Perfect Pearls

Pearls… the classic piece  that ought to be found in every proper girl’s jewelry box.  Pearls can be used to dress up or down, they match nearly everything, and they are the perfect classic accent when you want to feel either sophisticated OR fun.  They can be conservative, sexy, understated, or bold.  In short, pearls are the best accessory!

Please keep in mind that pearls, as is the case with most things worth keeping, are quite expensive.  However, it is entirely possible to own pearls for everyday wear that are much less costly.  Honestly, one of my favorite pearl necklaces cost about $18 at Claire’s.  Obviously, those aren’t REAL pearls, but who cares?  They get the job done, and I don’t have to be concerned about them breaking or losing them.  I do think that every woman should strive to own a real set of pearls as an adult, but I think it is perfectly acceptable to wear the less expensive substitutes in the meantime!

Pearls are one of the single most classic accessories a girl can sport.  Every time I wear them, I feel instantly more sophisticated and put-together.  Though probably not the best match for sweats at home, pearls can match just about everything else.  They come in different colors, strands of different lengths, bracelets, earrings, and are being paired in jewelry with different styles of late.  I’ve collected some photos that I think show the versatility of pearls while also showcasing some of my favorite looks!  Hope you enjoy, and please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments, too!

Strands of different length
It doesn’t get any more classy!
Amazing pearl and lace DIY bracelet! (Click the photo to link to the tutorial!)
Chanel + Pearls = Perfection
Pearls… the perfect accessory for a wedding gown!
Love pearls!
Pearls come in a variety of shades… these are just a few!
Pearls can be sexy, too
Pearls are not just for jewelry! Blair Waldorf turns them into a perfect headband!
Mixed materials
Pearl chandelier!

Triumvirate of Heels

One of my favorite brands of heels is Nina.  I have found them to be affordable, comfortable, and cute… which is a rare triumvirate!  Here are my two favorite pairs, in addition to one I’ve had my eye on.

Nina Gretel Evening Sandal in Black

These were my first pair of Nina shoes and they have lasted me almost 5 years now!  I can actually stand in them for hours, which is a pretty big deal for me and heels.  That may be a little on the “party shoe” side, but I have found that they can work with a more low key outfit, too.  I chose them initially because i loved the cool crossover pattern and the bit of bling, but I’ve kept them as a staple because they are so comfortable and versatile!

Nina Evelixa in Red

I was in the market for some sexy red heels, and I ran across a pair of these at Ross on sale for only $25!  They had a little mark on the side (I’m assuming that’s why they were at Ross), but it was barely noticeable.  I am in love with these shoes!  The heel isn’t too high, so like the black ones above, I can actually wear them without wanting to cry or consider going barefoot in public.  I wore them to my family’s “Holiday Chic” party this past winter… they were perfect!

I’ve gotten tons of compliments on both pairs.  I think that’s partly because they’re completely adorable, but also because I have actually been able to wear them in public more than once.  I don’t generally do very well in heels, so the fact that I’ve been able to wear these many times and enjoy them speaks volumes.

Because I have loved both so much, I’ve been considering these for my wedding shoes! (Assuming I can’t make the Louboutins from my previous post, The Perfect Heels, work out… le sigh.)

Nina Electra in White Luster Satin

I love them!  I’m pretty sure they’ll be comfortable based on my past experience, they’re classy, classic, and feminine (I love the bow!), and they won’t be tempted to slide off my heel because of the strap around the ankle (one of my favorite parts about the “Gretel”).  The trouble is that I won’t actually be getting married for at least three years (we’re waiting until after law school), and I haven’t even begun to pick a dress or venue.  Chances are that by that time, I’ll have either changed my mind or these will no longer be in stock anywhere, but we’ll see!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share with you a brand that I have thoroughly enjoyed and found practical.  I hope that you will share with me your favorite brands and styles, too!  Please leave a comment with your go-to brand!

Four Year Anniversary

Today marks not just free slurpee day (haha, 7/11 is so clever!), but my fiance’s and my four year anniversary! I am so thankful to have spent the last four years with such a wonderful man who makes me a better, happier person.

In light of this, I wanted to share a Bible verse that has always meant quite a lot to me and captures the spirit of love.  Hope you enjoy!

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.   And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.   If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.   It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.   Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.   As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.   For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.   When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.   When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.   Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Fun Frames

Ever have an occasion (birthday, Christmas, congratulations, etc.) for which you need a gift for someone… but have NO idea what to get them?  Sure, you care about them enough to give a gift, but maybe not to spend a fortune on it.  Or maybe you just enjoy crafting, like I do!

One of my favorite gifts to give is picture frames.  I try to never give anyone an empty frame.  I usually try to find a photo that is related to the occasion in some way (ie. using a photo of the couple in an engagement gift) or include a carefully written or prettily typed quote.  Of course, the recipient can always put whatever he/she wants into the frame later, but I think it’s nice to give them something that’s already ready to go.

There are different ways to go about this, depending on your level of skill and enjoyment with crafting, your budget, time constraints, etc.  Here are a couple of examples:

Crafty Frame:

I made this frame for a friend’s engagement gift.  I took a plain wooden frame (I found it at Michael’s, but you can get them at just about any craft store, Wal Mart, etc.) and painted the edges white and the main front blue.  I used some of my favorite scrapbooking stuff to decorate the frame, including alpha stickers, 3-D decorations, sticky rhinestones, and rub-ons (on the bottom left).  I also bought wooden letters to spell “love”, painted them, and stuck them on with a hot glue gun.  I chose a photo that I found on her facebook page of her new fiancé  proposing.  She LOVED the frame and it still adorns her office nearly two years later!  The total cost to make the frame was about $5-7, but I admit that I did already have some of the decorations, the paint, and other supplies.  It may have been inexpensive, but she definitely appreciated the time and personalization that went into the gift.

Photo Collage Frame:

I was going to a wedding, and the bride and groom had this photo frame on their registry.  Rather than just sticking an empty frame in a gift bag and calling it a day, I filled the frame with photos of the couple and put their wedding invitation in the center spot.  They LOVED it!  It was a great way to give them something on their registry but personalize it to make it a bit more special.  Plus, I figure every married couple is getting tons of things to set up their home, and this one was ready to hang!

 

These are only a couple of examples, but I hope it’s a good start to convey the idea.  If anyone is interested, I’d be more than happy to do a “part 2” post later and share some others.  Or, if you have any “perfect gift” ideas you’d like to share, please leave a comment… I’d love to hear!

The Perfect Heels

Ever since I read Lauren Conrad’s book Style, I have been obsessed with her “perfect” black pumps.  As far as I can tell, they are the best pair of every-occasion heels I have ever seen.  I would have agreed that they’re perfect… except the price.  I refuse to even go try them on because if they fit and were as comfortable as LC claims, I’d be seriously tempted to spend the nearly $800 to make them mine.

Christian Louboutin’s Bibi Black Suede Pumps

You can find more info at Christian Louboutin’s site here.  What, you already have black heels you love? Oh don’t worry.  They come in tons of colors and you don’t have to have suede.

Of course, in my endless search to find these on sale (it’s been unsuccessful so far), I’ve become obsessed with not only these, but Louboutins in general.  That man is a genius!  There are definitely some styles that are totally over the top, but there are tons that I adore.  I made an entire board for “Loubis” on Pinterest, in fact, so that I could enjoy their spendor all the time.  Here are just a few examples…

Louboutin wedding shoes?!? YES PLEASE!  They are so elegant and pretty! If I spend less on the dress, does that mean I can have these?

Not my usual style, but I like them!  The color is awesome and the cris-cross design is captivating.

I can’t imagine spending nearly $800 on any pair of shoes, and certainly not any I couldn’t wear EVERY day.  But these are just so pretty!  I love that they’re lavender!

Also part of the logo for the TV show Harry’s Law, these are amazing.  The fact that the peep toe is RED is so sexy!  Can you say “party time?”

Of course, these are only a few of my favorites.  If you have any Loubis you love, please post a comment and let me know!  I’m always anxious to see more!  If you’ve ever owned a pair, please tell me they’re horrible so I’m no longer tempted! 😉  Hahaha… I probably won’t believe you anyway, so please feel free to rate them honestly!