things we love

It’s Finally Time…

web launch

 

After months of working on it, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand-new website! It’s filled with new content, features that make it easier to shop and a new wish list function that makes it simple to share your favorite designs with others. And best of all, this new design is responsive (which is tech speak for it’s just as easy to view & shop on your tablet or phone as it is your laptop – wahoo!)

 
We’re sure you’re going to love it.
 
So, pop on over for a visit! And let us know what you think in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Which Lovely?

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If you know me well, you know that I adore my Day Designer. (Even if you don’t know me well, you may have read about it here on the blog!) Whitney English and her Day Designer have been keeping me organized, in lovely fashion, for the past year. Alas, my current book is nearing the end of its calendar life, but fret not, as there are new (and improved!) editions available for this next one.

On the upside, the new covers are gorgeous! On the downside, the new covers are so gorgeous, that I’m having a hard time choosing one. The August editions launch tomorrow and these sweet lovelies tend to sell out quickly, so there’s no time to delay in my usual “analysis paralysis”, so I’m turning to you all for advice. Which one should I purchase, friends? It’s a year-long commitment, so I’m going to need your help!

The three cover options are below. (And all images on this post are courtesy of the Day Designer website – aren’t they beautiful?) Which one would you pick? And which would you recommend for me?

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The Carneros Inn

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The moment we pulled in to the Carneros Inn, I felt all of the stress of home melt away. This is our very first trip away from our three small children (yikes and yay at the same time!) and I’ve been a little worried about it. Oh, but the quiet drive up to the wine country with my husband reassured me that we had done the right thing in coming here. And then seeing our accommodations at the Carneros Inn confirmed it once again. This place is a mini-paradise, y’all! I cannot recommend it more highly.

The soft muted orange and grey colors everywhere contrast beautifully with the green and every amenity imaginable is here. There’s a gorgeous gift shop, a fabulous spa area, super comfortable suites with clean design, comfy beds, luxurious bathrobes, gorgeous bathrooms with a huge tub and a waterfall shower and an ADORABLE outdoor patio complete with relaxing loungers and heat lamps. I seriously want to live here. . .

 

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I love the aesthetic of this place!

 

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Gorgeous vistas await at every glance.

 

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Y’all, I even love the font! (Is that weird?!)

 

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How fabulous is the contrast of grey, soft orange and white here? Jewelry design ideas abound!

 

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Adorable vignettes beckon you to sit and rest awhile everywhere you look

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I mean… (right?!)

Happy First Birthday!

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I’ve been designing and making jewelry for fifteen years now. There are both good and bad sides to being a creative. One of the good things is that a lack of ideas is never a problem. I literally have creative ideas all day long. When I sit down to design a collection, having enough ideas has yet to be an issue. One of the bad sides of being creative, however, is that a lack of ideas is never a problem. And that can be incredibly exhausting. It can also be frustrating when you don’t have the time, energy or resources to pursue every idea. And therein lies the crucial challenge of running a creative business – being able to weed through the clutter to the very best.

My sweet little baby boy is one year old today. I’m having a really hard time believing it, since I’m fairly certain that I brought him home from the hospital as a newborn just yesterday, but alas, he’s walking (along furniture) and talking (mama is still his favorite word, thankfully!) and even attempting to ride his big brothers’ scooters (unsuccessfully, thank goodness!)

When a creative mama who adores her little one sits down to plan his first birthday party, craziness ensues. I had so many ideas that had a really hard time reigning it in. (See above note about creative problems.) We decided on a family birthday party for him since he’s just one and we’ve got two “big boy” birthday parties coming up in the next few months. I’ve been doing quite a few jewelry shows lately, so I really needed to keep it simple. (Well, simple by my standards, anyway…)

I decided on a “mustache bash” for our little man’s big celebration and it was really fun. We did a Sunday brunch (which is, by far, my favorite meal) and it was wonderful having a smaller celebration with family. And the birthday boy had an absolute ball, which was the best part. When we started singing to him, he grinned from ear to ear, and by the end of the event, he (and his seersucker birthday outfit) were completely covered in chocolate, so I consider that a huge success!

I wanted to share a few of the photos from the event with you, in case you’re looking for ideas for an upcoming little boy’s birthday party (or a cute baby shower theme.) I’m all about sharing the creativity! Have questions about any of the items you see below? Let us know in the comments. If you’d like to know more about any of the DIY decorations, let us know that, too. We love sharing ideas. And please share your birthday party ideas, too – you can never have too many in the queue for the future!

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How adorable is this mustache balloon?  And the giant “one” is bigger than the birthday boy!

 

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Baby Mum-Mums are a must at any one year old party! Our children have always loved them. They’re an easy way to entertain babies who are too little to eat with you at a restaurant, but also don’t want to feel left out – or to give to a baby as you’re fixing dinner when they’re unhappy with slow service!  I buy them on Amazon Prime in bulk here.

 

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I love to bake (which may be because I enjoy the fruits of my labor!) so making a birthday cake is really fun for me. This is the “smash cake” that I made for our little man. I used the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, which is one of my absolute favorites and a must-own for anyone who loves to bake. I’ve been going to Magnolia Bakery in New York since the West Village was the only location and they’re cupcakes are still my very favorites – not to mention how adorable the place is!

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Pink peonies are my absolute favorite flower and I recently found some at the grocery store down the street – yay! I’m also a huge fan of hydrangea and think that the two together are really lovely. I made a similar arrangement for a jewelry show that I had last week and got lots of compliments on it.

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For the main centerpiece, I put hydrangeas and roses (always a classic combination) with snapdragons for a little pop!

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I’m a big fan of puffs for the same reasons as Mum-Mums – their high entertainment value. Plus, what they lack in nutritional value, they make up for in hand-eye coordination training, right? I like this brand, which I also order on Amazon Prime because they bring it right to my doorstep with no shipping charge – which is crazy helpful for this busy mama. (If you haven’t yet tried Amazon Prime, they’re offering a free 30-day trial of the service and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked after that! Just click on the graphic at the bottom of this post to claim your trial.

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 This is the “big cake” I baked.  (And it was SO yummy!)

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 Yay for first birthday gifts

 

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 Party favors. (Note the cute furry mustache stickers on the boys’ bags!)

 

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 I made these mustache milk bottle vases for table decorations, which
doubled as adult party favors!

 

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I made these place holders using my new embossing tools that I found at Paper Source. After the sweet (and clearly rather smart) sales associate there made a bookmark for my oldest son when he asked what the embossing tool was as we were browsing in the store, I was hooked.  I mean, how fun are these?!

 

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The big boys using the multi-colored marbled heart-shaped crayons that I made for kids to play with during the party. (We also sent a few home in the party favor bags, too!)

 
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 One really cannot have too many flowers, right?

 

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The table

 

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 Chocolate-covered = success in my book!

 

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 The birthday boy!

 
 
 
 

Get Personal!

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Introducing our new collection of personalized jewelry. Inspired by heirloom pieces from her grandmother, Andrea wanted to offer a modern take on the classic monogram jewelry. Choose from a single initial with diamonds or a gorgeous girly script font large monogram with options in between (including a bracelet that looks amazing stacked up for a serious arm candy party!) These pieces look stunning alone with your favorite soft tee or layered up with some fun, long necklaces for more of a statement look. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. And these items are timeless, so they’re sure to be handed down for generations to come. So come on, express yourself!

Wine Collection Tips

Red wine bottles stacked on wooden racks

My hubs is a wine dude. When we were dating, I was continually impressed by his knowledge of wine. On each date, he would order a wine and it was always delicious. Come to think of it, throughout the time I’ve known him, I’m not sure he’s ever ordered a bad wine for me. In fact, he usually orders a glass each of two different wines and lets me taste each and chose the one I like best. He says that’s a fun challenge for him and ensures he orders two really good wines. Is he a treasure or what?

With a man like him comes a decent-sized (and quality!) wine collection. I consider that a huge plus, but it does come with a few challenges, too.
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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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