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

March Fun Facts and Birthstone

March Fun Facts and Birthstone

March is here! Look out March madness month, aka bracket month, also known as one of the least productive months for men in the evening when basketball is on! March is also St. Patty’s month where they turn the Chicago River green and some livers turn brown. Day-light savings times begins and we don’t have to go home from work in the dark for a while! We also have Easter to celebrate and maybe even a college or kid’s spring break to fit it!

 

March also boasts one of the most glorious birthstones in my opinion…aquamarine or it’s less formal name, aqua!

 

 

Aquamarine is named from a Latin phrase meaning “water of the sea”. It ranges from pale blue, to deep blue, to pale green, and the deeper the blue the more valuable the gem. It is a member of the beryl family with a relatively decent hardness (7.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness). It looks glorious both cut in a faceted design like the ring below and in it’s rough state like the earrings.

 Shop the ring here. Shop the earrings here.

 

Aquamarine also has some interesting folklore behind its beautiful face. It is said to increase youthfulness, intelligence, foresight, courage, and happiness. Yes, please to all of those!!!

 

I also adore aqua in fashion. It is a refreshing splash of color, looks beautiful on all skin tones, and complements other colors nicely. Check out a few of these spring time favorites.

Photo Sources Click here.

Happy Birthday to our March readers and here is a special blessing to honor your special day (credit: http://www.drsdesigns.com/march-birthday-greeting)!

 

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Heading Graphic Credit: https://www.etsy.com/listing/129947135

Why Women Wear Jewelry ~ According to My Husband

My hubby and I were at Panera Bread eating lunch the other day. It was one of those lazy days where I had not put on makeup and I was sporting my athleisure wear in preparation for the gym later. He noticed that I had taken the time to put in my gold hoop earrings and wondered why. Then I asked him why he thought women wore jewelry and some of the answers where both enlightening and funny.

 

“Women wear different jewelry with different outfits so they don’t get bored”

This is so true! Have you ever just worn a white tee shirt and instead of your plain chain necklace you add a long statement necklace? Instantly your outfit seems updated and trendy. Then you can mix up your little black dress with some dangle gemstone “pop of color” earrings instead of your signature studs. Jewelry is a way to mix up your look without having to buy a whole new wardrobe. Plus if you mix different color schemes together you can transition a wintery outfit into spring no problem. See my little black dress idea:

Add bright colored accessories or a lace kimono to your LBD to transition it to/from different occasions and seasons.

Shop the dress here. Shop the gemstone earrings here. Shop the lace kimono here.

 

“Women wear jewelry to look put together”

Hence my need to put in my hoop earrings before leaving the house just to venture to get a casual lunch. Instantly I felt like I wasn’t a hot mess but a more put together casual mess. I mean how could these hoops not be a go to favorite for any day?!?

Shop the hoops here.

“Women wear jewelry for other women to notice”

Mmm…this one he had to explain. Because my feminine defense was like, “ummm, no, I wear it for myself!” But he clarified that there are some trends that men just don’t get like the choker necklace phase or even the long tassel necklaces. He said that most guys don’t care if you have the latest jewelry fashion on but as women we notice other women’s put- together- accessorized look and usually complement them on it. But let’s be honest, getting a complement just brightens your day no matter what.

Photo Credits: https://uoionline.com/collections/frontpage/products/sirensongnecklace-fushia and https://www.etsy.com/listing/385338328/suede-wrap-choker-necklace?pp=0

 

“Women wear jewelry that they value or that stands for something”

This is also true. I wear a tiny gold cross sometimes that is meaningful to me. I also love charm bracelets that tell a story. Lockets have always been a little decorative keepsake that leaves me curious as to its picture contents. Lately I have seen little bar necklaces that have children’s birthdays or couples’ anniversary dates. I myself sometimes wear a coin necklace that my dad gave my mom when she had me. These kinds of pieces are personal and beautiful.

Click here to shop the cross look. Click here to shop the charm bracelet. Click here to shop the personalized bar necklace.

 

“Most women just love sparkle!”

Well I can’t personally argue with that! My husband knows that my favorite color is sparkle. I am just drawn to anything that glimmers and glistens in the light of day.

 

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I hope you enjoyed this little hubby quiz. Keep in mind that we all wear what we like for different reasons and we all have different perspectives as to why. Just enjoy your jewelry and know that all that glitters is fabulous! Happy Friday and thank you for reading!

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)