Blog Challenge #15: Timeline of my day

Blog Challenge #15: Timeline of my day

I start my day around 6:30 am. I have always been a morning person and thankfully so because my little 3 month old likes to start his day around this time too. I make my coffee, let my puppies out, feed my sweet boy, and put on CMT. Music in the morning helps me shake off fatigue and feel energized.

 

Here’s a beautiful sunrise picture from my porch.

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I like to get my work done in the mornings too. Our online boutique usually lists about 20 new items each day. It is always exciting to see what new pretties we are going to add to our store. Also we have launched our new website. Have you checked it out yet? Here (https://oaksjewelry.com/) is a link and here are a few of this week’s favorite treasures:

 

Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before and in the late afternoon we go for a walk. Look at my son’s face…it makes me laugh because he doesn’t like to smile for the camera much but he does love walks.

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On Friday nights, my honey and I have always set a tradition that we go to the same place each week and unwind. We talk about the events of the week, dream of new adventures to come, and just enjoy each other’s company without rushing to get anywhere or get anything accomplished. Each place we have lived, we had our “Friday night place”. In Gainesville, Florida it was Piesano’s, in Pensacola, Florida, it was McGuire’s, in Fort Wayne, Indiana it was Bagger Dave’s, and in San Marcos, Texas it is Saltgrass.

 

Fun Fact: at McGuire’s you have to try the 18 cent bean soup (also watch out for the tricky restroom signs):

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Recently our little family has been binge watching the new season of Stranger Things! It’s the perfect mix of fall spooky, fun 80s feel, and the adorable kids make the show!

Lastly, on nights when I need to unwind, my new guilty pleasure is a hot bath with Dr. Teal’s Coconut oil Epson salt! It’s magical!

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Thanks for reading and Happy Friday!

Next week’s blog prompt is: What’s on your bucket list?

 

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.

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”.

 

 

colored diamonds

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.

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!

A Look Inside Our Boutique

This week I wanted to give you a look inside our brick and mortar store that is located in sunny Gainesville, Florida. Our family owned business has been in operation for over 30 years. And, many of our clients have been shopping with us for those 30 years. It is always a joy to see the younger generations following in their families’ footsteps and come through our doors to seek out a special piece for a dear loved one. Oaks Boutique is known for our stellar customer service and gorgeous show room.

 

 

Not only do we have the most extensive jewelry selection in the city but our items range from vintage jewelry, designer handbags, stunning timepieces, and custom pieces.

 

 

We employ a wide range of talented individuals who eventually become like family. Our work place has a harmony about it that it quite tangible when entering. Quite a few of us are GIA trained Accredited Jewelry Professionals, our jeweler has been making works of art for over 38 years, and our photographer is top notch. Even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we are all singing along to the Christmas music, taking time to personally gift wrap every piece, and we end the day with smiles on our faces. Our staff would say that we are the lucky ones!

 

 

Keep in mind that even if you can’t experience the charm of our store front, we are always available online through our Etsy store. We believe that you will find the same “small town” friendly customer service even through that shopping venue.

 

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Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @oaksjewelry and like us on Facebook (Oaks Jewelry Boutique) for sneak peaks of new jewelry and coupon codes. Our current coupon code is “HOLIDAY20” to receive 20% off any item in our shop! Thank you for reading and happy Christmas shopping weekend!!!
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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.

 

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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! 

Thanksgiving Memories

 

We are just one week away folks! It is amazing how fast this time of year goes by. I try to make myself slow down and appreciate this Thanksgiving holiday before just jumping straight to the Christmas hustle and bustle. Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with friends or family and we count our blessings. It can also be a difficult time of year for some. Whether this is your first Thanksgiving without a certain loved one, or it is just hard to think of anything to be thankful for, I hope that these little stories/memories of mine will make you smile or laugh. Here are a few of my Thanksgiving memories…

 

Childhood memories:

 

My grandparents on my mom’s side have a farm in north central Florida. I am a fifth generation Floridian (did you even know such a thing existed?). My little family of four would always go to my grandparents for Thanksgiving. The drive out to the farm is pretty memorable just in itself. You go from lots of traffic lights, to one or two stop signs, to just open road. My grandmother would stay awake all night before Thanksgiving doing all the cooking herself in her double wall ovens. And she could put on quite a spread. We are talking a huge turkey (sometime a ham too), dressing, gravy (giblet gravy), macaroni & cheese, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, mashed potatoes, potato salad, deviled eggs (which my brother would eat about half a dozen of before dinner was served), congealed salad (not my favorite but it is pretty), pecan pie, pumpkin pie, spinach dip, and I’m sure I’m missing some things. The big round farm table would be crowded. We would all gather around and my country grandpa, all 5’3” of his small but mighty self, would ask the blessing. (Side note: My grandfather never went to college even though he worked as an electrician at the University of Florida for over 30 years. He liked to joke that he went to UF for 30 years and never got a degree.) He would bow his head, close his eyes, and let loose the most epic prayer. All in old English dialect that would make King James himself smile. It would start, “Bless thou this food that we are about to partake…” and I can’t even replicate the rest because I am not fluent in that language but it was beautiful.

Here are a few photos of farm life on the Phillips ranch. This is also one of the few photos of my grandpa, he does not like his picture taken…

 

 

 

Guam memories:

 

I lived overseas in Guam for a few years in my twenties. There were a few families that would gather for a “Friendsgiving” on the naval base. I had never really cooked anything in my whole life. What I didn’t tell you about my grandmother is that she didn’t want anyone to know her recipes or even be in her kitchen while she was cooking. So I had no idea how to do anything. And this was before Pinterest. I volunteered to make green bean casserole for the dinner. I went to the commissary and got the ingredients off the back of the French fried onion package. I was worried because it only calls for like 4 things and that couldn’t be right. But I made it anyway and it was delicious! I was a star with my other 20 something friends and I thought it was a Thanksgiving miracle!

Here is a more recent green bean casserole that is my go to favorite now (even though the four ingredient number will still get the job done!)

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Click Here For Recipe

 

Adult memories:

 

Since being married, we go to my husband’s family’s home for Thanksgiving lunch. They have a huge family and it is just an amazing setting. What you would picture in a magazine. Lots of kids running around, football playing in the background, chilly weather (they live in Indiana) and just all the amazing family feels that you want around this holiday. My dog that I got in Guam has been my companion for over a decade and she is included in most everything I do. She is a golden retriever and is the sweetest thing since southern sweet tea. I brought her along one year. My husband’s dad wanted to give her a treat and to my shocking surprise it was the ham bone. This thing was huge and my dog had never had such a thing before (I know I have made her prissy). Well he put her on the porch with that thing and about an hour later I went to get her and the whole ham bone was GONE! Is that possible? How? To this day, I just tell myself that it is buried somewhere in the backyard.

Here is a photo of my sweetheart, Ali.

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These are just silly small snippets of memories that are special to me. I try to make every day count, every memory special even if it’s a little ridiculous. Make this Thanksgiving yours to be thankful for wherever you are in life. This is just a season, it can be a wonderful season or a difficult one but keep in mind that the seasons always change. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

happy-thanksgiving