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!

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  • 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!

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  • 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!

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(Click here for recipe)

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

 

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

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!

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!

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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“Orange is the happiest color” ~Frank Sinatra

Orange is a fiery color that pairs perfectly with this time of year. Nothing says warmth and autumn like the shades of orange. There are many hues of this beloved color of mine: amber, merigold, bronze, honey, etc.

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Photo Credit: http://ingridsundberg.com/2014/02/04/the-color-thesaurus

 

In the brightest shades, orange is very inviting, cheerful, and sunny. The deeper tones are exotic and spicy. Orange can transition from day to night, from cozy to sensual, from lighthearted fun to deep romance.

 

Photo Credits: http://sequinsandthings.com/2015/12/after-christmas-sales.html/ and http://www.gbtyl.com/cute-short-hairstyles-ideas.html

 

Orange can be a little intimidating to wear to some ladies. We tend to think that certain colors do not complement our skin tone or coloring. I want to show you a few ways to bring this gorgeous color into your wardrobe without it being too overwhelming. Orange can be your new black! You can utilize orange accessories to add a touch of fall to any outfit. Check out a few of these fabulous finds…

 

Photo Credits: http://www.jacketsociety.com/its-time-for-a-new-watch/, http://theberry.com/2012/10/30/orange-you-glad-well-orange-26-photos/, http://personalorganizing.about.com/od/shoes/tp/Shoe-Storage-Solutions.htm, http://www.shopwaitingonmartha.com/products/orange-herringbone-pom-pom-throw, http://www.izzycalifornia.com/products/vegan-leather-watch-bright-orange?variant=5690659713

Orange and black can tend to look a little to Halloween-ish but orange paired with brown, tan tones or gold, white tones carries the sophistication to a different level.

 

 Photo Credits: http://www.justthedesign.com/cute-winter-outfits-to-get-you-inspired, http://www.playbuzz.com/sebastianknight10/why-does-fall-have-two-names?utm_source=Pinterest.com&utm_medium=smff&utm_campaign=why-does-fall-have-two-names, https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/outfitid-2170474/who-made-olivia-culpos-white-pants-orange-5031791909

Of course, jewelry can be an easy way to add a happy splash of color to any outfit. Certain gemstones like citrine and carnelian have a way of channeling their lively colors to look like drips of straight sunshine.

 

Click Here to View Listing

Click Here to View Listing

If wearing orange in any way scares you, not to worry. You can still add a touch of this radiant color to your life. These orange crinkle cookies are to die for. And, this little orange end table would make my girl, Joanna Gaines, burst with autumn joy!

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Click Here For Recipe

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Photo Credit: http://primitiveandproper.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-top-10-furniture-projects-of-2011.html

Happy Friday everyone! If you want to check out more of my orange picks, click here to see my “Orange is the new Black” Pinterest board.  

October Birthstone ~ Opal

My favorite month is upon us and with it brings one of nature’s most glorious gemstones that has a “play of color” phenomenon effect! I’m referring to opals!

opals

Photo Credit: http://mineralia.tumblr.com/post/96719262954/themagicfarawayttree-beautiful-purple-and-blue

Opals are a freak of nature, literally. The “play of color” I mentioned earlier is what happens when light hits an opal and a colorful display of iridescent hues radiate from its core. This amazing occurrence leaves most of us mesmerized and wanting more. That is why some opals have a higher price tag than some diamonds.

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Photo Credit: http://www.kalledjewelrystudio.com

You have probably heard that opals are very fragile and can’t be enjoyed or worn often. Opals are delicate, but not as susceptible to breaking as you may think. They have about the same fragility as glass. So when you wear your prized opals just remember this comparison. Wearing them in earrings or in a necklace are a safe way to be able to enjoy them daily.

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90% of opals are found in Australia. But, thankfully, you don’t have to endure a 21-hour flight to get your birthstone or your favorite colorful miracle stone. Check out a few of these treasures…

Click Here to View Listing for Earrings    Click Here to View Listing for Pendant

There are many, many different kinds of opals: black opal, jelly opal, agate opal, angel skin opal, white opal… just to name a few.

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Photo Credit: http://www.geologyin.com/2016/06/types-of-opal-with-photos.html

Opals are just so easy to love! Happy Birthday October babies and lucky you for having such a celebrated birthstone. :o)