicorn drinks, baby/wedding showers, to accessories

Minimal Always Wins: From unicorn drinks, baby/wedding showers, to accessories

 

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance” ~ Coco Chanel 

 

Who can argue with Coco Chanel? Not me, I totally agree with her. Something about simplicity or the more modern term “minimal”, just never goes out of style.

 

As I visited Starbucks a few days ago, I noticed that in the store and on social media people where in uproar over this strangely colorful, over-complicated, borderline poisonous, unicorn drink. I ordered my regular tall cold brew with almond milk. My simple drink order got the attention of the barista. She asked, “you’re not falling for the unicorn craze today?” Nope, not me. She followed that up by, “well you won’t regret drinking this simple brew in a few hours like the hundreds of unicorn partakers will.”  Fads are fun, fly by night trends are intriguing but the simple classics will always dominate even in the coffee world!

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As the rain showers come down, our family is preparing for a baby shower and a wedding shower soon. My favorite registry place is Pottery Barn for both babies and weddings. They specialize in such classic, minimal, timeless, yet functional and chic gifts. This reiterated to me again that the elegance of simplicity cannot be matched. Here are a few of my favorite showers gifts for any couple or occasion.

Click Here to Shop These Baby Gifts & More 
Click Here to Shop These Wedding Gifts & More 

 

My husband and I are moving and will have to be living out of our suitcase for a few weeks. I was packing and trying to prepare for different occasions, have the right shoes, accessories, etc; I went back to minimal, classic, mix-and-match pieces. Here is what is in my suitcase:

Floral print maxi dress from amazon (doesn’t wrinkle, was perfect for Easter and the upcoming shower)

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Click Here to Shop the Dress

 

Tory Burch sandals (comfy yet dressy enough to wear for any occasion)

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Click Here to Shop the Sandals 

 

Jeans with solid color t-shirts (these mix and match pieces can be dressed up or down with jewelry and different shoes)

 

My jewelry consists of a statement necklace, simple necklace, bold earrings, and diamond studs (these 4 pieces again have me covered for virtually any occasion or outing)

Click Here to Shop These Items & More Gorgeous Pieces 

 

Having a simple wardrobe has allowed me to not over-stress about over-packing or having too much scattered throughout the hotels/houses we are staying at for the next few weeks. I can concentrate on family time, site seeing, house hunting, and good food.

 

I would love to hear how you have simplified your life and how it has impacted you (for the good or bad). Thank you for reading and Happy Friday!

 

 

What is your engagement ring telling you?

What is your engagement ring telling you?

1)    Take me off!

 

A survey was done that over 25% of people NEVER take off their engagement ring. This leaves your diamonds, gemstones, and settings susceptible to damage. Knowing when to take it off will help prolong the life of your prongs, brilliance of your stone, etc.

 

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FACT: A 14k White Gold ring will completely disintegrate if it’s placed in household chlorine bleach for 34 hours.

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Now I know that’s extreme but it just shows that gold is not indestructible. A chlorinated swimming pool or hot tub for example, has chemicals that can weaken the metal.

 

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You should also avoid wearing your rings while baking and gardening. Certain things like dough and dirt can accumulate and harden making your ring very difficult to clean.

 

 

Remove rings before applying lotions and creams. These will greatly diminish brilliance and  hasten the need for cleaning and can even damage certain gemstones. Avoid getting hair spray on diamond rings as it will stick to the stones and make cleaning very difficult as well.

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Hard water or well water can discolor settings and diamonds by leaving a film on them if you keep them on in the shower. Check out this photo of my sister in law’s ring from just showering a few days in well water.

 

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The fine fabrics found in bed linens over time can work their way in between your prongs and stones. If your prongs are snagging on fabrics or constantly getting little fibers stuck this could be sign of a misshaped or damage prong.

 

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Remember: cold water can shrink fingers, so never swim in the ocean or lake while you’re wearing your rings. They could slip off without you even knowing it.

 

2)    Don’t take me off!

 

Do NOT take off your rings and set them next to the sink in public restroom to wash your hands. This is one of the most common ways of losing a ring.

 

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3)    Clean me!

 

A simple cup of warm water with a few drops of Dawn dish-washing soap and a soft bristle toothbrush is all you need at home. If you want a deep clean, your local jeweler can assist better with an ultra sonic and steam clean upgrade.

 

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4)    Get me checked!

 

If you hear a slight rattling or can feel a loose stone, do not delay, go see your local jeweler ASAP. Keep a record of your repairs and maybe even consider getting an insurance policy for your beloved ring through your home owner’s insurance. Also, your jeweler can restore white gold’s brilliance by “dipping” the setting in a rhodium bath. This will not harm your setting and is also safe for platinum rings as well.

 

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5)    Be careful with me!

 

FACT: Diamonds are incredibly hard, but impacts on points or the girdle edge can damage them.

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Sudden impacts can chip stones and dent metal, so remove your rings before doing physical activities.

 

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Enjoy your engagement ring but keep these hints in mind to keep your beautiful piece intact and beautiful for years and years to come! To see the engagement rings photographed click here.

April Fun Facts ~ Birthstone

Diamonds are the hardest known substance found on the planet earth. Almost 100 times more resistant to scratching than the next hardest substance. Diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” which means invincible or indestructible. Diamonds are extracted from the depths of the earth where extreme heat and pressure can also be found. It takes about 250 tons of mined earth to produce 1 carat of diamond.

 

Scattered diamonds on a grey background. Very high resolution 3D render.

 

“A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds”

Proverbs 31:10

 

I can understand why this verse is so true and why Henry Kissinger said “A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”

 

Diamonds range from colorless, to faint yellow or even brown, to rare pinks, blues, and greens and other colors known as “fancies”.

 

 

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Photo Credit: http://www.leibish.com/color-article-389

 

 

Diamonds are also referred to as “the king of gems” and “a girl’s best friend”.

 

 

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Although diamonds are the birthstone of April, they are also used to symbolize enduring love and traditionally given for engagement rings. 75% of all new brides in the USA will wear a diamond ring. History tells of The Archduke of Austria giving a diamond to Mary of Burgundy in 1477. This is the first known incidence of a man giving a woman a diamond.

 

The anatomy of a diamond has a lot to do with the “sparkle” that most of us long for in this precious gem. Here is an excellent chart for mapping out the perfect proportions of a diamond to have it shine its best.

 

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Chart Credit: http://www.doitjewelry.com/08/17/breathtaking-diamond-photos-to-to-add-to-your-collection-visit-svpicks-com-4/ 

 

If you are looking at purchasing a diamond for your birthday or for a loved one and need help gauging the size. Here is an excellent photo showing what the difference between 0.50cts and 2.5cts looks like on the hand.

 

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Photo Credit: https://erstwhilejewelry.com/blogs/stories/actual-diamond-carat-size-on-a-hand

 

April Fun Facts:

 

~ Due to extreme pressure and temperature on Neptune, it apparently rains diamonds (not sure if this is true but I saw it on facebook so it must be right?)

 

~ The April birth flower is the Daisy and the Sweet Pea

 

~ April Holidays include: April Fool’s Day, Autism Awareness Day, Easter, Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Poetry Month, Teacher Appreciation Week, and Jazz Appreciation Month

 

~ In the Southern Hemisphere, April is the same as October in the Northern Hemisphere

 

~ The Golf Masters are on this Sunday also known to me as the perfect napping event of the year

 

~ George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the US on April 30, 1789

 

~ April begins on the same day of the week as July every single year (even leap year, weird but true)

 

~ Leonardo da Vinci was born April 15, 1452

 

~ The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912

 

~ April birthday folks are said to be active, dynamic, strong minded, friendly, loving, giving, brave and outgoing. (I think I want to know more April babies!)

 

Happy April! Check out our gorgeous array of diamond gift-ables by clicking here.

What Makes A True Artist?

What Makes A True Artist?
  • You are genuine. 

 

I have a “friend” back home that to the naked eye you would think her artistic. Why? Because she always has to be different. She always has to disagree with you. And she has invented crazy eccentricisms for herself. If you said you loved JCrew clothes she would make fun of you for liking something so main stream and boring. If you said you hated JCrew clothes she would say that you didn’t have an eye for minimalistic beauty. If you hated eating chicken livers she would say that you were short sided and not sophisticated. If you loved chicken livers she would say that you were a hill billy redneck with no class. If you said you loved long hair she would say that you were old fashioned and not modern. If you said you loved short hair she would say that you did not know anything about classic style or what is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. She just wanted to be different not genuine.

 

Here’s the moral of that short story: just be yourself. If you like the simple Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s-style black dress with no muss no fuss then great. If everyone in your group of friends loves action movies and you do too then great. If you are totally captivated by the latest trend, then wear it. If you love brooches but they seem out of date, who cares…rock those brooches babe!

 

  • You have passion.

 

This one probably should have been first. Passion is key. Take my mom for instance. She has said my whole life, as long as I can remember, that my dad was the artist and she was not. I have to respectfully disagree, sweet mother. She had a passion for loving my dad and for loving her children. Because her heart was dedicated to being the best wife and mom, she was artistic every day because of her passion to throw her whole heart into every activity for and with her family.

 

I have seen CPAs that are artistic because they have a thirst for checks and balances. The ones that did their job to the best of their ability were artistic. My husband is artistic when he creates a power point slide show for his first year law students. He takes sweet time to make sure every detail is pristine. The table cleaner at Cheddar’s in Pensacola, FL is artistic because he cleans to the best of his ability putting on a little show for the guests every chance he gets. The school teacher who pours out their time into the struggling students with after school tutoring and encouraging notes is artistic. The photographer who doesn’t care if he looks like an idiot laying on his belly to take a photo of his kids is artistic. You get my point. You don’t have to have your dream job to be an artist. You don’t even have to be in an artistic field at all. Passion sets apart those who live to work and those who put life into their work.

 

  • You are not in it to get rich.

 

My dad said on many occasions that if he had a passion for farming potatoes that is what he would do and his kids would have the best french fries in town. He was a goldsmith because he loved it not because he wanted to get rich. You’ve heard of starving artists for a reason. If you freaking love what you do and nothing can draw you away from your art – no matter what art form it is – You don’t care what house you live in or what car you drive as long as you have your “art love” in your life every day.

 

  • You are not afraid of imitation. 

 

Whew that’s a hard one for most people. “A candle doesn’t lose its flame by igniting another.” Some of the greatest artists in history were apprentices or students of someone else. A true artist wants to teach and wants to show their craft. If their skill is copied or their design is mimicked, it is an honor. If anyone were to try and copy someone else’s passionately formed art, it is going to look different because every person’s passion is portrayed differently. Share what you know. Would you rather keep in your creation for fear of imitation and never touch anyone with your art, ever? The worst that can happen is that you are copied, that person becomes famous or rich but they will always remember where they got their idea, their design. You have touched a life, imprinted on someone, the world may not know your name but you know. And for an artist that is enough.

 

  • You know how to truly appreciate. 

 

I know that it is an unspoken law about art that it must be different or odd and must be new. I have to disagree. Beauty can be found in the old, the new, the classic, the abstract, the minimal, the elaborate, the mundane, the day, the night, the blonde, the brunette, the dog, the cat, the runner, the weightlifter, the light skinned, the dark skinned, the normal, the abnormal and so on. Artists know when to just appreciate.

 

Classic example: Some people hate the chevron pattern because it became so popular and vanilla. Everyone had a chevron dress, chevron pillow, chevron earrings etc. Artists can appreciate the textile design and not belittle it. A true artist knows that there is nothing new under the sun just new ways to project things.  Just appreciate. Everyone and everything under the sun has some form of beauty or some way to be appreciated.

 

So that is what I have. Keep on creating fellow artists, keep on living with passion, keep on sharing your craft, stay humble in your quest and always be the genuine article! 

 

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Spring 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Spring 2017
  • Off the Shoulder Tops

This look is very feminine and youthful with a lot of different options to choose. My favorites have tiny, nautical stripes or a simple solid color to be able to add a bold accessory. This silhouette looks gorgeous with your hair swept up in a messy bun for a day exploring local boutiques or with your hair down for a romantic date night. Either way, you need this look in your wardrobe for spring!

Photo Credits: https://outfitshunter.com and  https://www.thechicfind.com5  and https://outfitshunter.com

 

  • Gemstone Statement Ring

I love the David Yurman look of a bold middle finger ring. The one that Alyson Haley has in the photo below is also gorgeous! If you don’t have the money for such a prestigious name brand…check out a few of these bright and fun alternatives. I opt for the ones with a bold blue color or one that has a subtle light green or blue –almost white look.

Photo Credits: http://www.davidyurman.com/products/women/collections and https://www.liketoknow.it

Click Here to View Light Green Halo Ring, Blue Topaz Cushion Halo Ring and Others

  • Braids

I am obsessed with braids both big and small. I feel like they add a layer of dimension and sophistication to any hairstyle. Check out a few of these…

Photo Credits: http://www.modwedding.com, http://shop.nordstrom.com, https://aillea.com, and http://oliviarink.com/

 

  • A Nude Shoe

I think these have been a staple in my closet forever. A nude shoe gives the illusion of longer legs and also can be paired with black, brown or blue. Versatile and summery!

Photo Credits: https://outfitshunter.com/article, https://outfitshunter.com and http://www.amazinglace.com

 

  • Highlight

No not the kind to hightlight your favorite book. And no, not highlights for your hair. I mean highlight for your makeup. Whether it be on your cheekbones or on your collar bones, a little highlighter goes a long way and adds a dewy and fresh glow to any spring day. Elf cosmetics makes a great dupe for the more luxurious and expensive brands. My favorite high end one is by Becca cosmetics.

Photo Credits: http://www.elfcosmetics.com, http://www.shopandbox.com, and https://www.birchbox.com

 

  • A pair of Sunnies

These sunglasses just make me smile. They remind me of something from the 80s which reminds me of being young, looking forward to spring break on the beach in Daytona Florida, and all those cheesy surf shop/souvenir shops on the main drag.

Photo Credits: https://www.topfoxx.com, https://www.shoppriceless.com, and https://like2have.it

 

  • Succulent Plants

Ok, these are kind of off the subject of fashion but this type of flower/plant just make me smile. They are so delicate and picture perfect, look that they almost look fake. They come is gorgeous pops of color and here is a little link on how to not kill them. (click here)

Photo Credits: http://blog.rileyhuggins.com and http://www.outdoortheme.com

 

I hope you enjoyed this fresh list of spring favorites. Let me know what yours are and check out our Pinterest board here to see more. Thank you for reading!

Jewelry Bracketology & Why Women Are Good At March Madness Picks

Jewelry Bracketology & Why Women Are Good At March Madness Picks

 

On any given day/night, any given team can win! That’s why anyone’s guess is good when it comes to March madness and why statistically women are sometimes better. We don’t get into a lot of the commentary and statistics but somehow we seem to just get it. That’s my analysis anyway.

 

On to a more fun topic. I made a jewelry bracket that I think you all will get a kick out of. You will see that I have a few surprising upsets (such as in basketball). The gemstone ring beats out the hoop earrings and the bangle bracelet beats out the traditional diamond band. My bracket winner is the vintage keepsake! I would love to hear your thoughts and analysis on my bracket predictions. Let me know if you would like a copy of a blank jewelry bracket. Happy March Madness!!!

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3 Big Myths about Jewelry

3 Big Myths about Jewelry

1)      Jewelry is too expensive.

 

In some cases, yes, it can be. Let’s be realistic, not everyone can afford the Hope diamond or ask the Queen of England for a layaway plan on the Lotus Flower Tiara. However, these days there have not only been modern advances in technology to make gems and diamonds affordable (if you are into that type of thing) but there are Etsy store owners who will work with you to make your sparkling dreams come true.

 

First off, man-made, created, or synthetic gems have been on the market for a while. When they first came out in cocktail rings back in the 1800s, they were highly desired and sought after. Man had finally mastered the art of creating lustrous gemstone specimens! Nowadays they have a slightly negative cogitation but I don’t understand why. If you want a blue sapphire ring but the GIA certified one that is natural without an internal flaw is out of your reach, why can’t we be content with one that is created? Most created (aka synthetic) gems have the same mineral composition of naturals. It is the equivalent to going to the North Pole to get a piece of authentic grown ice from an iceberg versus just making ice in your freezer. Take a look at a few of these created beauties and you will see that they have almost, if not the same, alluring color as naturals.

 

 Check out this rings and more by clicking here

Another way that jewelry is becoming more affordable is the Etsy marketplace. You can find many gorgeous things from artisans that offer coupon codes or even a layaway plan. Because Etsy owners are like you and me -wanting to create, get their products out there, provide for their families- most are open to you inquiring about a small discount or payment arrangements.

 

2)      You shouldn’t purchase jewelry sight unseen.

Nowadays we purchase everything online. Picture quality and technology has given us the ability to virtually see every angle, close up features, and even our naked eye can detect photo-shopping. I have had the experience of purchasing an item that didn’t end up meeting the expectations that the pictures left me having. Or you get it on and you just know right away that you made a mistake. Keep in mind that most merchants want the ease of not having a store front and want to solely be an online boutique. This trend has also pushed for them to have return policies. If a store is reputable and has great products they will have no doubt that you will love their pieces as much, if not more than, the photos that lured you in. If you are shopping on Etsy look at the bottom of their store’s home page to view their return policies. Keep in mind too that if you are not completely happy, most shop owners will work with you. They want the positive feedback to attract other buyers. So if you have been wanting something from a shop in New York and you live in Iowa, make the plunge!

 

3)      You can’t trust the authenticity.

When shopping for jewelry the highest authority in authenticity is GIA (Gemological Institute of America). They pride themselves at having the most elite training and graduating only the most capable diamond/gem graders and Accredited Jewelry Professionals. There is also an unspoken code when using your GIA credentials. Most GIA graduates are extremely careful in what they put their stamp of approval on due to knowing the high standards that GIA demands. If you see a piece with a GIA certificate on the stone you can certainly rest assured. Also, if you see that a person on staff is a GIA grad, you can know that they know their stuff! Check out GIA’s website here to learn more.

I hope this post from a lifelong jewelry lover, buyer, creator, and GIA grad has put you at ease about purchasing jewelry. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Thanks for reading! I’ll leave you with some pretty things to look at :o) Enjoy!

 

Check out these and other GIA certified stones by clicking here