Friday, June 28, 2013

Weekend Update::: Bling Cleaning

Photo: By me of my rings

Speaking of bling, I get a lot of questions about how to keep rings/jewelry clean.  It's very simple to keep your pieces in great shape, and takes very little product-wise or much time to maintain that showroom glitter.  If you're ever worried that your ring is suddenly not sparkling like it once was, or your studs look duller than before, it's probably time to give them a little TLC.  And what better time to do it than over a weekend?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top Secret::: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve has been among my daily favorites since learning about it on a skincare forum, when it was declared by a self-proclaimed "resident expert" that the Whipped Squalane Face & Eye Mousse was the "best non-actives moisturizer out there", in part because it was natural and inexpensive.  When multiple other posters started chiming in with similar proclamations of agreement, and the reviews in the product reviews section are glowing, naturally one is intrigued, especially if one is looking for a non-actives moisturizer to just moisturize alongside her armory of actives.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Wow::: Sebastien Barier + Antique Emerald Cut Ring

Photo: Asscher_Girl from

As a regular over on an online diamond mecca,, I am often allowed the luxury of some pretty fantastic baubles.  Many feel redundant, however beautiful, as how often will a perfectly cut round brilliant in a solitaire or an antique-style cushion in a micro-pave halo really grab you when you've seen about a hundred almost identical to either before, other than the occasional masterpiece in a pretty astounding size.   How jaded does that sound?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tech Time::: Password Management


In the last few days, I have seen quite a few Tweets and Facebook messages pop up in my feeds regarding forgotten passwords and needing to find a solution to forgetting them all the time. I replied to several of those by recommending an app I found called 1Password which I use to help me work on that problem, because prior to that app, I, too, was guilty of having no control over passwords.  

What made the biggest impact in how I keep track of things before I found this app was a friend of mine losing her husband very suddenly, and having no idea what their banking password was, what his phone passcode was, or what his email password was, in order to try to handle the fallout after losing him.  (And I am glad that Redbook just did a piece on this very subject in one of the last few issues that I "casually" left out for my own husband to read!) 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Must Have::: Tieks Ballet Flats

Photo: Tieks Facebook Page, Navy Folded Shoe from their online boutiek added by me

I am not often caught in a pair of ballet flats, to be completely upfront. You are going to find me, 99% of the time, in a pair of dirty, probably worn out and mutilated, navy Chuck Taylor slip-ons. Occasionally, I will bring out the spiffy Marimekko blue dot Chucks with the green laces. Or the Crocs flats or espadrilles. I think I have approximately one pair of "cute flats" that are not made by Crocs...the Cole Haan by Maria Sharapova Air Bacara flats I got in a metallic bronze last year from Nordstrom (on sale!) and have worn exactly 4 times since.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fashion Fix::: J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer

How adorable is this blazer?


Now that I am hopefully losing inches, as well as weight, I am starting to really eye up some cuter outfits, in straight sizes, to call attention to my soon-to-be-smaller body.  I have been looking for nice blazers for at least a year to mix in with my seriously huge cardigan collection. Yet, I never seem to quite find the one that will hit the mark exactly right, or that is at all comfortable, and to me comfort trumps all.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trend Worth Trying::: "The Lob" a la Julianne Hough

File this under "things I never thought I'd say or want to do".  

Normally I *hate* anything even resembling short hair, downright despise it, in fact, but when I saw Julianne Hough's cute crop, or even Jennifer Aniston's pre-grow-out, it really caught my eye, and made me think "hmm, I really think I could do that," despite every previous attempt at similar styles making me regret the day I was born. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tech Time::: Apple's WWDC 2013

Photo Credit:

Last week was WWDC 2013 and Apple announced some pretty amazing new products, including iOS7, OSX9 "Mavericks" (I guess they ran out of big cats?), a new MacBookAir, and new spacecraft-like Mac Pro. 

I think the most exciting for me were iOS7 and the new Macs, though I won't be in the market for a new Mac for probably a year or so more.  But iOS7 I will be in the market for, and clawing the walls for, well, yesterday! (Seriously, when is the next iPhone coming out, I am overdue for the newest and best, like, last year.)  Click to keep reading--yes it's a bit long, but worth it, if nothing else for the fantastic video I include from Apple regarding iOS7.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Must Try::: Chile Rellenos

I was poking around online and on Pinterest for new Medifast-friendly recipes to add to my selection and found a few that really got me excited.  I will share one or two of those at a later date. 

But this one...this is the pièce de résistance!  Chile Rellenos! And even better? They're Medifast/lowcarb-friendly!  I LOVE Chile Rellenos, though really, I just love Mexican food, so I cannot wait to try this recipe.  

Look at this amazing looking photo she took of the finished product...I am drooling like a freak all over myself right now. 

Photo Credit: Shelley Watters
Click the jump for the Recipe!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Please Standby::: Work in Progress!

In between projects this weekend, I am hoping to deploy a new "header" with my new logo (which I might have finally decided on!) onto the blog and twitter this weekend, or at the latest next weekend. And my web implementation skills are not exactly stellar!  So hopefully I don't break this thing and have to shake it to make it work again!  I have it planned on the Google Calendar for this Sunday, but we'll see if I stick to my schedule.

This is more of a warning shot than anything.  Speaking of: does anyone else immediately think of the Lord Helmet/Colonel Sandurz exchange from Spaceballs where they discuss firing a warning shot "across her nose" and Lord Helmet screams "I said across her nose, not up it" when the words warning shot are used?  Oh it's just me?  Carry on then.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Top Secret::: Dermadoctor KP Duty

This is a confession about my body that I don't usually make known publicly and my beauty secret fix for it.  I have KP: Keratosis Pilaris. Also known as chicken skin, a bunch of little reddish bumps all over that look like little zits or rashes. The "technical definition":
Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition in which a protein in the skin called keratin forms hard plugs within hair follicles.
In my case, it's on my face, arms, stomach, butt and legs.  It's pretty prominent on my arms and face, and I have been fighting with this all my life, with various salves and creams and gels, trying to get it to just go away, because it makes me insanely self-conscious, almost as much as the dark circles you've read my lamentations about now for the last three or four years.  When I get hot (and I am a human furnace, so that would be often), it turns bright red, and is impossible to conceal with makeup.  Sexy! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Wow::: The Glitter Guide's Top 10 Featured Offices

Photo Credit:

I am a sucker for a gorgeous work space.  Is that image above not just incredibly drool-worthy???

There's something seriously inspiring about a well-designed desktop and fun office supplies, and it just makes you want to sit there and get shit done!  I am often sitting at my desk scouring blogs, Google Images, Houzz, Pinterest, etc, looking for (snooping into) great shots of offices and home work spaces, especially of other bloggers, other designers, and other people I admire. For example, Jenna Lyons, anyone?  Her office is the image above, and here's a link to the Fast Company/Sam Rohn Panorama of her office at J.Crew


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tech Time::: Nest Thermostat

This little gizmo, the Nest Thermostat, looks fascinating, and like it would fit in well in a home by Novogratz.  It's a thermostat that will monitor your patterns and adjust to your living accordingly, and is controllable through your smartphone.  My husband and I have both been intrigued by this item for months, after seeing it around the net for a while, and on "I Want That" on DIY Network. We are both trying to justify it to ourselves, even though our current relatively new (6 years old?) thermostat works perfectly fine, and has actually saved us substantially since we installed it not long after moving in.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Must Have::: TRUFFLE Clarity Pouches

About a year ago, I read about Truffle on both Luella&June and A Piece of Toast, and all three ladies (Bradley, Sally and Molly, respectively) were quite in love with these amazing pouches.  I even messaged the lovely Bradley to inquire about her experiences travelling with the pouches and if she'd have any issues with TSA in regards to it (she hadn't.)  

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fashion Fix::: Summer Espadrilles

Espadrilles are everywhere for Spring and Summer!  And even though I am slow to pick up this trend slash classic, I have been on a quest to find a nice, simple pair of flat espadrilles in a crisp navy for a while, and found a few that I totally loved and at a price point that is sure to work for every budget. If navy isn't your thing, most, if not all, come in more colors to suit your wardrobe.  (There's a few greens and teals that I love as well!)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are these not AMAZING?!

I saw these modern house numbers in the April 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine which I only just now got around to opening up (bad magazine hoarder! bad!) and I am IN LOVE. They would look amazing on the front of my red brick and white trim house.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

35 seems to be the year of the new me...

If I call it that, "the new me", anyway.

I haven't really mentioned this to many people, let alone the world, but I have been trying to do a bit of an overhaul of ME as well, not just all my spaces.  My health has been a royal suckfest for a while, and I know my weight was not helping that. Not entirely sure correcting that is going to fix some of these (unrelated entirely), but the rest, I hope it fixes.

Monday, June 3, 2013


I REALLY LOVE POPPIN! Everything about their products, their branding, the idea...makes me giddy.

 Photo credit: Poppin's Instagram, @Poptopia--GREAT SLOGAN!!! So fun!

Love is perhaps an understatement.  I am obsessed.  My whole desk and my worktable are decked out in Pool Blue and Lime Green, with a few little splashes of Aqua, White, Navy, and random Orange! And I just. keep. buying. more!  Since they've launched, I have placed several orders, I just cannot seem to control myself. Mousepads. Push pins. Pens. Bits and Bobs trays. Accessory trays. Rulers. Tape Dispensers. Staplers...I have it all! It's becoming an "issue." Quite a good looking issue. They just look so damn NICE with my dark wood antiques and my sleek aluminum Macs!  And their slogan and packaging materials are just divine!