Getting the Perfect Look for Spring

I know! It’s still winter and we’re freezing on both coasts, but some really adorable spring collections started popping up all over the place this week. Take a look at some of the lovely pieces that I’ve found for you.

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How to Pick a Good Diamond – Sponsored Guest Post

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Picking out jewelry can be stressful in general, add a diamond in the mix and all of the sudden you are overwhelmed by determining what makes a “good,” or high quality, diamond. There’s a lot that goes into choosing a diamond and knowing what to look for beforehand can help make the process easier. The first step to buying diamond jewelry is to know how much you want to spend; once you know your budget you can use the information below to help you in the buying process.

 

Before you start looking for the perfect diamond, think of the shape you are looking for to help make your search easier. There are many shapes available when shopping for diamond jewelry including Round, Square (or Dream®), Marquise, Princess, Radiant, Pear, Oval, Emerald, and Heart. With so many options, if you are trying to surprise someone with a piece of diamond jewelry you may be unsure what the preferred shape is, but a good option is to casually ask a friend or relative to make sure it’s the perfect diamond.

 

From there, one of the main things you will want to know about diamonds are the 4 C’s, as these factors determine the rarity and price of a diamond. The cut is the only aspect controlled by man and determines over 90% of a diamond’s beauty. The perfect cut – hard to achieve – is not too shallow, but also not too deep to allow more light to reflect. Next, you will want to look at the color of a diamond – the less color in a diamond, the more rare and valuable it is.  The clarity of a diamond is determined by the number of flaws, with the lowest clarity value visible to the naked eye and the best clarity considered internally flawless with no natural marks visible under 10x magnification. The last of the 4 C’s is the carat weight. While this may seem to matter the most to some people, the look of your diamond is much more important that the weight (weight is determined by carats and range from .25 carats up).

 

Once you have chosen your diamond, make sure you review a copy of its certification before purchasing to make sure it has undergone an unbiased professional examination. This is another step to help ensure the quality of your diamond and to make sure you are getting the best quality stone for the money you spend. If you keep all this in mind, you will end up with the best quality diamond and a piece of  jewelry that will last a lifetime.

 

By Illaria Lanzoni, Director of Design at Hearts on Fire Jewelry

Optima Solitaire_D

Beloved Diamond Engagement Ring

Commanding Grey Titanium Diamond Inlay Step Band_D

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10 Fabulous and Delicious Simple Summer Salads + Recipes

Summer salads are simply the best.  I love how fresh everything is!  All of my favorite fruits and vegetables are in season and are just begging to be mixed together in a salad. Take a look at these delicious salads and try making one for dinner tonight!  Click on any of the photos for the recipes.

 

Caprese Salad

caprese salad tomato basil mozzarellavia

Watermelon Feta Salad

watermelon feta saladvia

Summer Avocado Salad

super simple summer avocado saladvia

Watermelon Summer Salad

watermelon summer saladvia

Green Bean and Teardrop Tomato Salad

green bean and cherry tomato saladvia

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Almonds

spinach strawberry salad with goat cheese and candied almondsvia

Southwestern BBQ Ranch Chicken Quinoa Salad

southwestern bbq ranch chicken quinoa saladvia

Oriental Chicken Salad with Thai Peanut Dressing

oriental chicken salad with thai peanut dressing recipevia

Green Mango Salad

Green Mango Saladvia

Salmon Blackberry Salad

salmon blackberry saladvia

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC

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10 Most Delicious Dessert Shooters + Recipes

Dessert shooters are so popular right now.  They’re easy to assemble ahead of time and they look adorable when grouped together.  Here are 10 of the cutest dessert shooters  - some with recipes and assembly instructions.  Just click on the photo to be taken to the site.

 

Aren’t these mini milkshake shooters just adorable?  Perfect for a hot summer day – click on the photo for ingredients and instructions on how to put them together.

Mini Milkshake Shooters Recipe and Ingredientsvia

Strawberry Meringue Dessert Shooters

strawberry meringue dessert shootersvia

Lemon Meringue Pie Dessert Shooters

Lemon-Meringue-pie dessert shootersvia

Berries and Cream Dessert Shooters

Berries and Cream Dessert Shooters 4th of Julyvia

Ice Cream Cake Shots

ice cream cake shotsvia

Double Chocolate Chip Oreo Dessert Shooters

double chocolate chip oreo cookie dessert shootersvia

Coconut Lime Dessert Shots

coconut lime dessert shotsvia

Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert Shooters

thai mango sticky rice dessert shootersvia

Strawberry Shortcake Dessert Shooters

Strawberry-Shortcake-Dessert-Shotsvia

Tiramisu Dessert Shooters

tiramisu dessert shootersvia

NORDSTROM - Shop the Men's Half-Yearly Sale

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The 10 Most Beautiful Maggie Austin Wedding Cakes

There’s something about wedding cakes made by Maggie Austin.  They’re so beautiful, ethereal, and magical.  Take a look at these 10 beautiful cakes.

maggie austin cake rose frill wedding cakevia

maggie austin ruffle wedding cakevia

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bouquet trio maggie austin cakes anemonesvia

maggie austin bee wedding cakevia

maggie austin painted anemone wedding cakevia

Magnolia-Maggie-Austin-Cake-stained glass via

maggie austin couture wedding cakevia

maggie_austin_white_wedding_cake_floral via

Tangerine-Ruffle-Wedding-Cake-from-Maggie-Austin-Cakesvia

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Engage12 Day 2 Evening Highlights and Dessert Party

One of my favorite events at Engage is always the dine around.  This is where they pair you up with a group to have a nice dinner with industry movers as dinner hosts. Afterwards, after we’re stuffed to the brim, is the dessert party.  And we eat some more and more until stumble back to our rooms in a near food coma.  I can’t wait until December rolls around when I’ll be heading out to Palm Beach for Engage!12 at The Breakers!

Las Vegas Engage12 Dine AroundSylvia and Ben Weinstock Las Vegas Engage12Engage12 Las Vegas Mandarin Oriental Dine AroundEngage12 dine around perfume bottlesEngage12 las vegas dine around Engage12 Las Vegas Dine around slidersEngage12 Bellagio Dine aroundEngage12 Bellagio Dine aroundEngage12 Bellagio Dine aroundEngage12 Bellagio Dine aroundEngage12 Dine aroundEngage12 Dine around floral centerpieceEngage12 Dine around table decorBellagio wedding cake Engage12

Engage12 Dine around Las Vegas

Las Vegas Strip at nightEngage12 Dessert Party Las VegasEngage12 Dessert Party Las VegasEngage12 Dessert Party Las VegasEngage12 Dessert Party Las VegasAll photos courtesy of ReadyLuck and Scott Clark Photography

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Engage!12 Lunch Highlights Day 2

Lunch on Day 2 of Engage12 was held at Twist and consisted of a delicious array of Asian style foods that started with an assortment of bun baos followed by an Oriental noodle salad and Thai beef salad.  Dessert was cute amoretti cookies served in takeout containers.

Engage12 Day 2 Lunch HighlightsEngage12 Day 2 Lunch Butterfly DecorMandarin Oriental Hotel Las vegas Engage12

Engage12 butterfly decor Mandarin OrientalMandarin Oriental Las Vegas Wine Collection

Engage12 Letterpressed lunch menuBun Bao SamplerAsian dumplings Mandarin OrientalOriental Noodle SaladThai Beef SaladBento Box lunch Mandarin Oriental Las VegasOriental Noodle SaladBento Box Mandarin OrientalOriental cookie dessertAll photography courtesy of ReadyLuck and Scott Clark Photography

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Engage12 Snack Break Sponsored by Jimmy Choo

The snack breaks at the Engage conferences are always something to look forward to. The food displays are always spectacular, and once again, in Vegas, they kick it up a notch. This morning’s break was sponsored by Jimmy Choo, the iconic maker of luxury shoes.  It also appears that the snacks were all “Choo-ey” as well, with chocolate rice crispy treats on a stick and fruity chewy lollipops.  I especially loved the gorgeous shoes and clutches on display.

Jimmy Choo Engage12 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Snack BreakJimmy Choo sponsored snack time at Engage12 Mandarin OrientalChewy granola bars dipped in chocolateJimmy Choo shoes Engage12 Mandarin Oriental Las VegasJimmy Choo shoes Engage12 Mandarin Oriental Las VegasJimmy Choo shoes Engage12 Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

All photos are courtesy of ReadyLuck and Scott Clark Photography

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Highlights from Engage!12 Day 2 Morning Session

Here are some beautiful highlights from the morning of Day 2 at Engage12.  Beautiful and no doubt delicious pastries graced the breakfast buffet.  I so love the hand painted name tags made by Momental Designs and the gorgeous chevron sequined linens. The gold spray painted succulents are a gorgeous touch on the conference tables and the chevron paneling for the stage is stunning as well.

Engage!12 breakfast Day 2Danish on a stick Engage12 Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

chocolate covered rice krispy treats on a stick

Stay caffeinated and engageengage12 las vegas mandarin oriental nametagsengage12 handpainted nametags momental designsEngage12 conference tableschevron panels engage12 mandarin oriental hotelengage12 favorite inspirational quotesengage12 favorite inspirational quotesengage12 favorite inspirational quotes

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Highlights from Engage!12 Opening Party

Oh how I wish I was in Las Vegas, specifically at the lush Mandarin Oriental for Engage!12.  Their opening party did not disappoint.  Synchronized swimmers, gorgeous food displays, a gorgeous property, and amazing people – what more could you ask for?

Engage!12 Opening Party InvitationOrchids and succulentsEngage12 Opening Party Synchronized Swimmers Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Engage12 Opening Party Synchronized Swimmers Mandarin Oriental HotelEngage12 Opening Party Chocolate DessertsEngage12 opening party mandarin oriental hotel Engage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental HotelEngage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental HotelEngage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental Hotel dessertsEngage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental Hotel AppetizersEngage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental HotelEngage12 Opening Party Mandarin Oriental Hotel

All photos courtesy of ReadyLuck and Scott Clark Photography

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