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?

 

Blogging Challenge: #1 Introduction and Recent Photo

Blogging Challenge: #1 Introduction and Recent Photo

Hello! One of my favorite bloggers invited me to participate in a fun 30 prompt blogging challenge. The list of ideas offers a fun way to have other bloggers get to know you and your point of view. If you would like to follow along, please join me! This week is about introductions and a recent photo. I’ll put next week’s prompt at the end of today’s post.

 

Here we go:

 

My name is Candy.

 

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I’m a 5th generation Floridian and I’m 9 months pregnant with my first little miracle. I work for a jewelry boutique located in Gainesville, Florida and I feel like I have the best job in the world! We have been in business for over 30 years. The main passion of our boutique is everything jewelry but with an emphasis on vintage and estate treasures.

 

 

 

My blog started over a year ago and every Friday I bring you something either educational, inspiring, fashion related, jewelry related, or a fun story. Our most re-blogged and favorited post was “A story of a used wedding ring” (check it out here).

 

That story shows my heart for vintage pieces and giving them a new life, a new love story, and a new purpose. My goal is to keep well crafted, gorgeous heirlooms in circulation for generations to come. My favorite thing to tell my clients is: you’ve got the girl, we’ve got the ring. We really do have something for everyone!

 

 

 

My other passions include my two silly dogs, who are the odd couple. A golden retriever from Australia and my black pug with the huge attitude. My golden, Ali, went to work with me at our boutique for many years but she is retired now. Her new past time is laying in the sun in the backyard.

 

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My pug, Cali, is working on her own book entitled “Where’s Cali”….kinda like “Where’s Waldo” but with her cute little mug. Here is an example to test your skill (this is a pretty easy one).

 

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I also LOVE to cook and collect pretty china! Here is my Christmas china with my favorite meal ever…breakfast food! And here is my more traditional set with my other favorite food…Mexican!

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least, I have to tell you about my hubby Marc. Simply said, he’s every wonderful word I could ever think of!

 

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That’s a little intro to me. Thank you for reading. If you would like to join me on this challenge please let me know. I would love to read your blog posts using the prompts.

 

Next week’s topic: 20 random fun facts about yourself

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

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!

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!