Fall and Holiday Peek

Within the next few days I’ll be posting the new fall and winter/holiday collection. For my fall collection my inspiration came from the idea of simplicity, but uniqueness and how to infuse both of those ideas.  Loving the way geometric shapes look I found a way to blend into something simple with a bit different.  I’m completely addicted to things that are textured.  It gives a little edge to something that’s modern.

Copper Stacking Rings

 

As for the Holiday collection I wanted something more shimmery, but still with a little modern edge.  I decided to try out using pyrite, also know as fool’s gold.  It has such a shimmer to it that I love, plus I think it looks great against the antique brushed brass.

Pyrite Chain Ring

Liebster Award…My Nominees Are…

Liebster Award First I want to thank beautywiththeblogger for nominating me for a Liebster :)  Go follow her blog! RULES:

  1. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you will post.
  3. Choose 11 new blogs with under 200 followers for their Liebster Award, notify them that they have been nominated, and think of 11 questions for them to answer!

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I’m organized when it comes to everything except for my digital life (emails, memory sticks, cloud storage…it’s a mess–I’m working on it though)
  2. If you’ve given me a card at any point in my 34 years of existence for my Birthday I still have it..I save ALL my cards.
  3. I love dark chocolate, wine, almonds and avocados.
  4. I’m a tea and coffee drinker…love the smell of fresh brewing coffee.
  5. My sister and I have the same birthday- 4/11 (no we aren’t twins).
  6. Not a morning person and very much a night owl—I like quiet mornings, however, that’s a little hard in a household of 5 plus 2 dogs.
  7. Good listener when others need to talk and I’ll even help you find solutions to your issue.
  8. I’m pretty easy going, but it’s a pet peeve of mine when people waste my time.
  9. Still learning a lot things when it comes to my spiritual journey–but hey aren’t we all?!
  10. I’ve discovered how much I love audio books on my daily commutes–thanks to Audible.
  11. I speak to my mom every single day.

 

Questions from BeautyWithTheBlogger

1) What has been your Summer go to fotd?

LOL..this could either mean Face Of The Day or Food Of The Day–I’ll answer both.  Natural, moisturized with a light colored lipstick and maybe a little mascara, for “food” fruits (berries or mangoes)

2)Do you wear your hair more up or down this season?

It’s down during the day and by evening when it’s gym time it goes up.

3) Who is your favorite blogger?

I have so many that it’s hard to pick, my top 3 are Design Sponge, Designing An MBA and I Spy DIY

4) Are you Happy you followed my blog? Lol

Yes!  You are so cute!

5) Do you enjoy blogging more than any other social network or not really ?

I have my days.  I use to try and post something everyday and then I decided to scale back and post quality content over quantity.

6) What is your favorite song?

Once again I have one too many.  New school Nico & Vinz–Am I Wrong, Old School Sade–Smooth Operator

7) What is something you always wanted to do but never did?

Visit Africa–I still have time to do this though.

8) DID YOU SEE PRETTY LITTLE LIARS TONIGHT

I didn’t actually, but my husband has been telling me that it’s a pretty good show.

9) What’s your day to day skincare routine?

I use to be a product junkie (maybe I still am), but I discovered Om Botanical products at a Health Foods fair and it’s been one of the best products I’ve used to date. It’s all in one cleanser, toner and exfoliator are great I do a facial steam and mask once a week.

10) What do you like to do most in the summer ?

Beach and pool–although I haven’t gotten a chance to do either one since summer started :(

11) Are you having a good day? I hope so

Every day God wakes me up and allows me to experience is a good one I’ve come to realize.  I have my health, family and friends–everything else is meaningless without those 3 components.  Life isn’t always going to be easy, but I’ve learn to find happiness in something each day- my 100 Days of Happy on Day 31 so far.

I NOMINATE THE FOLLOWING BLOGS:

Milk Baby Love

Beauty on a Beer Budget

Anna Amelie

Picky Little Peach

The Wandering Sheppard

Single Mama, One Income

Say No To Food Waste

Style Observatory

The Future Dub Project

Jewels & Jules

The Foolish C.E.O.

I’m LOVING the names of these blogs I nominated!

 

11 Questions to Answer

1. What’s your main reason for blogging?

2. iPhone or Samsung or Neither

3. What’s your ultimate favorite vacation spot?

4. What book do you recommend I read next?

5. What’s your favorite summer cocktail (it can be virgin or not..your choice)?

6. What food do you like to eat while sipping on your favorite cocktail?

7. What’s your favorite accessory or jewelry piece to wear?

8. What’s your favorite holiday?

9.  Morning riser or Night Owl?

10. Social Butterfly or “Please Don’t Talk to Me”

11.  What’s your pet peeve?

 

Make It Monday: Stylish and Chic Keychain

Welcome to Make It Monday. Today’s video is a simple project that you can do in 5 minutes or less.  If you are like me and have excess beads laying around from previous projects, here’s a great DIY idea.  These cute keychains  can make great party favor gifts or even a project with your little one.  Enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to our list for more videos!

Make It Monday: Rum Raisin Ice Cream

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

I love ice cream during the summer.  A couple of years ago my husband discovered harmful ingredients that are added to store bought ice cream.  That’s when we decided to invest in an ice cream maker and started to mix up our own recipes.  I don’t know about you, but the ingredients in ice cream should be simple and when I see ingredients like corn syrup and carrageenan it worries me.

I absolutely love rum raisin ice cream and I wanted to try a version using coconut milk.  The result was TASTY.  You couldn’t even tell it was made from coconut milk and it was very simple to make and it happens to be paleo (that was just by chance).  Here’s the recipe I used:

 

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

1 can of full fat coconut milk

3/4 cup coconut sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 – 3/4 cup of raisin (I like mine with a lot so I used 3/4 cup)

1/4 cup of rum

 

1. Soak raisins in rum for 2 hours or overnight if you like.  You may need to add a little more rum to ensure all the raisins are covered.

2.  In a small sauce pan pour the can of coconut milk and stir in coconut sugar over low heat.  Add the vanilla extract.

3.  Beat the egg yolk and slowly add that to the coconut milk mixture while stirring slowly.  If mixture begins to curdle a bit, don’t worry you can strain it when the mixture cools.

4.  Allow the mixture to cool and pour into a heatproof bowl.  Add only the raisins from the rum soaked mixture.

5. Cover mixture and put in refrigerator to cool for at least 4 hours or even overnight.

6.  Pour mixture into ice cream maker using the ice cream maker’s directions.

7.  Once ice cream mixes.  Pour it into a metal pan or plastic container an line top with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour.

8.  Time to enjoy your ice cream!

 

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Business Story & Advice Series: Is This The Right Opportunity For Me?

 

Business Advice Post

Picture this, you’ve waited for a great one to come along and it finally presents itself-or so you “think” it does.  We’ve all been here at some point in time where we’ve jumped on an opportunity that seemed so right only to find out what have I gotten myself into.  It is okay, we’re human we make mistakes and we brush ourselves off and get back at it.  I was communicating with my cousin the other day and she said something remarkably true, she said “Unfortunately, the rough times grow us so much (I wish we could always be on the mountain top).  Keep up the good attitude…God will bless you and use some of the things during this time later for your benefit and others.”  The truth is whatever opportunity you jump into, your attitude matters.

I’m going to share a personal business related story with you.  As you know I’m a jewelry designer and I create all my creations with my two hands.  A few years going I was exploring different options to distribute my designs, in a nutshell I was looking for other channels besides for the current ones I was using, which include Etsy and various shows.  I came across a particular company that was very new at the time, they had just launched themselves.  I reached out to them and they reviewed my work, said I looked like a perfect fit for their demographic and price point and that they would love to have me as a seller on their site (**Happy Dance**).  I did some of my own research which included things like, who were their current merchants, looked up some reviews, and their online reach.  There was one thing I was hesitant about, and that was they seemed to have many merchants who were selling a lot of commercially massed produced items at a relatively inexpensive price, particularly jewelry.  Jewelry is one of the most saturated markets for sellers and buyers.   However, the story behind handmade jewelry designers and one who purchases and resells is completely different and so are the price points and customer service policies.

After thinking about it I decided I’m going to shoot for it, what do I have to lose?  The first few months were great, my sales were up.  There was a requirement to being a seller on this site and that was you needed to have discounted sales on your items at least once a month.  I managed to do these sales where I was still able to make a decent profit and fill the requirement.  They advertised my sales on the homepage of their site—it was going great.

Holiday season was beginning to roll around and this particular company wanted all the merchants to do a Holiday sale.  No biggie for me I do this every year.  This particular year I came out with cool metal jewelry, which was new for me and the price was a little higher because creating those pieces were labor intensive.  I set up a sale and was ready to go.  That’s when I received an email from one of the account executives at this company asking if I can adjust my prices some more.  Now when it comes to handmade goods and creative entrepreneurs, we CRINGE at the word “discount.” Discounting your items too often question its value in the eyes of the customer.  That’s not to say it’s not good to have a sale every now and then, but it should only be “every now and then.”  I cringed, but obliged and knocked off a few more dollars.  Here’s where the fan hit the ceiling, I received a phone call from the executive.  She explained to me while my items are beautiful, their “demographic” wants items that are a little less priced.  She said the idea is to sell more quantities even though you’ll only make X amount (ah excuse me Miss I have an MBA—no need to explain “business” to me).   I told her well I’m not discounting this collection anymore, this devalues my work and that I’m looking to build a roster of quality customers not just one off customers.  I didn’t tell her this, but truth be told having a sale didn’t make much of difference for me.  I found over the years that I’ve had more sales when I didn’t discount my items than when I did—I have stats to prove this.  I told her, “I’ll do us both a favor, how about I remove this entire collection and replace it with some stud beaded earrings for around $15, how does that sound?” (**Silence**) She eventually said okay that was fine and that’s exactly what I did.  To add to this wonderful experience, my holiday sales via their site were from my regular customers who normally purchase via my Etsy site.  In a nutshell, I didn’t receive any new customers as a result of this.

Months later I began to notice they started adding much more merchants, which was awesome for them that meant more sales—for them.  What it meant for us merchants, especially jewelry was you had handmade vs. mass produced, so obviously customers shopping  there didn’t care whether an item was handmade or not they just want trendy items at a deeply discounted prices.  Now I have no issue with this, but when this business model doesn’t fit the one I’m trying to execute that’s when it’s a problem for me.  I began to see the decline in my sales as a result and it left me no choice, but to discontinue my relationship with this company.

I never walk away from opportunity without assessing the issues and here’s what I took away and hopefully you can use this advice in your own business or even planning your own career.

  1. Never “jump” at an opportunity without taking time to weigh the pros/cons.  It may seem like the thing to do because you’ve been “waiting” for it, but don’t disregard your own goals by accepting this opportunity.
  2. Remember what your ultimate goal is and ask yourself how this opportunity aligns with that goal.
  3. Have an exit strategy, just in case.  If this opportunity goes south, how can I exit and mitigate my losses?
  4. Set benchmarks and KPIs (key performance indicators).  Ask yourself “How will I measure my success by taking this opportunity?”
  5. Keep a good attitude, even if things go south.  Learn from it and move on.

I hope you find my story helpful.   Have any similar ones? Please share in the comments section and be sure to subscribe to my list.

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday: Outdoor Living With Pallets Series – Part 3

Patio Furniture 1

 

Pallet Patio Furniture

I missed posting this yesterday.  Do you ever get interrupted every time you sit down to do something?  That’s exactly what happened yesterday,  so I’m calling this one Tutorial Tuesday.  The wait is now over, you finally get to see the finish product of the Outdoor Living series.  I’m sure I’ll add more little things later on, but for now it’s done.  I decided to go  with a grey, turquoise and yellow color theme and a splash of berry.  So here goes, I’ve broken down my mini projects so you can have an overview of what the process was for each one.  Overall the cost for this look only costed me $86 total!

 

PILLOWS

4 pillows size 20 in x 28 in

2 small pillows 14 in x 14 in

40 plastic grocery bags

1 sponge

fabric paint

scissors

Sewing Machine or Liquid Stitch

 

Small Pillows

Painted small pillows 1

The first thing I did was cut a sponge into a leaf shape (it bounces off the leaf textile for the bigger pillows), and using turquoise paint I dabbed the paint onto a pillow case that I made from plain yellow fabric and allowed it to dry over night.

Painted Pillows 2

I ended up making 4 pillows, 2 with actual pillows as inserts and since I refused to trek it to Ikea for two more I used a good trick my sister in law taught me and stuffed the cases with recycled grocery store plastic bags.

 

Large Pillows

Since this was a very budget project and like I said previously I didn’t feel like going to Ikea, I bought some regular bed pillows (4 to be exact) and found a pretty print leaf fabric at Joann’s Fabric for 50% off per yard and pulled out my sewing machine.  I just did a very basic simple stitch and sewed 2 pillow cases.  You could even do this using Liquid Stitch fabric glue.

DIY Patio Pillows for Outdoors

 

DECOR ACCESSORIES

Canvas Pictures

2 Canvases

Fabric Remnants

Staple gun

Scissors

If you want a quick way to brighten up your space, this technique is so simple and can be done in less than 20 minutes.  I was lucky enough to have canvases around the house and just used the leftover fabric from the pillows.  As a matter of fact I did this project while watching a World Cup match ;)

Just measure out the fabric so that it matches the measurements of your canvas.  It maybe easier to just lay the canvas on top of the fabric and just cut around the canvas leaving about an 1 inch of fabric from the border of the canvas.  Then using your staple gun fold the fabric to the wooden part of the canvas and staple away until the entire canvas is covered with the fabric.  On the yellow canvas I trimmed out the leaf pattern and glued it to the canvas and used Little Model A‘s stamp set to stamp an inspirational saying.

DIY Fabric Covered Canvas

 

Candle Cans

Tin cans

Spray paint

Acrylic paint

We eat a lot of beans in our house, so we have tons of cans leftover.  I did see a neat DIY on Pinterest where you punch holes into the cans to create a nice illuminating effect.  However, in my attempt to do that it was taking quite a long time and I didn’t really want to end up in the ER for trying to punch holes into cans.  I ended up  just giving them a nice coat of light gold spray paint and painted the words “RELAX” in turquoise.  I even put tea lights inside the cans and lit them and the low lighting was very pretty.

DIY Illuminating Can Candles 1

 

Painted Wine Bottles

Wine bottle

Acrylic paint

Chalk paint

Since I’m a wine lover, we also have lots of wine bottles that I use for decor around the house.  I figured why not give it a splash of yellow paint and use my chalk paint on the front label.  Another super quick and inexpensive idea and Aiden likes the chalk idea so it’s a super plus.

Wine Bottle Decor 1

Well my summer Outdoor Living space is off to a good start, I’ve sat outside at least 4 times since I completed it. I hope you enjoy the mini tutorials.  Please feel free to subscribe to my list and blog for more posts just like this.