Serotonin Boosters

Jul 19, 2022

 I am reading this fab book at the moment, called Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee.



Initially when I bought it, I thought it was a mind-set book, but in fact it is more about just seeing the beauty where you are, and how you can improve/change that.


One of the things the author talks about is the impact of colour.

"............it was clear that the liveliest places and objects all have one thing in common;

bright vivid colour.........it almost seems as if the more intense the colours, the more intense the joy."


She then goes on to write how it is nearly impossible to separate colour and feelings and how children feel this connection intuitively. Think about how pre-school children get so excited with books, pictures and toys that are brightly coloured.

I truly believe there is something in this. 

Altho' I don't wear very bright clothes (I am getting braver though), I do love me some bright accessories.

Here are some I hope will give you a serious serotonin boost .


rainbow_gemstone_stacking_rings
                                               Somewhere Over The Rainbow stacking rings



Casual by day. Glam by night. Here



Unique_coloured_gemstone_gold_rings






                                                                  Or match with the earrings here





Gold_turquoise_hammered_goddess_cuff

More Goddess cuffs here





Matching ring? This one worn by the lovely Tamera Beardsley



Close up of above ring. Here.



So there you have it. Some of my colour love pieces which I hope will give you a serotonin boost when you most need it.

Do let me know your thoughts on wearing colour.
Are you brave when it comes to wearing colour or are you like me and tend to keep it more for accessories? 
Do tell me in the comments. As you know I love hearing from you.


Wishing you a lovely week and end to July
xxxxxxx


Turquoise; The Colour Of Summer

Jun 6, 2022

 For me nothing makes me think of sunnier days like a little Turquoise (and I need this right now, as it hasn't stopped raining here in the UK; enough to look up how to build an ark!)

Anyway, Turquoise with some gold metal work worn with some crisp white linen smacks of classy gorgeousness for me.

That's the thing with Turquoise, you can use it every day with casual attire, or dress it up in the evening with a gorgeous black number. 







Either way it can look fabulous with/without looking like Cher in a throwback to the 70's (whatever is your thing).


However, I would say, just go for one beautiful, stand-out  statement piece. 

But then, what the hell do I know? LOL





turquoise gemstone gold hammered statement cuff




turquoise gemstone gold hammered statement cuff

here


Sometimes you might want to wear something more under-stated. But with its strong colour presence Turquoise can still make a delicate statement.

turquoise crystal gemstone leaf-inspired stud earrings


A matching ring could also elevate a formal or casual outfit. Both of these look fab with just a plain white tee and jeans! 

turquoise crystal gemstone leaf-inspired, statement  ring

Ring  here


Someone who really knows how to rock Turquoise is the lovely Tamera Beardsley

I just love how she puts pieces together (see below on her trip to Marfa, Texas).

I just wish she would come to the UK to dress me everyday!

turquoise gemstone, gold,  statement, cocktail ring


turquoise gemstone, gold,  statement, cocktail ring


Here are some facts about Turquoise you "may" not have known:

i) Turquoise is a powerful stone for protection. It increases inner calmness and eases depression, anxiety and exhaustion

ii) it is the stone that strengthens female energies

iii) it is a stone for friendship and true love (who knew!?)

iv) it's a powerful stone that stimulates intuition

v) it's especially calming if you have to do public speaking

vi) it's a stone that strengthens the immune system.

vii) great for soothing headaches 

viii) when given as a gift it is said to bring prosperity and happiness to the recipient.

ix) it's a  great stone for using when meditating.


So  there you have it! 

A few reasons why Turquoise may become your new plus one this Summer!

I would love to know if  Turquoise is a stone you like or that you may start incorporating in your life/wardrobe in some way.

Until next time.

xxxxxx







Do You Know The Difference Between Your Golds?

May 3, 2022


hand showing double band gold statement ring

Hello friends! I am back. It's been so long. 

And I am back with some questions I get asked by my customers all the time; what is the difference between gold-plated, gold vermeil and gold-filled jewellery? 

So I am going to break it down for you in the simplest of terms in the hope that it will help you when you come to choosing your pieces.


WHAT IS GOLD PLATING?

Jewellery that is gold-plated  basically has a thin layer of gold placed over a base metal such as copper or brass.

Gold plating is a way of creating affordable jewellery by using a less expensive base metal. Therefore it allows for a cheaper production process whilst still achieving the lustre of gold.




Is Gold-Plating Real Gold?

Gold plated jewellery is still made/created using real gold. So even though it is
combined with a base metal, the gold layer is still real gold.

However, for a piece to be labelled as "gold-plated", the layer of gold must be equal to
or greater than 0.5 microns (and you will see on my product descriptions I often list how many microns of gold the piece contains).





WHAT IS GOLD VERMEIL?

Gold vermeil is similar to gold-plating with some key differences.

It is made in a very similar way as gold-plating but the gold layer must be above 2.5 microns.


gold vermeil sunflower inspired stud earrings
here


How Long Does Gold Vermeil Last?

Due to the thicker nature of the layer of gold, gold vermeil is a slightly more durable option than gold-plating, especially for every day pieces.

However, it is still recommended that you keep your pieces clean, away from harsh soaps and perfumes etc and NEVER shower with your pieces (Yes!!! I know many women who shower with everything on). But I will share some tips for cleaning your pieces etc in a further blog post.




GOLD VERMEIL VS GOLD FILLED.

Despite it's name, gold-filled is also referred to in the industry as "rolled gold" also.

It is similar to gold-plating in that a less expensive base metal is used (such as copper or brass). However, with gold-filled jewellery the base metal is then covered in gold sheets which are bonded together using a heat process. Once the heating process is completed you are left with a thick layer of gold on the piece. 

This thick layer of gold usually constitutes 5% of the jewellery pieces total weight. 
As a comparison, gold-plated jewellery usually consists of less than 0.05% of its weight in gold.

So there you have it, a quick run down of the differences in the various gold labels you may come across when you are buying jewellery.

In a further post I will go through the best, quick and easy methods for keeping these metals in their best condition.

flower-inspired, long dangle, gold vermeil earrings

here



BRIGHTER DAYS ARE AHEAD

Mar 4, 2021

If you live in the UK as I do, things are looking a "little" brighter.
I am  trying not to get too excited at this point. 
But I feel ready to escape the grey.


I still can't believe it is nearly a year since this craziness all began.
What a year!
We learnt to Zoom.
We learnt to dress the top half of  our bodies without giving away 
what was really going on under the desk LOL
We put on lipstick.
We ditched the lipstick.
We put on  fancy dresses.
We ditched them for loungewear.
We forgot how to walk in heels (at least I did).
I wore a mask more than I wore a bra!!!

Charm necklaces here


Our bags became like little first-aid kits;
Masks? Check.
Hand sanitiser? Check.
Extra masks because the Hubby will lose or forget his? Check.
Rubber gloves for the supermarket? Check






We finally nailed loungewear without looking like we just rolled
out of bed.
We started to really appreciate the most important professions.....like our hairdresser.

You Tube became my new friend as I tried to trim my own hair before I started to
scare the neighbours small children and pets!

It's been such a rollercoaster. But maybe we are slowly getting
ready for some colour.
Maybe we will re-discover the joy of getting dressed up.


Choker here


Maybe we are starting to think of Spring and pretty pastels.
Maybe we are ready to escape the grey.
Maybe we are looking forward to "real" parties and not Zoom parties
(I am SO over this Zoom malarkey!)
Maybe we are scared to admit we loved lockdown and don't want
to go back to how everything was before.


Earrings here


Maybe we are starting to realise that there's no saving anything for best.
No saving for far-flung adventures or places.
Maybe we've realised that everyday can be our runway (supermarket aisle
if you are that way inclined). 


Maybe we are realising that we should dress in a way that makes us smile every day
Maybe we are daring to dream again.

Maybe we are reminiscing of adventures past.

Maybe we are dreaming of trips to come.
They will come. We just need to remember that.

Maybe we are ready for colour again.

The gorgeous Tamera wearing this ring 


Maybe we are finally on our way out of this very long tunnel.
We don't know exactly when, but hope is keeping us going.

Continue to stay safe.

Van
xxxxx

The Books That Kept Me Sane During 2020

Dec 31, 2020

 I am a voracious reader. But this year more than any other in my life, I realised just how much books/reading meant to me. I needed them for comfort, solace and inspiration.  



I wish I could say I have listed my favourite fiction books below, but I haven't, as I rarely read fiction (but  is something I want to embrace more in 2021). At the start of lockdown my intention was to read travel memoirs and travel fiction. But as you will see below that didn't happen.

So I have only listed non-fiction books below; the books that really helped me get through this "annus horribilis"




Life's Amazing Secrets ~ Gaur Gopal Das 

I only recently found this book having discovered this monk's You Tube channel. His short little videos are amazing; nothing too heavy but enough to get you thinking throughout the day. Likewise, this is exactly what his book is like. Nothing heavy. It's about a conversation with a rich friend as they are stuck in Mumbai's traffic. He distils his experiences and lessons about life in a really light-hearted, thought provoking way that will help you align with the life you want to live. 


 Ikigai ~ Hector Garcia

Ikigai is the Japanese word for a reason to live. When I lost someone very close to me from covid, I could feel myself going slowly into the quicksand of hopelessness, and this book helped pull me out. I also listen to this regularly on Audible.


Thriving Through Uncertainty ~ Tama Kieves

I love this writer. A former Harvard lawyer turned spiritual life coach. What more could I need during a pandemic?  But in this book Tama proves that the moment your plans fall apart is precisely when your true destiny begins. With her guidance you can take hold of the blessings and hidden opportunities within uncertain transitional periods and begin to move forward. 


Fear ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Renowned Zen master and Buddhist monk explores the origins of fear and offers detailed practises on how to deal with its often toxic presence in our lives. It's a book to be savoured and read a little bit each day (or at least that was how it worked for me; I read  a chapter before bed as a way of clearing all the debris from my mind that had gathered during the course of the day). It's not an easy read, but a worthwhile endeavour.


Unmeasured Strength ~ Lauren Manning

Sometimes when you are having a "pity party" it's great to read about those that have overcome so much worse, and this biography is one such book that kicked me back into reality. It is the story of Lauren Manning who was literally burned alive in the 9/11 attacks. But it is not a morbid read. It's a book of hope, triumph and the body's will to stay in this world.


Into The Magic Shop ~ James Doty

This book reads like a fictional story but it is in fact a Neurosurgeon's memoir on how he was taught about mindfulness and compassion. He examines the science behind mindfulness and why the skills he learned now help him to think fast and stay calm in the operating theatre, He shows us what is possible when you start to change your brain and heart. I loved this book so much being a Neuroscience "nerd". But I think anyone can pick this book up and glean so much from it. 


Happiness Becomes You ~ Tina Turner

Buddhism has been a central part of Tina Turner’s life for decades. Drawing from the lessons of her own experiences–from rising out of adversity to stratospheric heights–Tina shows how the spiritual lessons of Buddhism helped her transform from sorrow, adversity, and poverty into joy, stability, and prosperity. I am loving this book SO much that I am also listening to it on Audible. It's a book that made me feel anything was possible; any obstacle could be overcome and always leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling of optimism and joy.


The 5 Love Languages ~ Gary Chapman

I first read this book back in 1996 just before getting married (I think I saw Dr Gary Chapman on Oprah), and can fully understand why it has been on the NY Best-sellers list for 8 years and has sold 11 MILLION copies.

I knew that lockdown was going to be testing for any relationship even though my Husband and I rarely argue.  Altho' my Husband and I are used to being/working together all the time, I also knew this time was going to be very different. This book gave me the marriage I wanted 25 years ago before I walked down the aisle, and is still as powerful now. There are also editions for singletons and children.  It really works!!


The Joy Of Movement ~ Dr Kelly McGonigal

Dr McGonigal shows how movement is intertwined with some of the most basic human joys and why it is a powerful antidote to the modern epidemics of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. She illustrates her findings with stories of people who have found fulfilment and belonging through activities like running, walking, dancing, swimming and weightlifting. Her examples span the globe, from a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania, to a dance class at Juilliard for people with Parkinson's disease, to volunteers in London combining fitness and community service, athletes pushing the limits of human endure with races in the wilderness. The result is a revolutionary narrative that goes beyond familiar arguments in favour of exercise, and highlights the human capacity for hope, cooperation, and self-transcendence, complete with guidance on how readers can harness the power of movement in their own lives and communities.

I loved this book and again listened on Audible also. I needed this during 2020 because exercise/working out is not something I automatically want to do. I am not a gym-bunny. I will always choose something else rather than working out. Even the ironing!!!  But this book motivated me daily to keep moving. The stories were just so inspiring that I felt I just couldn't not give my body the daily movement it deserved, even whilst in lockdown.


So there you have it! Some of my favourite books of 2020-a year like no other. I hope it gives you some ideas for your next pick, and maybe a book you would have never otherwise considered.




Here's wishing us ALL a better 2021, and I will see you on the other side.


Van

xxxxxxxx


I Wish For You............

Dec 16, 2020

 

OMG!! Where do I start this year?

I am not sure I even have enough words to wish you 

the best of everything after the year we have all had.

I will write at the end of the year some posts on what this year has taught me,

and also the books that got me through 2020.

But is this madness even finished? I doubt it.



Nonetheless, I am going to pretend we are all going to have a 

"normal-ish" Christmas and with that in mind, here is what I wish for you.


I wish for you:-

*the joy of being with loved ones, even if that means just one person this year.

* the solace of being safe at home. I sincerely hope you have a sanctuary. 

One thing I learned this year was that my home is my sanctuary. 

I  found so much solace in being home and having a beautiful space, consciously

created longe before the pandemic hit, but appreciated more than ever.




* the joy of meals being thrown together in the aftermath of the

big day, as you give up trying to channel Nigella.

*the joy of pj's now becoming your normal daywear (be careful what

you wish for, as they say).



*the joy of being, not doing

*belly laughs

*old school board games with lots of screaming and cheating ;-)

* screen down-time

*quiet moments of reflection, and

* your favourite Christmas films with cocktail in hand.



But more than anything I would like to thank you for 

the joy you give me as you accompany me in this humble space I call 
my blog. I am not a writer and sometimes find it difficult to come up with anything of value.

In fact most days I can't even think of words to string 
a sentence together .

So I appreciate every single one of you who make time to visit. 

I know how "time-starved" we all are, and what a difficult year this has been, 
so it means even more to me to think I have people even reading my ramblings ;-)

Thank you SO much.
xxxx




Sparkle Gift Guide 2020

Nov 19, 2020


So here we are talking about Christmas again!

How did we get here?

My mind is still in March when I celebrated my birthday 

and then suddenly the world combusted.



But not wanting to sound like the Grinch, I am giving you some ideas on what

sparkles may make good gifts this year. 

Or maybe you've had such a bad year you just want to treat yourself. 

I hear you girl! 

Anyway here goes. 



Shop all stacking jewellery here






All nature-inspired sparkles are here









Colourful pieces here







Long dangle earrings here


So there you have it. Some of my fave picks for gifts for you, or for someone special.

Either way. We all deserve some sparkle this year like no other.


xxxxxx


Should You Stack Or Go Single When Over 40?

Oct 20, 2020

 I'm talking about stacking jewellery of course!

Now I don't like "prescribing" what you should wear, and what you shouldn't wear. 

Who am I to say what makes you want to dance in the mirror?

But I wanted to bring you some subtle stackers that were

featured in the press last weekend, and which may resonate with you.





I think delicate bands like this look fab worn together or slipped in between your wedding/
engagement rings to up date your look. That's how I sometimes wear mine.




She's just admiring her view!



You could also mix with coloured stones, which will really give a different look
to your stack party.
This is how some customers mixed them up.



Gemstone rings here (more than 15 stones to choose from).

But at the end of the day, wear your stacks how you wish; all piled onto one finger

or on every finger. You decide.

Do leave a comment and let me know if you are a stacking fan.

Next week I will bring you some stacking bangles that will see you from sofa, to street and back to sofa

(most lockdown routines these days!)


That's it lovely lady.

I hope where ever you are, you stay safe.