Blog Challenge #11: What are your 15 Favorite things?

Hello there~

This week’s blog prompt is one of my favorites. I’ve done a favorites list before so I will adjust this one a bit and give you my current favorite obsessions. Enjoy!

  • Amazon Prime

I know I’m probably a little late to the game but Amazon Prime is a life changer! But buyers and shoppers beware. You order things and they are delivered to your door in 2 days. Need I say more?!? If you are a new mom, workaholic, busy busy bee…you need to sign up now!

  • Pumpkin Patch Family Photos

My little family of three will be getting our pumpkin patch photo next week and these pictures are my inspiration…hoping that I get my little 11 week old to smile or at least be awake.

  • Honey/Lemon Hot Water

So I’ve been fighting off my traditional change of the season cold and this little remedy is so amazing. The lemon is a natural cleanser and the honey sooths a sore throat and battles against a nagging cough. I’m still drinking my little “cocktail” after 2 weeks and I think I’m hooked!

  • NFL RedZone

Ok, so I do love college football (I’m a born and raised Gainesville, FL girl, so the GATORs are my guys!) but I’m not really into professional football. However, my hubby is all about it. So we recently added NFL Redzone to our cable package and I’m impressed. It’s a new way to watch football. Instead of switching channels and watching tons of games at once, Redzone only shows you the teams that are close to scoring. It’s more exciting! AND…at the end of the l-o-n-g day of football they have the “Touchdown Montague” that shows every touchdown from every game! It’s fun!

  • Jaclyn Hill Eye-shadow Palette

Just look at these colors, GORGEOUS! Also, there are so many YouTube tutorials circling around with hundreds of ways to apply these colors. Click here to check out one from Tati.

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  • L’Oréal Infallible Lipstick in the color “Milk and Cookies”

This shade is perfect for fall! I’ll be wearing it in my pumpkin patch photos!

4

  • 90 Day Fiancé on TLC

This show has me hooked! The couples that travel the world for their true love and get engaged the first time they meet in person and get married within 90 days of getting back to the US. It’s great TV!

  • Austin Texas Coffee Houses

Austin knows how to do coffee and it seems that every coffee shop has cute photo opps too!

Screenshot_20171006-125127

  • Rubies

My son was born in July and out of ALLLLLL my jewelry, I do not have any rubies (the birthstone for July). Which one of these do I need for my collection? (Click here to have a closer look or to buy before I can get my hands on them ;o)

  • Over the knee boots

My favorite Instagramer, Alyson Haley, has been posting pics of “over the knee” boots and I need some. I actually had some years ago but got rid of them thinking they were out of style. Sorry hubby….from now on, I am keeping everything!!!

  • Gourd Painting

This is just good fall fun. Check out these Pinterest ones…

 

  • Lime Lush Boutique

I’ve been adding outfits from this boutique to my online shopping cart for weeks. I want to order from them so bad. Does anyone have good/bad reviews to share? All their outfits and clothes are SO cute!

  • Charlotte Russe Ankle Boots

I know that this store has very inexpensive things but their booties are great quality. I bought a pair last year for fall and even wore them through snowy days in Indiana and they are still in great shape for this year. Today they are having a 50% off sale. These are the pairs I am ordering…

  • Ruffle Tops

Anything with ruffles makes me smile. I love these tops from Nordstrom!

  • Pot Roast

I made this recipe last night and OH MY GOODNESS it was amazing. So simple and quick but a great finished product!

rost

(Click here for recipe)

Hope you enjoyed this post! Happy Friday and next week is: What’s in your fridge?

 

July Birthstone & Fun Facts

July Birthstone & Fun Facts

Today in Texas, it’s 100 degrees outside and you feel every bit of that heat when trying to run from the car to any air conditioned building. The month of July is just red hot and that is shown even with the birthstone…red hot ruby!

 

 

Rubies are precious gemstones that derive their name from the Latin word for red, “ruber”. They are one of the most prized gemstones and sometimes even dominate over diamonds. Rubies are mentioned several times even in the Bible and are usually associated with wealth, vitality, and love.

 

“The gleaming ruby should adorn, all those who in July were born,

For thus they’ll be exempt and free, from lovers doubts and anxiety. “

-Unknown

 

Rubies are part of the corundum family, so is sapphire. If fact, sapphires come in all colors and when they reach a certain color of red, they are called rubies. Rubies are a 9 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, second only to diamond.

 

Check out this GIA breakdown on all ruby info:

 

GIA

 

Rubies are not only July’s birthstone but also the anniversary stone of choice for the 40th year. They are also a traditional gift for the newly engaged….or you could knock out both the engagement ring and engagement gift and get your love one of these gorgeous ruby engagement rings. Having a gemstone engagement ring has become widely popular since Prince William gave Princess Kate her sapphire engagement ring. The ruby can handle being worn every day and the color red is a color that compliments a wide range of other colors.

 

 

 

July Fun Facts:

~National ice cream, pickle, picnic, hotdog, and blueberry month

~The national days for Canada and France also occur in July like the United States’ Fourth of July

~The long hot days in July are also referred to as the “dog days of summer”

~Julius Caesar’s birth month

~Seven US Presidents have died in July which is more than any other month

~Zodiac signs are Cancer and Leo

~Birth Flower is the water lily

~Famous July birthday holders: Tom Cruise, Dalai Lama, Tom Hanks, Ringo Starr, and Liv Tyler

 

Happy Friday and if you happen to see a jewelry piece from today’s blog that you love, be sure to take advantage of our summer sale. Visit our Etsy store by clicking here, and use coupon code: SUMMERTIME25 at checkout for 25% off your entire order!

 

Bringing Back the Marquise Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

Bringing Back the Marquise Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

The 1980s were a booming decade for the marquise diamond. I’m sure most of us remember when the big, bold, gold marquise engagement ring was all the rage. While I still think this retro style is glitzy and mod, many of our customers shy away from the marquise because of the “not wanting to look stuck in the 80s” fear.

 

 

Over the past few months, our store has been on a mission to give the glorious marquise cut diamond a setting that will show off its beauty properly. The solitaire engagement ring is still a wide spread favorite amongst many brides-to-be. And, the marquise can hold its own in a six prong, solitaire setting.

 

 

However, the vintage inspired engagement ring trend is still running strong. Our challenge was to try and incorporate this look without the marquise diamond looking out of place in the wrong decade of style. With a little imagination and a great design team, these are a few updated looks we have come up with.

 

 

What do you think? Which one is your favorite?

 

Marquise diamond facts:

 

~ the shape slenderizes the finger

~ be on the lookout for the “bow tie” effect when shopping for your marquise diamond

(the bow tie is the dark spots in the center of the diamond if it has been cut wrong)

~ Ashley Simpson, Victoria Beckham, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are some celebrity ladies who opted for the marquise shape

~ Marquise is sometimes referred to as the “navette” shape or “little boat”

~ the marquise cut allows stone cutters to maximize the carat weight of a diamond

 

Happy Friday! Check out our Etsy store listings for the rings pictured in today’s blog by clicking here.

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

Christmas Traditions ~ Both Old and New

Over the years, my family has created many traditions and have adopted new ones along the way, to always make Christmas a special time with family. I want to share a few that are my personal ones and will add a few that I plan to start in the future as my family grows.

1) Christmas Sugar Cookies

I’m not sure what caused the ladies in my family to gravitate to just the sugar cookie but now it is forever ingrained in my mind that sugar cookies equals Christmas time. They are light and easy to decorate with icing or sprinkles. Plus the sugar cookie has a certain taste that just encourages me to eat more than one or two or six (am I the only one?). Here are a few recipes that I have tried that will not disappoint.

sugar-cookies     Colorful Christmas cookies on a plate

Click Here to see recipe

 

 

 

 

Click Here to see recipe 

 

2) Setting a Festive Table

My mom has many sets of china. She loves the seasons and always has a theme going through her house from her table wares to throw pillows. Our family always knew Christmas was coming when the fancy china came out. We would leave it perfect until our Christmas day feast and then we would feel like princes and princesses at a royal banquet when we got to finally use the glorious china. Here are a few pictures of her two tables this year.

 

3) Christmas Jewelry

The girls in our family always receive jewelry for Christmas. My family has always been in the business and it was a popular and very easy tradition to look forward to. My dad would sometimes drape a gold or pearl necklace in the tree to surprise my mom on Christmas morning. It was such a sweet moment when all the presents were opened and my dad would go up to the tree and say, “I think someone missed something”. Low and behold there was a delicate, pretty necklace next to the silver garland. Also, my favorite part of Christmas morning was getting to my stocking where all the little presents were. Usually wrapped up in a tiny box with a big curly bow would be a pair of earrings or a bracelet.

Click Here to View Listing for Necklace, Here for Earrings, and Here for Bracelet

 

4) Fun Breakfast Food

This is a new one. I just love these ideas for Christmas morning pancakes. What a surprise your kiddos will get when they not only get a yummy “after-present-opening” breakfast but one that is fun and festive too!

pancakes         pancakes-2

Click Here for Recipe of Reindeer Pancakes                                        

(Photo Credit for Snowman Pancakes : http://www.doublethebatch.com/simple-christmas-eve-traditions-start-family/#_a5y_p=2338942)

 

5) Holiday Light Shows

I love hopping in the car, with some hot chocolate, Christmas music on the radio, and going to look at Christmas lights. Whether it be on a guided tour at a community event park or just in a nice neighborhood. I found this little checklist game that would be fun for adults and kids alike.

light-show

Click Here for Printable Version 

 

6) Hallmark Channel On 24/7

This just started within the last few years but I have become such a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies. Warning: they are cheesy and predictable but it’s nice to start a movie knowing that all will end well. Plus I just love all the winter settings. Here are a few of my recent favorites but I guarantee that most of them are just delightful!

 

Want more fun traditions? Head over to our Pinterest (click here) to check out more. I would love to hear about your family traditions too. Please feel free to comment, I would love to connect with you!

December Birthstones

December just happens to be my favorite month. For me, it is a month that brings about time with family, bundled up movie nights with hot chocolate, outside fires in the fire pit, stockings busting with little gifts on Christmas morning, and all my favorite gemstones. December has several different birthstones that all fall within the realm of gorgeous in my book.

 

The first stone is zircon. The icy blue version of this beauty is often mistaken for other stones like blue topaz and aquamarine. The white color of this stone is not to be confused with cubic zirconia or CZs. But, white zircon has been used as a diamond substitute before. The white or colorless version of this stone is probably the least expensive. Blue zircon has a gorgeous teal blue color to it that represents the coolness of December quite nicely. An interesting fun fact about zircon is that it is one of the oldest minerals on earth! In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid in sleep, bring prosperity, and give honor and wisdom to its owner.

 

blue-zircon

Photo Credit: http://www.palagems.com/gem-news-2005

 

The second choice for December birthstones is turquoise. Some even call this stone the “earth element” of December. Turquoise is my all-time favorite stone. It is not classified as a precious gemstone but I think it is a universally gorgeous specimen. It looks good in gold or silver settings, compliments every skin tone, goes with black or brown, and is almost considered a neutral color itself in the fashion world. Turquoise has been around for decades and was used by the Egyptians and Aztecs. Native American jewelry often has turquoise accents and is said to have protective properties. The Tibetans believe that turquoise is a healing stone and have valued it for centuries.

 

Photo Credit: http://gregthorne.blogspot.com/2012/09/cerrillos-turquoise-from-new-mexico.html, https://www.brilliance.com, Click Here to View Brooch Listing

 

Next up is tanzanite. This stone is a more modern addition to the December birthstone list. Most of us know of tanzanite because a famous New York City jewelry store named Tiffany & Co used this stone a lot in their gemstone lines. It is only found in one place in the world, Tanzania. The color of tanzanite is unmistakable. It ranges from ultramarine blue to violet-blue. This fascinating stone continues to allure collectors and can usually fetch a hefty price tag.

 

Click Here to View Tanzanite Listings

Last on the list is the widely known, topaz. Topaz occurs in large deposits in many colors. The most important mines of topaz are in Brazil and the most sought after kind is imperial topaz. I like to associate the blue color of topaz with the December birthstone because of the icy color that is like blue zircon.

Click Here to View Blue Topaz Listings

Happy December! 

November Birthstone ~ Citrine & Topaz

November is a little bit of a unique month. It technically has two different birthstones. Citrine is the main birthstone, the one that most November babies claim as theirs when asked. Citrine is a gemstone that can come in many shades of “yellow”, from lemon yellow to amber brown. It is a hard to go absolutely wild about this stone if yellow is not your jam. But, it has a rich history dating it back to Roman times where they hailed it as a sunstone that channeled Mercury’s fiery power and was thought to bring wealth and success. I believe that the color of citrine can resemble the leaves of the mid-west fall. It might not be your favorite gemstone, but the color radiates warmth to counteract the chills starting to form in late fall air.

Photo Credit of Citrine: http://www.gemcoach.com/citrine-guide/

Click Here to View Listing of Citrine Ring

The other gemstone that is associated with November is topaz. Technically speaking, imperial topaz (yellowish-orange to reddish-orange) is the most expensive form of topaz and the one that is associated with November. It’s funny that many often mistake topaz for citrine. But, topaz can be treated to come in a variety of different colors. Blue topaz is often one of the most recognized colors of topaz. It rarely occurs naturally and in most cases has been treated with some form of irradiation to make its depths reflect blue. It can come in cool shades of baby blue, Swiss blue, electric blue, and even almost white blue. Blue topaz can often be mistaken for aquamarine or blue zircon and these three stones get confused with being December’s birthstone but we will get to the next month.

blue-topaz-colors

Photo Credit: https://nodeform.com/products/

November really gives you the option to choose warm, sunny citrine or imperial topaz as your gem or if you like cooler tones you have blue, pink, white topaz.  These two gemstones are relatively durable and affordable. When you come across a piece that you love, you can virtually wear it all the time and the price tag won’t leave you destitute for your birthday. Check out a few of my favorites…

Topaz Choices : Click Here to View Listing of Blue Topaz Ring , Click Here for Mystic Topaz Ring , and Click Here for White Topaz Studs

Random November Fun Facts:

~The birth flower of November is the chrysanthemum

~This month is national peanut butter lovers’ month, national pepper month, and national good health month

~November in the northern hemisphere is similar to May in the southern hemisphere

~In the US and Canada November is “No Shave November” or national beard month

~Celebrity birthdays include Leonardo DiCaprio, Ryan Gosling, and Miranda Lambert

Also, we are currently running a 20% off promotion through the holidays! Use coupon code “HOLIDAY20” at checkout in our etsy store to take advantage of holiday savings!