Spring 2017 Trends

Springs signals a sprout of new life and new beginnings for me. It makes me want to shake off the gray of winter and paint my world with colorful, lively tones. I’ve complied a little list of spring trends that I look forward to this year.

 

 

  • Greenery

I have some green antique jars that I am just dying to fill with some green pickings from nature. Nothing too structured or planned, just organic and natural greens. I also think that greenery for a spring wedding theme would be so airy and whimsical.

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Photo Credit: http://www.atodoconfetti.com/2016/12/greenery-pantone-2017.html

 

  • Daisies (yellow & white)

Yellow and white together is such a fresh and lively grouping. I love yellow gemstones in white gold that give a glamorous two tone look. I also love yellow and white patterns in fashion for spring. It is just a clean and crisp look that virtually flatters everyone.

 

Shop the ring look here.

Photo Credit: http://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/gardening/g3206/spring-flowers/

 

  • Floral dresses and tops

Floral dresses are coming in with a vengeance. Even last year this trend was starting to take off. They are just so feminine and lovely. Here is a little dress that I purchase from amazon that I just love. It has the perfect fit and flare fit and a great no-see-through weight of the fabric. .

 

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Shop the dress here.

 

  • Strawberry Shortcake

This tasty treat reminds me of early spring Sunday mornings when my mom would have fresh strawberries and freshly picked hydrangeas from our yard. I would wake up to the smell of the baked pastry part of the shortcake and the light airy sound of whip cream being added to the top.

 

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Check out the full recipe here.

Happy early spring! Let me know if you have any favorite spring memories or trends. I would love to hear from you!

Alternatives to Valentine’s Day

Alternatives to Valentine’s Day

 

 

Next Tuesday is a special American-made holiday. I thought hard about what Valentine’s Day was for the first 28 years of my life before I met my husband. I figured I would share those thoughts with you today. You might even be inspired to look at this “singles awareness day” in a whole new light.

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Photo Credit: http://ana-rosa.tumblr.com

When I was in elementary, middle, and even high school my parents made Valentine’s a big deal for my brother and I. I would get flowers delivered to school, or chocolates. I might even wake up to heart shaped pancakes or tea served in one of my mom’s special pink or red cup and saucers. I looked forward to that day knowing that my parents would come through and remember me. As I got older I would even seek out to give my mom something or buy my father a silly card. My mom is like me and loves jewelry. It was easy to find heart shaped tokens for the special day. Here’s a few jewelry ideas for mom or grandma that would be a sweet surprise.

 

I love these unique heart lovelies…click here to see more jewelry ideas.

As I got into college years, I never seemed to have a boyfriend on this dreaded holiday. I was hopeful every year but came to think that there was a conspiracy between guys and Valentine’s Day. My thoughts were that these boys figured if they invested in you on Valentine’s then you might as well stick a fork in them because they were done. They were committed from then on out…the end. So, a few of my friends and I would celebrate “Gal-entine’s Day” instead. It was similar to secret Santa. Us gals would draw names, keep it secret, and then on “love” day each person would send a little gift to their selected person. Because of the thoughtfulness of my friends, each one of us knew that we would receive a heart-felt, encouraging gift, and we would actually look forward to the day. Here’s a little gift guide for your girl friends:

 

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Click here to check out this cute top and others available on CheeseBurgerDesign Shop on Etsy.

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What a great way to remind your sweet friend that she is fierce! Check out these pencils at CouldYouPlease shop on Etsy. Click Here

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These will make her laugh! Check out these cute socks on EnglishBliss shop on Etsy. Click here

When I lived overseas and didn’t have a big friend network, I had to be more creative. One of my favorite memories was going through a cookbook (this was before pinterest), finding a decadent meal like lamb chops with mint sauce, getting the ingredients the day before, and making myself an extravagant dinner. I would start with a bottle of red wine while I was cooking, put on some jazz or classical music (paying close attention to not have songs with cheesy love lyrics playing), and I would take my time treating myself to a unique cooking experience with a delicious payoff. Lighting candles, using the “good” china, and watching a funny movie after dinner all added to the experience as well. If you like my dinner idea here is a recipe that is tried and true. That’s just me though, your night should be about you, so cook something that is better than what you could order at a restaurant. You can do it! If it doesn’t turn out great, no worries, life isn’t perfect but taking the time to do something different and kind for yourself is perfection!

 

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Click here for the full recipe. 

 

My take away from Valentine’s is that it is not just a day for lovers but a day for love in general. Love those who you share your life with, like your parents, grandparents and siblings; be grateful and celebrate the friendships of those who are in the same place in life that you are. They can be your safe haven on hard days. First and foremost though, love and treat yourself! You are pretty great!

Hello February! ~ Amethyst Breakdown & Fun Facts

I read this week that we will not live to see another February like this one again in our lifetimes. This February has 4 Sundays, 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays, 4 Thursdays, 4 Fridays, and 4 Saturdays. This only happens once every 823 years.

 

February is one of my favorite months. Not because of “singles awareness day” aka Valentine’s Day, although I do feel better about it now that I am married, but because of the birthstone Amethyst and the flower that represents the month, violets! I think it is safe to say that I love purple!

 

I have a big rough amethyst that serves as a door stopper in my house. I actually took it from my mom and I’m not sure she even knows that it’s missing. But it is gorgeous! For a girl who loves sparkle, to look at the inside of that rock and see the naturally occurring crystals, just makes my world go around. My mom used to use it as a lesson when I was growing up too. She would take the rough side of the amethyst rock, the one that had nothing special and say that the outside doesn’t matter, it’s what is on the inside that counts. Then she would turn over the rock and that’s where the beauty was.

 

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Amethyst is a quartz that can be mined relatively easily. The moment when you find that ugly, bumpy rock and then crack into it with your rock hammer and see the gorgeous crystals you feel like you have struck a fortune. Amethyst can be expensive depending on the color but it is also an affordable stone that can be easily found in many jewelry stores. Here are a few from our selection…

 

 Click Here to View These and Other Amethyst Pieces for Sale in Our Etsy Store 

 

The color of Amethyst is royal purple and has been sought after for decades by royalty. If I was a princess an amethyst crown would be right up my alley. Take a look at a few of these…

 

 Photo Credits: http://crownprincessvictoria.blogspot.co.uk and http://atiaraaday.blogspot.com

 

February Fun Facts:

~National Bird Feeding Month

~Every First Sunday of February is Super Bowl Sunday

~In Old English, February was called “mud month”

~February is one of the most misspelled words in the English language

~February is the only month that can pass without having a full moon

~Today, February 3rd, is national carrot cake day, let’s all celebrate this together

 

Happy February and thanks so much for reading! 

My 5 Guilty Pleasures

I like to think that we all have those little habits or rituals that just make us tick. I have 5 major ones that just instantly put me in my happy place. I’ll share mine and I would love to hear yours…I’m always in the market to adopt a few more :o)

 

  • Coconut Oil

I have loved coconut since before coconut was cool. I love the smell! Not only does it has a light refreshing scent, it has many health benefits. This is the kind that I bought at Kroger.

 

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You can literally cook with it, use it as a moisturizer or lip balm, and even put in it your hair for a hydrating lift. I seriously love this stuff. Check out this list of health benefits from using coconut oil and you might want to give it a try yourself!

 

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  • Online shopping carts

At any given time you can search my history on my computer and go to my Etsy account, Nordstrom’s page, Impressions Boutique, or Amazon and my shopping cart will have excessive amount of goodies sitting in there. I don’t buy it all. I will put anything I “like” in there, then I will wait an hour or a day, go back, review it, and work through the process of dividing and conquering (conquering = buying). This is my absolute favorite way to shop. It’s my thing. It takes all the stress away and believe it or not, it cuts back on buyer’s remorse and returns.

 

  • Turquoise Jewelry

This is an obsession really. I love turquoise jewelry! The color just adds a brightness to any outfit and it just makes me feel happy. Here is a photo of my current favorite pieces!

 

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  • Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

This is probably the oddest show that someone would DVR but I do. It just makes me happy. I think Anthony is one of my spirit animals. He travels to all these countries and takes in the culture but really he takes in the food. My recent favorite was his visit to Vietnam. Pho Soup anyone?!? Pho soup consists of a hearty, savory broth with rice noodles, herbs and meat (usually chicken or beef). It is just so yummy. If traditional chicken soup doesn’t do it for you when you are sick, try some pho soup from your local Vietnamese restaurant. It will NOT let you down!

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See full recipe here

 

  • Wardrobe Capsules

Have you tried one yet? I have been thinking about writing a blog just on making a wardrobe capsule from your own closet. Basically you select a handful of items including shirts, cardigans, pants/jeans, scarves, boots/sandals and then you make an entire week or month of interchangeable outfits from those pieces. One of my favorite capsules right now is by a fellow blogger, Kelli Kroneberger. Check it out here.

Here are a few other ideas to get you going.

 

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Check out more details here

 

If you don’t have the pieces you want, don’t forget to add them to your online shopping cart ;o)

6 Ways to Put an Eclectic Stamp on Your Life

6 Ways to Put an Eclectic Stamp on Your Life

 

My husband and I have moved four times in the last four years of marriage…with another move impending. Some of those moves were planned, others happened within a matter of weeks. Usually when people visit our house the first thing they notice is how we decorate. We get comments on how everything looks like we have lived there for years (in a good way). I believe in growing where you are planted. You shouldn’t keep all your pretties in a box until you get to your forever home. You should enjoy your “nest”. My husband and I have an eclectic style. We like color. We like complimenting items that are a mix of new and old. So I wanted to compile a little list of my tricks to bring a little eclectic style to your life.

 

1) Usually it starts with a rug.

I have several large area rugs from different places. Most have a bright splash of color. I tend to gravitate towards blues and greens. Here are a few examples of rugs setting the stage for a statement room.

Photo Credits: http://www.mydomaine.com and http://www.apartmenttherapy.com

 

2) Make a wall or shelf collage of similar items.

I can’t claim this idea as my own. I grew up in an old house that was actually two military officers’ quarters put together from Camp Blanding in Florida. Then my dad added on a sunroom and beautiful screened in porch. My dad, grandma, and aunts were artists and thus we had a lot of art to hang. Our living room wall was covered from ceiling to almost floor of a huge art wall collage. Nothing was matching, nothing really had a theme except everything was unique and colorful. My grandmother also has a take on this theme in their farmhouse. She has a large, wood, floor-to-ceiling, shelving unit that houses nothing but glassware. Here’s a few examples to get you inspired…

 

Photo Credits: http://designyoutrust.com/2015/01/eclectic-residence-in-france, http://www.turbulences-deco.fr and http://www.woohome.com/diy

 

3) Mix different patterns.

I love stripes and florals together or an interesting textile with a geometric pattern and then add in a watercolor print rug. Mixing textures and patterns instantly gives a space interest and a unique stamp to make your home your own.

 

Photo Credits: http://hisugarplum.com and http://www.mydomaine.com

 

4) Mixing jewel tones.

I do this number in both my home décor and in fashion including jewelry. I like to find pieces that have a similar feel but different rich jewel tones. Check out these two lovely antique rings.

Click Here for the Blue Ring and Here for the Purple Ring

 

5) Setting a mixed match table.

So my grandmother who collects the glassware also has an obsession with the flea market. She finds all kinds of treasures, some of which I get from my birthday and Christmas. Not all my plates match. Some are new, some are antique, some are fine china, and some are Depression glass. I actually like mixing together a little of everything when I set a table.

 

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Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/p/-dsEAmoOOJ/

 

6) Eclectic personal style.

My fashion spirit animal is Zooey Deschanel. She is the epitome of refined, unique, eclectic style. She takes all my passions of mixing colors, textures, patterns and somehow manages to pull off an effortless, put together, everyday look. Check out my favorite Zooey looks.

 

 

Well I hope these little pointers give you a little colorful inspiration for this Friday. Keep on developing your personal style and keep in mind that everything goes together if YOU want it to!

Lucky Friday the 13th

This sixth day of the week or fifth day of the work week that is associated with the number 13 tends to get noticed. We look at our phone and acknowledge that it is Friday the 13th or we go to write the date and we hesitate for some reason. Just half way through my day today and I have already had several people comment on the date.

 

My grandmother was born on a Friday the 13th and she has always told me that it was lucky. I may be in the minority here but I don’t think about black cats, full moons, weird happenings, or even the cheesy scary movie named after today. I am a believer that good always overcomes evil. If you think about today in a scary dark way, you might get a self-proclaiming prophecy and something weird will happen. If you choose to think of it as a lucky day, you start to look for the good happenings instead.

 

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So back to my premise of lucky 13, I started thinking about good luck charms. Being Irish with a little Native America mixed in, I am familiar with luck in general. I’ll start off with my own personal favorite, the four leaf clover. Now some folks get a little confused by the shamrock and the four leaf clover. They are not one and the same thing. Shamrock comes from a Gaelic work meaning “little clover” and a clover is a name assigned to many plant species that have three leaves. The shamrock is the symbol of the Irish heritage. The three leaf clover is said to stand for faith, hope, and love. When you happen to come upon a four leaf clover which is a mutation and very rare, the fourth leaf is for luck.

 

Click Here To See Listing For Shamrock Diamond Charm

Another one of my other favorite lucky charms is the horseshoe. The horseshoe has many reasons for being auspicious. The first is that a metalsmith would craft the horseshoe from iron. Iron is such a strong and durable metal that can withstand severe heat thus making it a metal of strength and endurance. The other tale is that if you find an old horseshoe it is even more lucky that having one made. A common debate is which way to hang it. Up or down? Up symbolizes your luck collecting. Down symbolizes pouring luck onto those passing underneath or into your life or household. So you can take your pick, I like my chances either way!

 

Click Here To See Other Horseshoe Rings 

Another popular charm that is worn by many and is said to have blessings are the Patron Saint charms. These are often worn by those with Catholic beliefs. I love the fact that different Saints are said to aid and bless different people whether it be your line of work, a cure for an ailment, or those seeking a certain type of blessing. If you want to see an extensive list, click here.

 

One last one thing that I will leave you with is the Italian horn. This symbol has become quite popular and you see it as a trendy necklace to be worn by more than just Italians. This iconic piece is also called a cornicello, cornetto, or simply corno. Nowadays is it made of gold or silver. It has been in use in Italy since ancient times and is said to ward off the evil eye and is most typically given to or worn by pregnant women or breast-feeding moms. So if you need a baby shower gift…

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Click Here To See Other Good Luck Horns 

 

I hope these fun mentions of lucky charms will keep you from being leery of Friday the 13th today and in the future. If you know of other good luck charms that I didn’t mention please let me know, I would love to hear from you.

 

Good luck and have a blessed day!

January Birthstone ~ Garnet

 

Garnet is the perfect birthstone for the month of January. Most mid-western and northern states are all painted white and grey this time of year. The snow drifts, the barren trees, the gloomy sky needs a bright, fiery awakening…enter Garnet!

 

History

Garnet is by no means a new gem discovery. They date back well into the Bronze Age. There are even evidence of garnets with the Egyptians and Romans. The era that lends well for the garnet was the Victorian period. Garnet can be found in lovely brooch, priceless tiaras, and many ornate jewelry keepsakes. Check out some of these beauties:

 

 

Photo Credits: www.prices4antiques.com ~ http://www.ebay.com/itm/121823512525 ~http://www.marklawsonantiques.com

 

Garnet inherits its name same from “Garanatus” meaning pomegranate seed. This origin suits the color quite nicely.

 

Colors

When I think of garnet my mind tends to travel to the rich plum, burgundy shade but garnet actually comes in a few other colors. One of my favorite is known as Tsavorite garnet and it is GREEN! Quite a beauty!

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Photo Credit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2007/01/prweb495411.htm

Back to the well-known hue of garnet…

This color of garnet is unmistakable to me. It doesn’t quite have the true red like ruby. It holds a shade all on its own. This vibrant color is stunning in clothing lines along with jewelry. Many celebrities opt for this shade for special, “red” carpet events to make a statement. It complements a wide range of skin tones and is such a gorgeous, rich tone. Check out a few of these beauties:

 

Garnet Fun Facts

Next for some fun facts about our January stone.

~Garnet occurs in every color except blue

~Garnet is the stone for the Zodiac sign Aquarius

~Garnet may be given as a gem on the 2nd and 6th wedding anniversary

~Garnet is said to aid in blood flow and regulate the heart

~Garnets are not mined underground like a lot of gems. They are found as small pebbles in streams and watery places

~The Crusaders used garnets as protection from wounds and accidents on their journeys

 

 

Here is GIA’s write up about garnets if you like a more scientific analysis:

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Thank you so much for reading and if you are interested in purchasing a garnet keepsake, our store offers several beautiful options that are unique and lovely. Check out a few of these:

Click Here to See Our Whole Selection of Garnet Pretties!