Things We Love

A Dash of Paprika

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I love my iPad. Truly, I use it for so many things. It is great for working on the go, easier to travel with than a full laptop (but still allows me to blog and stay connected on trips), it keeps my littles entertained with movies on long flights, allows me to read books on my Kindle app, taking an entire library with me on the go, and so much more. But, this post isn’t really about my iPad. It’s about the so much more. (more…)

Merry Christmas to Me!

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Hubs and I are really into coffee. Part of it is due to my my friend Pauline’s influence, as she encouraged it by giving us her old espresso machine when she upgraded to a new one. I think it really took off to new heights, however, when we lived in San Francisco. SF is coffee-crazy and incredible artisan coffee abounds there, so we were a little spoiled with options and our standards raised in proportion.
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We’ve Got a Sparkly New Studio!

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It really is a bit of a dream come true. I’ve long since wanted to open a studio space where I can work in a lovely and well-designed space and where I can meet customers for personalized shopping appointments (and, of course, host shopping events!) I have been designing jewelry for nearly 15 years now (yikes!) and I’ve always done most of my work out of my home. With three littles, however, the game has changed quite a bit and this space allows me a place to think and create in relative quiet and a place to meet customers when it is most convenient for them (even if that is when my littles are napping!) Click below for some lovely photos of our new space and the details on where I got everything!

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Directions to our Design Studio

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Many of you know that we recently opened up a design studio in Rice Village in Houston, Texas. This is such an exciting step for us.  It is so nice to have a design-focused space in which to meet customers, work on the business and design new sparkles!  It’s a beautiful space and we’ve gotten such amazing feedback about it from our customers.  Yay that you love it as much as we do!

In order to help you find it, we whipped up this lovely little graphic that shows just where we are.  So, stop by and join us for a glass of wine and some shopping.  We would love to meet you.  See you at the studio!

Hello, lovely!

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Form follows function – that has been misunderstood.
Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.- Frank Lloyd Wright

I like things to be organized (though I don’t particularly like to do the organizing!) I also like things to be beautiful. When those two features merge into one item, joy ensues. I recently found the Day Designer, a beautiful labor of love from the talented Whitney English. Spurred on by her own frustration with planner products and entrepreneur organization challenges, Whitney set out to make something better. After loads of research about productivity and branding, the Day Designer was born.

I have to admit that the beauty side of this planner is a major draw for me. I’m far more likely to sit down and plan out my week/month when the process is lovely and fun. This planner has luxuriously thick, beautiful paper, a shiny spiral binding and beautiful gold metal corner details and a fun black and white stripe pattern that makes it ultra-chic. I love seeing it sitting on my desk and look forward to writing in it and planning with intention, which is a half the battle for me. The day pages just make sense. With an hourly agenda, a to do list, top three to do prompts, notes, a section for gratitude and an inspirational quote for the day, the page helps you organize your top priorities and visualize those alongside your schedule and longer priorities list. Having written things down this way for a month or so now, I realize that my to do lists are WAY too long (read: unrealistic) and I love being able to write them down on future dates and put them out of my sight and mind until the appropriate day so that I can better focus on what I need to be doing today.

Not sure the Day Designer’s page style is for you? Whitney is kind enough to offer a free download for you to try it out before investing in one. (Now, that’s a woman who is confident in her product.) I’m really loving mine – and the private Facebook group that you’re invited to when you own one, in which people post myriad ideas for better organization and using your Day Designer in the best way possible for keeping overwhelm at bay in your own life. So, hop on over to Whitney’s site and take a look around. My guess is that you’ll love her sophisticated, gorgeous (and don’t forget functional!) products as much as I do.

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Grab yours here…

Hot Chocolate at the Houstonian

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Tonight, the fam packed up and headed to The Houstonian hotel for some hot chocolate by their giant fireplace.  They have huge gingerbread houses surrounding the top of it with a train that drives around them, so we knew that would be a huge hit with the boys.  (We weren’t mistaken on that one.)   It was so much fun to sit by a roaring fire, sipping on hot chocolate, while the boys ran around and marveled at the train.  The Houstonian’s decorations are absolutely stunning and put us all in the holiday spirit, for sure. (more…)

My New Erin Condren Planner

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I’ve always been a “paperless” gal. I think it comes from my years in consulting, when I rarely stayed in one city for more than a few nights and had my badge of pro-traveler honor, platinum status, on an airline or two and at more than one hotel chain. (Looking back, it may be a little sad that the hotel staff knew me by name in more than one city!) I quickly became a pro at packing and traveling with as absolutely little as possible, which is key for being nimble in airports, switching flights last-minute and lowering general frustration levels when traveling. All that is to say, I certainly didn’t save room for a paper organizer and was completely digital in as many ways as possible.

Now, however, my life looks very different.  With two children and a full-time jewelry design business, I have a zillion things to write down and organize. Suddenly, a paper organizer just makes sense. With the upcoming holiday season approaching and all of the markets that I participate in, I need a place to organize all of the setting up, show details and such. I also need a place where I can write notes to myself while at the shows, and my current post-it note method is failing miserably. Inevitably, customers mention something to me at a show and I promise something and then at the end of a busy day, after chatting with thousands of customers, I have absolutely no idea what we talked about! Enter my new planner.

A few years ago for Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a calendar from Erin Condren and I loved the colors and font and fun feel of it, which made it fun to actually use! Actually, she ordered the organizer and had it sent to me and it arrived with the wrong name on the cover. I called the company and they were so kind and quick to replace it, free of charge. Yay for great customer service!

So, this year, when I needed a new planner, I went straight to the Erin Condren website and found out that you can customize your cover with your own photos – genius! So, I uploaded some jewelry photos and, voila! A few days later, this beauty arrived…


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Isn’t she cute?  I love the fact that it is customized with photos of my own jewelry designs, and I’ve already gotten tons of compliments on it at a holiday market. There are monthly views and weekly column views, pockets for keeping loose bits of paper which is key for me!), cute stickers for decorating the pages and marking special events, an adorable personalized notepad at the back and a cute little clear zippered pouch for storing paperclips, post-it notes, etc. Photos of the inside below.

If this baby doesn’t keep me more organized, I’m afraid that nothing will! What are your favorite organization tools? Please share in the comments below, as I can use ALL of the help that I can get!

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Au Revoir, Google Reader

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I love reading blogs.  They’re such a fun way to connect with other people and learn about new things. They can be educational, hilarious or just plain fun.  And often, they’re just so lovely, too!  Pure inspiration.

It used to be that to keep up with blogs, you had to either bookmark them and remember to check the bookmarks to keep up to date.  It’s safe to say that doesn’t work for me – I have a hard time remembering far more critical things on my to do list.  Another option was signing up for email updates every time a blog you like is updated.   (more…)