September 29, 2014

Movie Magic Madness

Poster Images: (top left, clockwise) Kill the Messenger (opens Oct 10), The Equalizer (opened Sept 26),
Gone Girl (opens Oct 3), The Judge (opens Oct 10), Low Down (opens Oct 24), The Book of Life (opens Oct 17)
I love movies but because of my unpredictable schedule, away vacations and family responsibilities, I often can't find a free moment to get to the theater in the Spring and Summer but when Fall rolls around, an all-out cinema blitz begins in earnest for me and The Man. Friday date night takes on new meaning and is often comprised of a lovely dinner and a newly released movie. And there are some fascinating flicks on the horizon that I'm excited about. Be sure to check out my viewing list with links to early reviews above. 

**If you're in the Philadelphia, PA area, enjoy a luxe movie theater experience at the AMC Cinema Suites in West Chester or in New York City at their location on Broadway at 84th Street.

I try to keep my date night look comfy and stylish. A great shirt, skinny pants and high heeled booties are my typical uniform but I try to make it extra special by adding great jewelry like the Herringbone Cuff Bracelet and Bohemian Drop Earrings from our Gemmy Jewels Collection. (check out the Love The Look style board below) A fab handbag to carry the essentials, a spritz of a beloved scent (an anniversary gift from The Man - now my signature fragrance) and I'm ready for an evening of movie magic! 


Love the Look Style Board: (top left, clockwise) AmericanEagle Outfitters Factory Chambray Shirt



September 2, 2014

The Fab Five - September 2014


With Fall just around the corner, I'm embracing all the upcoming season has to offer. Granted, I had a wonderful Summer and will lament its departure but only briefly because this month is stacking up to be just as amazing. Here are 5 fab things that will help to make September a great one:

1.  Our Private Trunk Show season begins and we're crisscrossing the country to bring my Fall 2014 Handmade Jewelry Collection exclusively to our Insiders. Join us!

2.  Since Kale is THE veggie of the year, I'm looking forward to sharing my culinary expertise (home cooking at it's finest) by using it in more creative recipes.

3.  If you are decorating a new home or just looking for items that will update or freshen the one you've already lived in, you'll love the sublimely curated housewares and furniture collections on this beautiful site.

4. It's #NYFW New York Fashion Week time! The march of fine design begins September 4th. Watch here for our fave designers' hot runway looks for Spring 2015! 

5.  After a few team members spoke highly of this not-so-common book about living consciously and walking through your life while being fully aware of its utter beauty by a thoroughly engaging author, I had to Kindle it for this month's reading list.

August 18, 2014

Fall Into Denim


While watching some of the live streams of the Fall 2014 Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week runway shows, I didn't see much in the way of denim. (insert sad face emoji here) Has the durable material shown most commonly in its traditional blue hue lost its fashion favor? I think not! Denim will always be "in". I know some do have a love-hate relationship with this tricky fabric (i.e. Can I REALLY wear jeans to work or is this jacket special enough for evening?)  Dressed up or down, when it's worn right and of the best quality your money can buy, it can be an incredibly versatile and luxurious wardrobe staple. 

Think beyond jeans. Pencil skirts, tailored jackets, fierce shoes and handbags are all fashionable players in the denim game. And don't be afraid to do double denim (top & bottom). Just mix the washes like this or kick it up a notch with non-traditional colors. Add an interesting bangle bracelet for day or statement earrings for an extra special nighttime touch!


left, Gemmy Jewels Pyramid Bracelet; right, JulRe Designs Gilded Pepper Earrings

Style Board Images: (top left, clockwise) Gianvito Rossi Denim Pump, Philip Lim Capsule Collection, Everlane Denim Shirt, Distressed Jeans at Paris Fashion Week, Madewell Wide Leg Denim Pant
  

August 11, 2014

Color Craze: Rainbow Bright


My obsession with vivid, punch-you-in-the-face color continues. The fashion trend cycle always returns to timeless bright, rainbow color combinations associated with festive times but I've never been one to wait for trends. Since I seem to naturally gravitate toward vivid hues, my handmade jewelry collections have often included bright primary and eye-popping neon colors for all seasons. This Pinterest board is my vibrant homage to the many radiant inspirations I've discovered over time.

Do you dare wear bright for day or night? Fear not, these thrilling colors can be worn by anyone. The "less is more" rule definitely applies but you can be creative. While it takes an adventurous soul to wear this trend head to toe, feel free to liven a neutral look with accessories like rainbow sunglasses, a vivid pair of heels or a dash of brightly colored jewelry like the earrings from my classic collection shown on the style board below and available here. Be bold in brights!





July 29, 2014

The Fab Five - August 2014


As Summer winds down (don't shoot the messenger), I'm sure we're all looking for any way we can hold onto the best of the current season. But August is a great month (minus the dog days) to celebrate what's next. Here are 5 fab things to get excited about during the 8th month of the year:

1.  I've penciled in an appointment to sample this Target beauty discovery during my next at-home facial. Word on the street is these mini packets are filled with natural ingredients that really truly work. Buy them online here.

2.  Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of legendary baseball great, Jackie Robinson in 42 was phenomenal, so I'm looking forward to seeing him take on the King of Soul in this movie biopic.

3.  Good things come in 3's.... and 7's and 9's like these delicious new arm candy sets from our Gemmy Jewels Collection.

4. It's no secret that as a sports fanatic, this month begins one of my most favorite times of the year. The pigskin returns!

5. With Five Guys and Shake Shack, do we really need another chain burger joint in Philly? This one opens in August and is a "bare" necessity for it's exotic meats and organic goodness.

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

May 20, 2014

Weekend Warrior Wear


The long Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us!  I'm counting down to a few days of excitement as well as much needed rest and relaxation. My calendar is filled with a variety of activities from supporting local artists and crafters at one of my favorite open air markets to hosting a small cocktail party for visiting friends at a beloved casino paradise. Between events, I've made sure to schedule a little chill time for spa-ing, shopping the big sales and if warm enough, getting a little recreational reading done beachside with The Man. Having one look that can handle it all with a stylish comfort factor is key. From the perfect tote bag to a fabulous skinny gilded bangle bracelet, take your weekend chill style to another level.  Take a leisurely stroll in gold flats, adorable eyelet shorts and a striking neon tank top.  Add colorful stud earrings and chic sunglasses and you're good to go! And of course, if you're going to enjoy the great outdoors, don't forget the sunscreen


*images: River Island Strappy Cami Top, Matthew Williamson Sunglasses, Gemmy Jewels Hexagon Stud Earrings, L'Oreal Suncreen, Janet Evanovich book, Michael Michael Kors Tote Bag, Gemmy Jewels Skinny Gold Hinged Bangle Bracelet, Merona Eyelet Shorts, Sam Edelman Sandals  

May 13, 2014

Summer Scentuousness


A fabulous customer who shops in our Gemmy Jewels showroom quite frequently always lets us know what season it is by the delectable fragrance she wears. Her nose is spot on at picking just the right scent for her body chemistry and style. Somehow, she manages to coordinate her scent with whatever look she is wearing that day. It's so uncanny, we had to ask her how she did it. 


First, she doesn't have a signature scent. Not being limited by a particular brand allows her to explore. She buys fragrances that simply, strike her fancy (we wonder what the top of her dresser must look like). Second, she never buys a scent on impulse and she never tests a fragrance in the store. It's just not a real life environment so she collects samples and spends a few days with each scent, letting them grow on her. She audits her collection and returns to purchase the perfumes and eau de toilettes that work perfectly for her. Her favorite Summer fragrance? Le Mimosa by Annick Goutal.


A few passionate perfume buffs from our staff shared their own "swell smells" for Summer:

1. Elisabeth, our Administrative Manager has a thing for scents from the 90's because they remind her of her college days, date nights and sorority socials. She adores Cool Water by Davidoff because it's fresh, great for everyday and has staying power. 

2. It could be her obsession with baked goods that keeps Lisa, our Marketing Director in love with sugary, super sweet fragrances like Coach's Poppy Blossom. Her 8 year old triplet boys say Mommy smells like cake when she wears it. 

3. Our Production Intern, Calise, helps to make our jewelry by hand so it's natural that she would appreciate handmade fragrance oils like her top pick Sirena by Spectrum Cosmetics. The roll-on bottle is so convenient - pop in the purse for touch-ups.

4. Me? I love almost any scent with a rose base. My current go-to is the fresh green floral named after one of my favorite places to hang out in NYC - Highline by Bond no. 9. So lovely, I predict the bottle will be empty by the end of the season.

What scents will you spritz on the Summer?


*images (top and middle): huffingtonpost.com, livesimplybyannie.com

May 6, 2014

Romancing the Pearl


It's wedding season! The glorious time of year when my design studio comes alive with beautiful crystals, diamonds and the most incredible brides in search of jewelry that is as unique as they are. It's my honor to work one-on-one with The Classic Bride who appreciates wedding traditions, The Avant Garde Bride with her eclectic style and The Contemporary Bride and her eye for clean lines and sophisticated airiness. All are very original but I have found that when it comes to creating a piece of jewelry for their special day, Pearls are the most requested element. Their creamy luster, often quirky shapes (freshwater pearls) and iridescent glow make them perfectly suited for every bride. Incorporating real or faux pearls into wedding decor is also a popular trend I'm loving right now for its elegance and sophistication.

Pearls can become a treasured keepsake to adorn the bride, accessorize the groom, or present as memorable gifts for the wedding party. As my Style Board above illustrates, they enhance the romance of this noteworthy occasion. Having pearl bridal jewelry custom designed especially for the bride and bridal party is a surefire way to assure one-of-a-kind looks for this extra special day.

Need bridal jewelry and other wedding inspiration? Check out our boutique on Etsy and our Bridal Bliss board on Pinterest.




April 15, 2014

Cooking Up Lime Green

(source: ebocube.com)

I'm about to remodel my kitchen. It's one of the most important rooms in my home because so much of life and love happens there. It'll be the second kitchen re-do I've undertaken in a ridiculously short period of time. The first was a test of wills with contractors and my patience (of which I have little) but I take full responsibility for my overzealous design ideas and almost impossible requests for structural changes in our condo in Philadelphia which by the way, had been recently renovated very nicely by the previous owner. But I've learned my lesson. The kitchen in our summer home near the New Jersey shore will be as uncomplicated as possible. Yes, it will be a complete gut job but what will replace the 60's style colonial kitchen will be sleek, contemporary and most importantly, simple to build out.

(source: Daphne Graphics)

Slate gray will be the dominant color but to punch it up a notch, I've decided to accessorize with small blasts of luscious Lime Green. It's been fun shopping for kitchen accessories that will add the desired "pop" on a modern neutral. I don't know how long I'll stick with this neon hue but the great thing about adding color to a room with interchangeable items is that you can mix things up whenever the mood strikes you without having to hammer a nail. Check out the fun cookware, gadgets, glassware and other tools I've collected below and stay tuned for renovation updates!


April 8, 2014

In the Color Lab: Pinks & Gold

Images: Pinterest. Gemmy Jewels

I marvel at the unexpectedness of Pinks and Gold. When you mix them, pair them or mash them together, the combination is fun, feminine and fresh. To be honest, I thought I'd stopped loving pale pinks, cherry-blossom fuchsias, dusty roses and cotton-candy pinks when I stopped wearing pigtails but add shimmering, glittering Golds and you have a surprisingly elegant palette. 

We collected a few fab beauty buys and accessories on our Style Board below including our Gemmy Jewels enamel bangle bracelets, so perfect for Spring!

Images: Polyvore



April 1, 2014

These Three Things: See, Eat, Read

 

It's April! Time to get out of the house after an overdose of Winter and see (1) the artistry of a gifted photographer in New York City. I'm also excited to start trying the great new restaurants that have opened in our Philly neighborhood (2) like this progressive American my man and I sampled on a recent date night. And I'm always eager to curl up with (3) a good book at the end of a hectic day and this fun read combines my love of good food with intriguing family drama.

March 18, 2014

Color Craze: Pantone's Spring Fling


Top Row: ModCloth DressDorothy Perkins Dress, Victoria Victoria Beckham Dress
Middle Row: Victoria Beckham DressDiane Von Furstenberg Dress, Maison Rabih Kayrouz Dress
Bottom Row: Herve Leger Dress, Joseph Dress, Lela Rose Dress, Alberta Ferretti Dress

To say I'm a fan of the colors Pantone, the global authority on color has selected to highlight for Spring 2014 is an understatement. The balanced mix of brights and pastels is modern and refreshing. Alone, each color can stand on its own, but the possible color combos are what's really exciting. Since my schedule this Spring and Summer will involve a lot of personal appearance, I've decided to add a few special pieces to my wardrobe. While shopping, I started to see how some of my favorite designers have incorporated this color forecast into some pretty spectacular dresses. I've already added the DVF Kaley Dress in a very Sand-like color to my wardrobe. 

I'm using this glorious color palette in my my jewelry too. Add a pair of drop earrings in Celonia Orange to a Dazzling Blue dress. Or a pave crystal bracelet in the soft gray, Paloma with a top in icy green Hemlock. These colors can revive your wardrobe with strong vibrancy or add versatility with the more tranquil hues. Mix it up and have fun with these colors!

All jewelry from our JulRe Designs Classics and Gemmy Jewels Collections


March 14, 2014

It's a Mad, Mad March

Images: ncaa.com, printyourbrackets.com, sportsblogs.star-telegram.com
This month is one of my favorites. The madness that is March in college basketball begins and as the sports fanatic that I am, I can't get enough of the spirit of competition and whole championship drama. The speculation as to which teams will be selected for tournament, what seed they will be given, the coaches perched on their soapboxes touting why their team deserves consideration, the drama of the committee that chooses which teams are worthy (thank goodness the playoff system goes into effect next season), filling out your own brackets to test your skills at guessing which teams will win and possibly becoming super rich if you're right. It's all a more than real reality show and it all begins in 2 days with Selection Sunday for the Men's tourney. I'll be glued to the TV to watch it all unfold (GO SYRACUSE MEN and UCONN WOMEN!) and then the madness truly begins as the Road to the Final Four brings college basketball games to watch almost every day of the week until we have the teams that will vie for the National Championship. 

It's been a long standing tradition to gather my equally sports obsessed friends together for March Madness viewing parties and it wouldn't be one of my gatherings without my famous game day buffets. Here are 4 of my current favorite recipes for you and your sports-loving friends to enjoy too: 


Fried Pickles with Spicy Mayo  (top left) and Old School Garlic Bread (top right) from Bon Appetit

Four-Cheese Mushroom Lasagna (bottom right) from Ladies Home Journal

The Snakebite (bottom left) from Saveur

Enjoy the games! 


March 6, 2014

In the Color Lab: Chartreuse & Red

Images (top left, clockwise): JulRe Designs Necklace, Bicycle, Limes and Chili Peppers, Suede Pump,
Print, Flower Box, Lacquer Tray, Chevron Pillow, Soda Pop, Chartreuse Blouse and Red Pencil Skirt
Part of my process for designing jewelry is to create color and inspiration boards where I find images filled with shapes, fashions, objects, stories and hues that resonate with me. When I discover a combination that "speaks", I shop for beads and stones needed to create something fabulous. Chartreuse and Red have been on my radar for awhile because each color alone evokes brilliance and happiness. Together, they are a crazy mix of abundant passion.

Don't let the "punch" of these two power-packed colors scare you. Accessorizing with this combo will always be fresh for Spring and Summer. Try a pretty silk scarf, a tasseled slipper shoe or our Neon Glow Necklace. Chic & unique!

Images: TopShopTall Crepe Flippy Dress, Gemmy Jewels Crystal Teardrop Earrings

March 4, 2014

And the Carpet Was Red

Images from Elle.com (top left, clockwise): Amy Adams in Gucci, Lupita Nyong'o in custom Prada,
Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive, 
Sandra Bullock in Bette Midler in Reem Acra, 

It's no secret that I'm an awards show red carpet junkie so since the Academy Awards or Oscars were handed out on Sunday, I'm sadly back to craving the glitz for another year. While I usually focus my after-show blog posts on the gems and jewels (or lack thereof), I decided to share my favorite gowns of the night as well (my Top 5 above). I loved the actresses that chose gowns that fit their public personalities, from Amy Adams' understated elegance to Bette Midler's bold vibrancy. And finally this is the year when everyone broke out of color bondage although there was still a fair amount of icy cool white and black as dark as midnight to be seen. 

Frankly, it's been years since truly statement making jewelry has been worn by actresses and it sometimes seems that the fashion stylists forget that the right earrings or necklace can make or break a look.. And while this year's Oscars had glimmers of bejeweled glam (some standouts below), the gowns were the big winners once again. 

Images from Elle.com and nj.com (top left, clockwise): Naomi Watts necklace by Bulgari, Amy Adams'
Tiffany earrings, Charlize Theron in Harry Winston jewels, Viola Davis in cuff bracelets by Lorraine Schwartz,
Cate Blanchett in earrings by Chopard 
 

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