My 50th Birthday Jewelry Wishlist

I find it almost impossible to believe that I’ll be turning 50 next month! And if you’ve been following me for a while, then you know I have a strong tradition of self-gifting. Not only do I find it very empowering to buy myself jewelry, it’s also a very sentimental practice where I honor various moments in life. With this momentous occasion on the horizon, I’ve started putting some real thought into what I might love to own. I want to share some of the items that are currently at the top of my jewelry lust list. In no particular order, here goes:

Noor Fares Rock Crystal Earrings

I originally saw these last year at the Couture show in Las Vegas. They have haunted me ever since. Not only are they rock crystal (which you know I’m obsessed with), but the shape and the combination with gold and diamonds makes them a super luxe look for everyday.

Sarah Hendler Ethel ring

This is another piece I’ve had on my mind for a very long time. To me, it has sort of a 70’s vibe — I can picture wearing it with a caftan poolside in Palm Springs. The little channels of white enamel are oh, so cool. And the diamond settings sing to my celestial heart. Don’t you think it’d be gorge in rose gold?

Alice Cicolini Earrings

I saw these on Alice’s Instagram not too long ago, but they really made an impression! Again, the white enamel detail (I’m sensing a mini theme here) is awesome, along with the combination of metallic tones with the white topaz. I’d wear the heck out of these.

A piece from Daniela Villegas

I’ve been coveting one of Daniela’s insect pieces for at least a couple years now. Though I’ve only seen two of her big rings in person, they make me swoon. In a dream world, I’d probably like one with green stones…

Bibi van der Velden Galaxy Planet Earrings

Bibi is one of my style icons. Not only do I adore her personal style, but her jewelry is seriously out of this world. These galaxy earrings look SO amazing; I may need to take a trip to Amsterdam to try them on!

Dezso by Sara Beltran Rock Crystal Pendant

I have a “thing” for Sara’s beachy line, and I own a couple of her pendants already — a shell and a fish. Don’t you think this hand carved rock crystal coconut with a polki diamond would complete the trio? And I have the wire wave choker to add it to. The other two pendants I have hang vertically, so I like that this would add a horizontal aspect to the grouping. True, a coconut isn’t exactly what one typically thinks of in fine jewelry, but I love its uniqueness. And as you know, I’m usually not one to have “the norm” in either clothes or jewelry!

Brent Neale Rainbow Gem Knot Ring

Hopefully you read my last blog article, which was all about Brent. And I must say there’s something about her jewelry that really draws you in. Since my wardrobe is mostly black, wouldn’t this ring be a great way to add some color to my ensembles?!

As I write this list, I’m definitely picking up on a few common themes: celestial, enamel details, rock crystal, and color. Funny that these elements didn’t necessarily pop out when I was picking the pieces, yet now they are so obvious.

I’ve still got time to ponder, and I’ll be seeing LOTS of jewelry when I embark on a 10 day road trip to southern California next month. The best scenario is that I win the lottery between now and then and I buy it all! A girl can dream, right?!

Speaking of dreams, I’ve got a big one — a huge new project that I’m diving into this year. As a result, I’m going to be taking a hiatus on writing articles for this site. BUT…don’t panic. You can always get your jewelry fix on my Instagram page, which is definitely full of sparkle. If you’re not yet following me, then click here to keep up on the latest scoop. In fact, perhaps I’ll even reveal what I land on for my 50th gift. Hope to see you there! xo

22 Jewelry Gifts for $50 and Under

I have been receiving quite a few inquiries from readers about jewelry gifts that fit in their holiday shopping budget. With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals upon us, I’ve gathered a range of ideas for you that fall in the $50 and under range. Some are as low as the $20 range, yet they have no shortage of style in my opinion. In no particular order…

Isharya Mirror Gems Marquise Bangle

isharya mirror gems marquise bangle
Sundance Lucky Labradorite Ring

sundance lucky labradorite ring
Antrhopologie Clustered Crest Cuff

anthropologie clustered crest cuff
J.Crew Brûlée Crystal Drop Earrings

j.crew brulee crystal drop earrings
Kate Spade “Make me Blush” Pave Bangle

kate spade make me blush pave bangle
Pradelles Drop Earrings

Predates Drop Earrings
Rebecca Minkoff Feather Knuckle Duster Ring

rebecca minkoff feather knuckle duster ring
rebecca minkoff feather ring
Sam Edelman Pave Spike Pendant Necklace

sam edelman paave spike pendant necklace
Tai Stardust Earrings

tai stardust earrings
Nordstrom Oversize Crystal Statement Necklace

nordstrom oversize crystal statement necklace
Gorjana Cress Shimmer Split Ring

gorjana cress shimmer split ring
Anthropologie Luminous Feather Pendant Necklace

anthropologie luminous feather pendant neckalce
Sundance Window Box Ring

sundance window box ring
Ted Baker London Lynda Stud Earrings

ted baker london lynda stud earring
Lucina Layered Necklace

lucina layered necklace
Melinda Maria Trillion Ear Jackets

melinda maria trillion ear jackets
Kendra Scott Elisa Pendant Necklace — comes in a wide variety of colors

kendra scott elisa pendant necklace
Rebecca Minkoff Rhinestone Stud Earrings

rebecca minkoff rhinestone stud earrings
BaubleBar Canopy Crystal Drop Earrings

baublebar canopy crystal drop earrings
Starlight Climbers

starlight climbers
Madewell Dala Layering Necklace

Madewell Dala layering necklace
SonyaRenee Lee Semiprecious Stone Pendant Necklace

sonyarenee lee semiprecious stone pendant
Some of these items are already marked down on the websites, yet others may have a code you need to enter at checkout, so shop carefully. Also, act fast, as these deals won’t last long. Happy clicking!

5 Tips to Getting the Gift You Really Want

Now that the holiday frenzy has subsided, I’ve been catching up with friends — lunching, taking a hike, or whatever suits us. There have been various conversations about what they received from their significant other for Christmas/Hanukkah. Many had received a pricey piece of jewelry, yet it wasn’t what they would have necessarily picked for themselves. Now trust me, they are all very appreciative, and they were so grateful that their partner went to the effort of picking something out for them. As the old saying goes, “It’s the thought that counts.” Right? Well…yes…but why can’t there be an even better solution: the thought combined with getting what you really want? It’s a win-win situation!

No one can read your mind, so I think it’s extremely helpful to tastefully give suggestions about what you might like. I’m not talking writing, “I want an Hermes wrap watch with an orange band” in red lipstick on his bathroom mirror. Instead, here are some ideas that will give him some direction, yet still give the gift-giver room for choosing the actual item. So here goes…

1. Create a Pinterest board

Personally, I have a Pinterest board entitled “My Jewelry Lust List” where I pin things I’ve seen that make my heart race. Trust me, if I were to receive anything from this board, I’d be doing a little happy dance!

my jewelry lust list
This is a public board, so it would be a very easy place for someone to see what I’m jonesing for without having to ask me for ideas.

2. Have a Style File

Not everyone is a lover of tech, so then go old-school. I have a decorative file folder which lives prominently on my desk, and it’s chock-full of things I covet (Yes, I’m a total sinner!), from jewelry to bags to shoes.

style file
It would be oh, so easy, for someone to peek into it and see what my heart’s desire was. It’s accessible, but not too” in-your-face.”

3. Create a wish list at your favorite store

Pretty much all my fave local stores have the option for someone to create a wish list from their merchandise. Even though I’m single, I still have wish lists going at different jewelry stores. I know you’ll be so *not* surprised, but I’m always popping in shops and trying things on. Of course, my credit card does have a limit, so I can’t buy everything I love. So instead, I pop it on the list. Here’s an Arik Kastan ring that’s currently on one of my lists.

arik kastan labradorite ring
When the day comes that I’ve got someone shopping for me, he’ll be sure to know which stores I love to frequent. Then, he can stop by at his leisure to check out my list, and see if any of the items are something he’d like to give me. Again, it gives him options without being pushy. Plus, there’s still an element of surprise for the recipient.

4. Contact the wardrobe consultant

I always know it’s December when I start getting messages from my clients’ husbands. I just love it! They know that their wife and I have a very close shopping relationship, and who better than me to give them some gift suggestions for their wives? I know everything in their closet, their jewelry box, what sizes work, and what’s on their needs/wants list. Even better, I can go purchase the item, wrap it, and deliver it to the house. How much easier can it get? So if you’re someone who works with an image consultant, be sure that your partner has their contact information!

5. Tell a friend

If you were a Sex in The City devotee like me, then you’ll remember the episode where Aidan proposes to Carrie. Though Carrie thought she knew the (bad) ring she’d be getting, Aidan had the smarts to enlist the help of one of her besties, Samantha, to help pick out the (fabulous) ring that she knew would knock her socks off. (Although it annoyed me that she wore it on a necklace instead of her finger. Commitment issues, anyone?!)

Aidan and Carrie
So think about the friends you have that your significant other may go to for gift advice. This friend may even be a family member, such as your sister-in-law or mom. Keep these people in the loop with what you’d like, so they have some ideas if asked.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and jewelry is certainly a popular gift on that day, so decide what strategy may work for you, and go for it. Perhaps you even have some other clever ideas? If so, please leave them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!

And finally, if you find yourself single on Valentine’s Day (hello, Amy), then don’t despair! I always use the money I would have spent on “him” to buy myself something sparkly. There’s absolutely NO reason that I should have no boyfriend and no jewels! I can take care of myself, thank you very much.

13 Gift Ideas for Under $100

Yep, it’s true, Christmas is less than two weeks away. As you scan through your “to do” list and your stress level starts rising, don’t forget that jewelry can always make for a great gift, be it for a friend, family member, or even yourself. (You know that I’m the queen of self-gifting!!) I’ve done a little cruising through the web, and I’ve come up with 13 ideas that won’t break the bank. I hope you like them, and let me know if you have some great ideas as well!

Tai bracelet — The perfect neutral with a little sparkle that’s lovely on its own or layered.

tai moonstone station macrame bracelet, black
Jane Basch personalized bar necklace — because bar necklaces are tres hot, and who doesn’t love something personalized?

jane basch personalized bar pendant necklace

Labradorite earrings — totally versatile color in a sleek, modern design.

sundance drops of magic earrings
Hammered stack ring by Argento Vivo — get the whole stacked look in a single ring!

argento vivo hammered stack ring
Earrings by Avant Garde Paris — they look like small ear climbers, which are very on-trend, yet they aren’t over-the-top, with their smaller size and antiqued metal.

avant garde paris lidia earrings
Alexis Bittar necklace — a modified, sparkly take on the bar necklace; can be worn casually or for a fancy night out.

alexis bittar gold liquid crystal delicate cluster pendant necklace
Melinda Maria ring — total statement piece!

melinda maria mademoiselle pod ring
Kendra Scott cuff — because I think the color and iridescence of the stones are so pretty.

kendra scott arden station cuff
Jennifer Zeuner initial earrings — choose your own letters, too cute! And they come in three different metal colors.

jennifer zeuner izzy mini cursive initial post earrings
“Amadine” necklace — the mixed metals make this a super versatile piece, and it’d look great with long sweaters and tunics.

anthropologie golden amadine necklace
Gorjana cuff ring — looks like a piece of fine jewelry, right?

gorjana orbit shimmer cuff ring
Roman Coin charm bracelet — makes me want to hang out on the Riviera!

la mer collections roman coins charm bracelet
Jewelry Case — because everyone needs a way to get their gems from point A to point B!

sundance letter perfect jewelry case
I hope this list provides you with a bit of inspiration during this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Bling for Your Dog: Limitless Pawsibilities

Though I don’t have a pet, I can certainly appreciate that those who do may want their four-legged friend to sparkle like they do! Limitless Pawsibilities is a Dublin, California-based company that, “…strives to support dog owners in having a positive bond and healthy relationship with their dog through understanding, positive training, and management strategies.” Along with their training services, this month they are launching a new part of their site, which has the perfect dog tags for your pampered pooch. Here’s Echo, modeling one of the designs.

limitless pawsibilities dog tag
limitless pawsibilities dog tag
Certified dog trainer, Julee Samuli (who I’ve known since middle school) is the talent behind this new product. You can select from a variety of tag shapes, different metals, and fun stamps to really express your dog’s style.

tag shapes
design stamps
Then you can even add little decorative charms to make it even more fun.

dog tag charms
dog tag charms
There are so many choices on the site, so definitely check it out. Julee designs both single and double-sided tags. If you’re stumped on what choice to make, then Julee can come up with a “surprise me” design of her choice, and I’m sure you’ll be pleased with what arrives in your mailbox!

limitless pawsibilities dog tags
Please send me a photo of your pet wearing one of these darling tags! And if you’re looking for a unique gift for a pet-loving friend this coming holiday season, this would be ideal.


Julee Samuli and her pals
Julee Samuli and her pals


Valentine’s Day Gifts (For Yourself)

I think I may approach Valentine’s Day differently than many women. True, I don’t currently have a love in my life to share it with in the way that Hallmark intended us to, but that really doesn’t make me sad. I feel complete with myself, and I think this holiday is another perfect opportunity to gift myself with a heart-felt token…no, not chocolate (though that’s not off the table), but with jewelry of course! With the overabundance of catalogues and e-mails flooding my mailboxes, I came across many items that would definitely bring a not-so-obviously-valentine-sy smile to my heart.

The first is this heart pendant by Mizuki. The word “love” is subtly spelled out with pave diamonds. (Thanks to my friend Jen for modeling it while we were shopping at Red Bird.)

mizuki love pendant

Again, liking the subtle reference to the heart theme, I thought this bracelet by Zoe Chicco would be so cool in a big bracelet stack. Though you would know you were wearing a self-love gift, most people would just admire your bracelet collection as a whole.

zoe chicco heartlink bracelet

I know there are some of you that would rather have a more obvious sentiment. Meeting in the middle, these 14K gold hearts with white diamonds featured in the Arhaus catalogue would achieve this.

beloved diamond earrings

I adore this ring by Workhorse, and if you’re a Francophile, you undoubtedly will as well. Perfect on its own or in a creative stack, I “heart” it.

workhorse callula ring

If you want to be more incognito, then how about this cuff by Coordinates. You can have the coordinates of a special occasion engraved. This doesn’t meant it has to be where you were married or where you first fell in love, but how about where you were born or where you had some other significant event happen in your life, just for you?!

coordinates cuff

And last, but certainly not least, perhaps you are inspired by the colors associated with Valentine’s Day — from pink to red. If so, then these amazing sea glass rings by Aloha Sea Glass are just perfect.

aloha sea glass rings

I wish all of you a wonderful Valentine’s Day. May you fill it with whatever it is that makes you happiest, be it a special dinner with your love, a luxurious massage, or your favorite cocktail and a little trash TV. Cheers! xo

Repurposing Jewelry: 10 Creative Ideas

No matter what the size of your home, there’s bound to be things in it that you no longer use. This even trickles down to your jewelry box. It could be a bracelet (that’s not quite your style) you received for your birthday from a dear friend (so you can’t throw it out, right?!) or an heirloom piece that you don’t wear, but just lies unloved at the bottom of your jewelry box. Or perhaps it’s some sparkly brooches that you wore at your neck during the 80’s or a singular earring, with it’s mate lost on some trip long ago. Whatever the case may be, I’ve got a bunch of ideas for you that might give new life to those items.

Take parts of different pieces to create a new one

If you’ve got a bunch of costume brooches laying around then you might just love Martha Stewart’s idea for creating a brooch ribbon necklace. It’s a simple process, and the result is so unique.

brooch ribbon necklace

Turn unused pearl strands into a multi-strand bracelet

A client of mine did this, and it worked beautifully. She had two matching long strands of pearls that she wasn’t wearing. She used a local jeweler to re-fashion them into a multi-strand bracelet, something along the lines of this:

multi-strand pearl bracelet

The same could also be done with fresh-water strands, to create some great stacking bracelets.

cultured pearls

Use a pearl necklace to make earrings for a group

This idea came from a reader. (Thanks, Monique!) She suggested that you can take apart a pearl necklace and make earrings for each woman in the family — perfect for a significant event like a wedding. She said it, “connects everyone with a thread of beauty.” Love that! Depending on the length of the original necklace, you could likely get many pair of earrings made!

pearl drop earrings

You could even make pearl enhancers for everyone to wear on small hoop earrings.

pearl enhancers

Turn jewelry into decor

If you’ve got a piece of jewelry that you really won’t be wearing (perhaps a family heirloom?), how about framing it in a shadow box and hanging it on your wall? You could even frame various pieces in different sizes and create a montage on your dressing room wall. How girly would that be?

Framed jewelry

There’s such a wide range of frames available now, that you can get any look from sleek and modern to scrolly and vintage. I had my local frame shop frame this antique Central American crown that I found in a Santa Barbara shop. A crown is almost jewelry, right?!

framed crown

Use a brooch on an evening bag

My friend Jen is a master of this. She has quite the collections of both pins and evening bags, so she always comes up with something beautiful. Here’s one she just used during the holiday season.

brooch on clutch

I love how she pinned the brooch right into the center of the bow — great focal point.

Create unique napkin rings

My table is normally set in neutrals, so I decided to spice things up a bit for a recent dinner party. Using scraps of ribbon and some brooches from the far recesses of my jewelry box, I fashioned some creative napkin rings with a pop of color. It worked perfectly with my beige linens and white dishes.

brooches on napkin rings

Create a bridal bouquet

I’ve got to credit Pinterest with this idea. I came across so many lovely brooch bouquets while scrolling through the images!

brooch boquet

Country star Miranda Lambert even used one at her wedding to Blake Shelton.

miranda lambert's brooch boquet

Decorate a package

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the special wrapping on a package is just as memorable as the gift inside. Why not glam it up even more by affixing some jewelry to the present?

brooches on packages

Bedazzle a bottle

Decorative bottles with embellished tops have been quite popular the past few years. Why not add another dimension by adding a “necklace” of sorts? Here’s part of an old rosary around a vintage bottle with a stained glass cross.

rosary around bottle

Make a Christmas Wreath

If you’re looking for a way to make your holiday sparkle even more, then you might just love this bejeweled wreath. Better Homes and Gardens has instructions here on how to make it yourself.

christmas wreath by BHG

So what have you done to creatively repurpose jewelry? I’d love to hear all about your ideas — please send me photos too!

Jewelry Box Basics: Santa Suggestions

So how is your holiday shopping going? If you’re like most Americans (myself included), there are definitely some more gifts to buy — perhaps for others or even for yourself! (I’m still working on my boyfriend gift this year.) With that in mind and only 9 more shopping days, I’ve been scouring all the latest and greatest items in the world of jewelry. With so many stunning choices, which way to turn? Well, whomever the gift is for, don’t forget to take the recipient’s personal style into consideration.

During my 6-part series, Jewelry Box Basics, I discussed what jewelry each person should have in their jewelry box, based on their personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, minimalist, romantic, and the trendy gal. Of course, practically no one fits into one tidy box, but this still provides a framework with which to hit the jewelry store or your favorite online site. Here are some suggestions for Santa on what you might put under the Christmas tree.

The Lady Who Lunches

Pearls and studs are a mainstay for this personal style. Once you’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to branch out. Alexis Bittar is a great fit for this lady, and he recently came out with an oo-la-la fine jewelry line. I think this multi-strand pearl necklace is so unique!

Midnight Marquis necklace
Midnight Marquis necklace

Look at the detail of aquamarines, green amethysts and gold on the multiple layers of grey pearls.

alexis bittar close up

If a new pair of studs is in order this year, then I think these grey diamond slice lovelies by Sethi Couture would certainly do the trick!

Grey and white diamonds
Grey and white diamonds

The Bohemian

True, I have a strong Bohemian influence in my own personal style, so I know that adding a statement ring to the jewelry box is always a good idea. Here are a couple that have really caught my eye. First is a unique horizontal design by Jemma Wynne. I had the opportunity to try it on last week, and it looked spectacular — plus it was so comfortable to wear!

Labradorite and diamonds
Labradorite and diamonds

For an even bolder statement, I turn to one of my all-time favorite designers, Rona Pfeiffer. Take a look at this major ring!

Fan-tab-ulous diamonds!
Fan-tab-ulous diamonds!

The Rock Star

Do you have a rock star on your list? I’m sure that her jewelry box is in need of refreshing as well. And what better way to do that, than by one of the edgy ear cuffs that are hitting the market? If this is a more refined rocker, then I think this ear cuff by Repossi would be perfect.

repossi gold two ring berbere ear cuff

And if she’s into something a little more “raw,” then I recommend this one by Mania Mania.

"Vamp" ear cuff
“Vamp” ear cuff

Here’s how it looks on the ear.

Pretty cool, right?!
Pretty cool, right?!

The Minimalist

In stark contrast to the Rock Star, this personal style thrives on clean lines, and fewer choices in the jewelry box. But don’t let this scare you off — you can still find the perfect addition to make her smile. Likely, she has a pair of simple studs in her collection, so how about you give her a pair with just a small twist? This small cluster design by Jacquie Aiche is perfection.

jacquie aiche cluster earrings

A slim, low-profile ring would also be a solid (yet sparkling) choice. This band by Melissa Joy Manning is simple beauty, in white gold with black diamonds. It’s easily captivating on its own or stacked.

melissa joy manning white gold black diamond band

The Romantic

This time of year doubtless stirs up feelings of nostalgia and sweet smiles for this personal style. Since many of the pieces in her jewelry box are most certainly family heirlooms, selecting a gift with a nod to the past is wonderful. I came across this unique necklace by Ginger Peachy, made from a vintage pin centered on a rose gold chain. Love it!

ginger peachy necklace

Or how about this delicate boulder opal ring by Armenta, which is sure to become a favorite!

This will certainly be passed down for generations.
This will certainly be passed down for generations.

The Trendy Gal

There are so many jewelry trends going on right now, that this is one of the easiest personal styles to shop for. Definitely a trend on the rise, the hand chain (otherwise known as a slave bracelet) is popping up from coast to coast. Here is a clean design by Blee Inara that might delight her.

blee inara hand chain

Here’s how it looks when worn.

hand chain

Chains are appearing everywhere, and here’s a very on-trend ring by Djula that proves it.

djula ring

If “brand names” are something that she’s into, then you can’t go wrong with a bracelet by Vita Fede. There are SO many different metal colors and styles, that it’ll be tough to make a choice.

Titan rose gold and  Swarovski crystals
Titan rose gold and Swarovski crystals

I’ve seen endless permutations of stacks that incorporate them.

Stack 'em up!
Stack ’em up!

Now I know that many of the pieces in this article may not be in your shopping budget. (They certainly aren’t all in mine!) But don’t let that discourage you. It’s possible to find the “look” at a variety of price points. Just use this as a jumping-off point to find the perfect gift. I’d love to know what you find!!

Rainbow Loom

Do you know what these are? If so, you are clearly someone in the KNOW!

photo 3

When my 5 year-old nephew and almost 9 year-old niece came over for Thanksgiving, these colorful rubber bands were soon scattered around the house. But…the “jewelry aunt” could hardly be upset, as it was all for the sake of jewelry! I’ve seen kids using the Rainbow Loom
for quite some time, but this was the first time I’ve become acquainted with it first hand. I’m astounded by the cool creations that can be made. Look at what my niece cranked out just during the holiday!

photo 1

All you need is the loom and a variety of rubber bands. Here’s her kit and the loom in action.

rainbow loom kit

photo 4

Our other young Thanksgiving guest was a 4th grader, and I was so not surprised when she arrived with her kit as well. (And no, there was seriously NO pre-planning on that!)


Love the personalization!
Love the personalization!

Not to be outdone, my kindergarten nephew has learned to loom on his own two fingers. I am amazed by what he made!

rainbow loom

I was just thrilled to see the hours spent creating instead of in front of the TV or iPad. This is a hobby that I will whole-heartedly support, and I can’t wait to see what they make during the Christmas break. If you’re in need of a holiday gift for the creative kid in your life, then I highly encourage you to investigate the Rainbow Loom.

Vicente Agor’s Silhouette Jewelry

Though you may not want to admit it, the holidays are right around the corner. (Eek!) I do quite a bit of gift shopping for my clients, and I just love the silhouette jewelry I came across by San Francisco designer, Vicente Agor. He uses a photo (which you provide) and transforms it into a stunning piece of jewelry.

vicente agor silhouette jewelry

vicente agor jewlery

Available in 18K gold or sterling silver, he has a variety of designs, including cufflinks. This would be such a cool gift for a dad or grandfather!

vicente agor cufflinks

Even your pet can be immortalized and cherished for generations to come.

vicente agor pet pendant

So if you want to get a head start on your shopping and are in need of a unique, memorable gift, then contact Vicente!