July 15, 2014

Lavish Libations

There's nothing like a sipping on a colorful, flavor-filled beverage at any time of the year but I've found that Summer is the season for concocting some of the best drinks because there are so many wonderful fresh ingredients available: sunny fruits, crisp veggies, zesty herbs - a cornucopia of tasty goodness. We've been experimenting with delicious cocktails using many of the recipes I've discovered on Pinterest and the gorgeous food blogs you can find online. At times our kitchen has resembled both a cafeteria assembly line and a mad scientist's laboratory. Realizing that we needed stop playing bartender and narrow our choices down to a select few that we could serve and enjoy throughout the season, we decided on Sangria as a base drink because the ingredient variations are endless and it can be made ahead of time which is perfect for entertaining. (FYI - Margaritas came in 2nd)

This Mango-Peach version from chef John Besh of New Orleans is now a house favorite. (Many of his amazing culinary treats can be found here which is where I also uncovered my favorite winter cocktail) Sangria is traditionally made with alcohol but as a non-imbiber, I always appreciate recipes that are accommodating of that without sacrificing flavor. For this drink, I substitute orange juice for the Grand Marnier and instead of Viognier, I use a non-alcoholic chardonnay like this one. Delish!

Try experimenting with various fruit combinations in your Sangria. It's really hard to go wrong and you have a refreshing Summertime drink that almost everyone will enjoy! 

July 4, 2014

Celebrating Independence

It's a gray, rainy day where we are. I'm sure a lot of people in the area (including ourselves) had outdoor plans for the day that are now cancelled or at the very least postponed until tomorrow when the weather forecast is much brighter and drier. One positive that I hope comes from the plans that have been changed is that we now have an opportunity to reflect on what this day really means with patriotic pride. Wishing everyone in the USA a safe and Happy Independence Day!

June 25, 2014

It's Our Summer Sizzle Giveaway! - CLOSED

Congrats to our winner, Ronald A.! Thanks to everyone who participated!

Summer officially arrived on June 21st and we are always thrilled to celebrate the start of sizzling hot fun. So excited, in fact, that we’re giving away our fabulous Trilliant Cut Amethyst Crystal Set  to one lucky winner. This gorgeous necklace and earrings combo is from our Gemmy Jewels fashion jewelry pre-Fall collection and is perfect for your next interview or date night. The winner will be the first to receive baubles from the new line! We'd love to hear what you think is the best thing about Summer as we enjoy the bright sunshine. So starting Wednesday, June 25th through Wednesday, July 2nd at 11:59 PM EST, you can enter to win one (1) Trilliant Cut Amethyst Crystal Necklace and Earrings Set by telling us in the blog comments below and/or the six additional ways listed below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 10, 2014

How My Garden Grows

I've become a bit of a change addict this year. I've somehow begun to loosen a lot of previously held beliefs, thought processes and routines in exchange for a more open mind and perhaps a riskier risk taker mentality. From big things like exploring business opportunities far from home (more on that soon) to falling in deep love with a feline (always thought I was a dog person for life) to wanting to turn my dead thumb into a green thumb. 

I'd never been good with plants. My Mom and Dad were amateur horticulturists but didn't pass down those traits to my brother and I. Also living in or near metropolitan areas for most of my adult life hasn't always lent itself to gracious gardening but being fortunate enough to acquire a Summer home near the New Jersey shore with gorgeous front and back yards that are in dire need of freshening has changed my outlook on all things floral and green. I've even done some landscaping with The Man (he's surprisingly gifted with weed whackers and shrubbery). My antique black pot herb garden (top left) is my prized accomplishment. In fact, our company's Administrative Director, an accomplished caterer and chef plucks aromatic basil, savory thyme and plump sage leaves weekly to include in our team lunches. I will need patience with my Roma tomatoes and jalapeƱo peppers. Their fruits take time to develop and as patience is never my virtue, I will call on my new guardian of the garden status to give me the tolerance I now must possess. 

I'm enamored by the lovely hot pink knockout rose bush, purple and blush petunias and golden marigolds that pop with vibrant color against the lush green grass. There's something surprisingly serene and meditative about getting your hands dirty digging in rich soil, planting tiny seeds, nursing them and watching them morph into luscious plants. I'm looking forward to sharing my garden cornucopia with neighbors and friends. Here's hoping my greener ways result in long lasting beauty.

May 28, 2014

Artful Jewels

I'm heavily inspired by great artists. Iconic painters, photographers and designers of all kinds provide a wealth of beauty to enjoy. Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky were Expressionist and Abstract painters who wielded color on a paint brush with abandon and I'm often drawn to the colors and symmetry used in their original work. I've used combinations of hues from these artists' most colorful masterpieces in my signature LUXE collection. The colors of stones like blue-green Turquoise, deep orange Carnelian, rich yellow Topaz, intense purple Amethyst and neon green Peridot are well represented in some of my favorite paintings, a few of which I've shared here in the collage above. My artist-inspired classic cluster earrings are available in our store and as custom designs where I love working with customers one-on-one to create color and gemstone combos based on their own artistic inspirations. 

*images (top left, clockwise): Kandinsky, Klee, KandinskyKlee


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