StudioJewel - Journey of a Jeweler

  • Top fashion questions ANSWERED!
    Fashion questions. We all have them. Whether it's sitting in your closet asking yourself, "who do I want to be today?". Or wondering if you really can still wear white pants. Questions.

    And lately my blogging mind has been a bit, shall we say, befuddled. I just haven't been able to pull it together. Distractions in life. Insecurities. You know the drill. Sometimes it just ain't there?and whatever you do, you can't make it happen!

    So today I thought I would just answer some of YOUR fashion questions thrown at me. So let's spin the fashion wheel and see what we can learn! Deal?
    First question.
    I have to wear an awful uniform for work, either black scrubs or an ugly unflattering black polo and black pants. How do I style that with accessories to make it not so dull, and where do I find work appropriate pants that are neither skinny jeans, denim, or old lady? ~ Allison

    You actually have the perfect blank slate! Put all the focus on your accessories. You can change who you are EVERY single day. Polo day, try a short necklace and tons of bracelets for fun. A black leather wrap and some bangles?perfect! On scrubs day. Go for a long necklace and some stellar earrings! Have fun with it!
    As for pants. What about black denim? Big Star jeans are so flattering for all shapes and sizes. Or what about basic flat front straight khaki pants like these from the Gap. Looks great with a dress shoe?a bootie or short converse when you roll them up a bit!

    Those booties with cutouts on the sides. Socks with them or no? I can't imagine them looking good with socks but I can't imagine them being comfortable without. - Rachel

    I ALWAYS wear them with socks. Mine are gray and I wear either gray or I'll choose dark blue if I have them on with jeans. You hardly notice and they would be uber uncomfortable without!

    And there were THREE questions about what kind of shoes to wear with tights and leggings so...

    The obvious choice? Tall boots. They just work?with everything. Make sure there is enough space between the top of the boot and the hem of whatever you are wearing to get the whole elongated look.

    Short booties. I love the look of a skirt or sweater dress with leggings/tights and short booties. It might feel uncomfortable at first. But trust me it's really cute! Black with black gives a really long look and is very modern and classy. {{see my post about fall fashion for some ways I put this together?click here}}

    If you are really edgy?choose a heel for a night on the town. I mean? why not? Here's my only "pet peeve", and this is just me. No tights with open toe shoes! I think it looks horrid.

    Last but NOT least. Ballet flats look great with leggings. Super way to add in color or pattern! I have a pair of leopard flats that I love to pair with a long denim shirt and black leggings. It's a nice?"grocery store" outfit!

    Last question!
    Fashion tips for the plus size women!!! I love your style but some of it doesn't work for me? - Sabrina

    Great question Sabrina!! And I NEVER want anyone to feel excluded. The beauty of my style is there are some components that are good for everyone. I'm a huge fan of long and drapey! But the biggest key?no matter what your shape and size?you have to love what you're in.

    For instance the dress I wore this weekend in my photo shoot is from Free People. If you look on their site all you see is size 0 girls with legs. But their clothing is very flow-y. My dress had adjustable straps which I loved. I put a slip on underneath and then added a long cardigan. This style works for everyone?unless you are extremely vertically challenged! I sometimes forget my amazon height!
    photo cred. The Adventures of James photography
    I'm going to go back to Big Star Denim to recommend jeans again, because they are meant for real people. They are not super tight and they have stretch. I do like skinny jeans, but I'll be the first to admit, they aren't all that comfy. My Big Stars are my go-to for jeans that look great and feel even better. And besides when I bend over? No butt crack issues. I call that a win!

    Leggings with long sweaters and shirts. I know I harp a lot on leggings not being pants?what I MEAN is, they ARE pants?just cover your tush! In the plus size realm you can find so many amazing things to top over leggings?like this amazing sweater from Forever 21:
    Forever 21
    or this I absolutely love! Imagine it over black leggings and some short booties? PERFECT!
    And never forget the power of an amazing dress - I love dresses! And this dress? Oh.My.Word. It's stunning!
    I hope that helped put some of those life changing fashion questions you had at ease! Lol.

    I'm in process of moving my blog to a new platform which should make it easier for you to comment?email me?and just generally read me better! Because it's all about me?right? :) I haven't been a big fan of blogger since day one, but let's just say, I know metal smithing?not internet smithing. BIG difference. HUGE. It's a very good thing I have friends who are much much smarter than me!

    Back to the studio I go. Love you bunches!


  • Boterkoek dutch butter cake my FAVORITE FAVORITE thing
    My favorite things come in many shapes and sizes. But one that smells good and tastes amazing?that's a favorite-favorite thing!

    This amazing treat is a recipe that has been in my family for years. Simple. Decadent. Delicious. Like oh-my-word-make-me-stop-eating-slice-after-slice delicious. Word of warning?IF you over indulge, the butter just might kill you. No. Seriously. Worst heart burn ever. But yet?still worth it.

    My heritage is Dutch. And the Dutch are good for a few things. Solid work ethic. Immaculate homes and gardens. And we know how to eat?.well. This rich, dense butter cake?.boterkoek is easy to make and will guarantee new friends in your life?that is if you can bring yourself to share!
    The ingredients are uber simple. A few versions exist?my family opts for almond extract instead of vanilla - because duh?almond! But if it's not your thing?vanilla will do. I will walk you through the E A S Y steps..but there is a printable link here and at the bottom of the recipe!

    One more word of warning. Maybe pop in a beach body video while you're waiting for it to bake. You're gonna need to burn some extra calories today. Consider yourself warned!
    Your ingredients: 4 cups of flour (I use a white/whole wheat blend) -- 2 eggs -- 1-1/2 cups of butter?oh yeah baby! 1-1/2 tsp of almond extract -- 2 cups of sugar -- pinch of salt.
    Mix the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy.
    Beat the eggs then add them to the sugar mix - save a little tiny bit of the egg - add the almond extract and blend thoroughly.
    Here is where you HAVE TO resist licking the beaters?or maybe that's just me. But just look at those grains of sugar that taste like almond mixed in the butter. YUM!
    Add the salt to the flour and pour into the sugar bliss?and mix. You can use a mixer or do it by hand?it will look a bit crumbly?it's ok! Spoon mixture into 2 GREASED pie dishes?dividing evenly.
    Then pat down flat with your clean hands?emphasis on the clean not so much on the flat.
    Use the leftover beaten egg to wash over the top of the cakes?you can use the brush to flatten out any hand flattening imperfections!
    Then place in your preheated 350? oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Ahhh the smell is just divine! I recommend letting it cool for a few minutes?if you can?then cut into wedges and indulge!
    Here is the printable version of the recipe. Now shoo. Go! Make it. You have to. Really. Not kidding. Are you still reading? Maybe you're waiting on your printer. 
    Still here?
    Ok, come back and tell me what you think. I girl loves her comments you know!

    love and hugs and butter,

  • Let's hear it for the boys Fashion Rules for Guys the do's and don'ts of style
    This one is for the guys. The men. The studs in our lives. I know you boys feel neglected sometimes. I know you really don't care about makeup and women's fashion?but yet you keep coming back! Such dedication! Well, now it's time you were rewarded. Let's focus on you and some simple do's and don'ts.

    Guys fashion is much less complex than the girls. Not basic. Just more classic. Less changing. If you stick with a few rules and know when it's time to throw out your pleated pants circa a long time ago because they add 15 pounds and 15 years?you're golden. Men's fashion is about a few essential pieces and some know how. Shall we proceed?
    image from
    A pair of jeans that fit right. Slim through the thigh and straight or a slight taper through the knee. Buy your waist size please. If you think they need to be tighter?they don't. Just sayin. Slim is good. Skinny is not. Know the difference.

    Dress pants. Flat front. Fit your rear. A slight break below the knee. And the correct length. No flood waters?and no dragging at your heel.

    Dress shirts. Button down shirts need to fit your neck. If you feel constricted?you probably are. And we think you look like you're going to explode. Your sleeves need to be long enough and not too long. Your cuff should hit at where your thumb and wrist meet.

    Undershirt / Tee shirt. IF you are wearing a crew neck undershirt under your button down?go for a color so it looks "on purpose" not WHITE otherwise you look like you just left the gym.

    A denim shirt with dress pants? So good.

    The belt. If your dad wants to borrow it?or you borrowed it from him? Probably not cool. Find one with a bit of stitching?that immediately makes it more modern - this one from Tommy Hilfiger LOVE! Little tip?match your belt to your shoes - doesn't have to be exact?just brown to brown. Black to black. Capice?
    The watch. So you don't need one - I get it. But they are so cool. Ok. Not digital. Please. Really? You don't still wear one of those, do you? Something sporty. Cool watch band. Not too over sized. Have you seen the new swatches? Oh my word. Awesome.

    Back to t-shirts. Weekend wear. Work at home. Super casual office. Yes. White? No. Tight? No! Pick the right fit and a nice color?.grey and black are perfect?not a color per se?but you get the idea. Long sleeve tshirt? Yes?again if it's not too tight. Otherwise you start getting the "look at my muscles" look and seriously? That's a complete turn off.

    Casual jacket. Denim. Leather. Military. The key here is don't buy one that's too big. Try one size down from your normal buy. Trust me.

    Shoes. It always comes down to the shoes. This is the one place you can have fun! This is the one place your style can really show. I have so many options to show you?but that's for another day. We will call it "shoe day". How's that? If you need shoe help like RIGHT NOW?go buy a pair of Clarks Desert boots. The ONE shoe you should have. Clarks are the original?they are plenty of copies out there?find one you like.

    Jewelry. I know I know I'm a jeweler?it's what I do. But what I recommend is this. If you are married?wear a wedding ring. Wear it loud and proud. Don't like the one you have?get a new one. I can help with that! Extra jewelry. If I had to send you to ONE piece of jewelry I make for guys?this is it. It's simple. Understated. Modern. Cool. I love it. There?I'm done. 

    Some NO's.
    1. No pleats. We've already discussed.
    2. No trainers/sneakers/tennis shoes with jeans.
    3. Stay away from too many colors or too many patterns. Leave that for the ladies.
    4. Make sure your pants aren't too long?or too short. We can tell.
    5. Tee shirts that are too baggy or too tight or that you owned in high school.
    6. NO WHITE SOCKS. Like ever. Unless you are working out. Whew. I feel better.
    7. Shorts in the winter. Unless you're in college, then we know your stupid and your brain is still not developed. Otherwise you just look like it.
    8. Please don't pop your collar. Please. I mean, like ever.
    9. Don't tuck in casual shirts and polo's. Just don't.
    10. Don't untuck dress shirts. Tip. if the hemline is curved it works to stay out. If it's straight it's meant to be tucked?or you look like you are wearing a dress.
    11. The deep v-neck is NOT a trend. STAY.AWAY. Crew neck is always best.
    There you go. Some simple tips to get you started. Where to shop? I love Kohl's?just because they have a great selection. Nice basics. And everything is always on sale. American Eagle is also a fav. Stay away from the too young stuff unless you are in fact?young. Otherwise, major department stores are great because you can find your section. Young. More mature :) Jeans. Excellent shoe choices.

    Happy shopping guys. And trust me?.someone will notice. Now go get dressed and take her out.


  • It's time to poop glitter and rainbows. Bullies beware.
    What if? What if we did something different? Something out of the box. Something radical. What if we started trying to make a positive difference in another human beings life. Something small. Something meaningful. Something encouraging. Something positive.

    What would THAT do to the bullies?
    Let's face it. We can educate all we want. We can prepare ourselves. But we cannot stop those who are hell bent on trashing our lives?our reputation?our feelings?our self esteem.

    But what if we tried?
    Tried to outweigh the bad with good? Tried to lift spirits. Tried to create smiles. Tried to do something that does NOTHING for ourselves, but everything for others?whether they deserve or not. What if?

    My daughter Isabel has a teacher at her school that has made an impact on her life. This teacher cares. This teacher is fully invested in her students. This teacher has a pure heart. I don't think it's even remotely coincidental that her last name is Wisehart? I think it was preordained. She will do great things and leave a wake of inspiration behind her.

    She started a club at school with the full intent of making a difference in OTHER's lives. See? She gets it. Want more info? Connect with her on twitter @WisehartCFC
    We may be able to prepare ourselves against a bully. But what if we stopped them? What if we tipped the see-saw on the side of love? What if WE were hell bent on filling people up instead of sucking them dry?

    Yesterday in club the kids were encouraged to do third party compliments. Talk about people behind their backs in a positive and uplifting way. Gossip gone right. Brilliant.

    Best part? My twitter feed blew up with #thirdpartycompliments - kids saying positive things about each other. Kids being genuine and real. Kids getting it. Because they do you know? Often far more than adults.

    Shoot. I even received a couple from two of Isabel's friends?one was directed to me?the other I would not have even seen had it not been pointed out to me. How did it make me feel? Awesome. Pure awesome.
    Why did it feel so good? Truly, because we all want to be loved and appreciated for WHO WE ARE. We want to know what people really see in us. We want to know we are making an impact. Somewhere. Somehow. And when that is reinforced in our lives, we are encouraged to be even more positive. More friendly. More encouraging. More loving. More. More. More.

    Do you see how this works? This has me totally jazzed!! Because this is how I want to live my life! I want to reflect the joy that lives inside of me?and when I bounce that joy off of you, you are forever changed. How can you not be?

    Positive human beings make positive choices and positive influences. It's choosing joy to the max. Are you getting this? Bullies cannot survive against our wave of joy!

    Let's do this friends. I CHALLENGE YOU! Yes, I'm totally shouting?because THIS.IS.HUGE. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas. Some are #thirdpartycompliments some are straight up make-a-difference-in-someones-life compliments.
    1. Tell the manager at Starbucks how awesome your barista was.
    2. Tell the manager at your grocery store how much you appreciate her attention to detail.
    3. Tell the principal at your kids school how grateful you are for your child's teacher.
    4. Post on twitter about an awesome quality you see in someone else. #thirdpartycompliment
    5. Post on Facebook about your husband or your wife or your friend and how thankful you are to have them in your life.
    6. Leave a note on the office coffee pot saying 'thank you' for keeping you caffeinated!
    7. Do you love that women's hair standing in line in front of you? TELL HER!
    8. Does that person across the room look sad? Find something to compliment her about. The color she's wearing. Her handbag. Her shoes. Her ring. Anything!
    9. Did you enjoy the music in worship on Sunday? TELL the worship joker! (this one is slightly personal :)
    10. Leave a thank you note in your mailbox with a granola bar or some treat!
    11. See that mean girl in your class? The bully girl? Find a compliment for her?something genuine?then walk away - maybe RUN?with a smile.
    12. Give the lunch lady an air high five (sanitary reasons!) and tell her thanks for feeding me!
    Maybe you think these ideas are stupid. Or lame. Or you think I'm a lunatic. I've been called worse?.whatever! This is the start of something great. When you begin to search for the positive within yourself it starts to ooze out of you and bubble over and soon your pooping glitter and rainbows! I'm totally serious. Ok, maybe not about the poop?but you get the idea!

    One word of advice. Only sincere compliments count. People can smell out a fake. People can tell if you are doing something to make YOU look or feel good, not them. So be wary. Do a heart check on yourself first. Then open your mouth?or keyboard.

    Because my business is mainly online, people can hide behind the anonymity of a screen. That can be brutal. I have had some of the nastiest, most cruel, hateful words spit at me. Words that very few would be brave enough to say to my face. And even when the words hold no weight in truth, they sting. However, when someone takes the time to tell me now much a piece of jewelry meant to them or their significant other. How much they loved my attention to detail. How meaningful it is to them. My heart soars. It's incredibly empowering and motivating.

    Words. The whole sticks and stones thing is garbage. So let's flip it. Because we can. Because we are able. Because?

    You? I think you are amazing. The fact that you took time to read this, my words, my writing?it means the world to me. You do my heart good. And for that? I'm eternally grateful. Thank you.

    So let's get out there and make a change, shall we? Bullies beware. There is something in you that is good?and we will find it. Glitter. Rainbows. Really? It comes down to the poop.


  • The one shoe you MUST buy for fall and winter it's bootie time
    Let's face it. Most of us don't have a ton of discretionary income to just go out and buy whatever we want, when we want it. Really, how many do? And if you happen to be a parent?you know you are at the bottom of the list when it comes to NEW. Why do they have to keep growing?

    But sometimes?one new addition to your wardrobe?one item that transcends?one little fashion boost?can make all the difference in the world.

    Boots. More specifically?booties. Because as difficult as it is for me to fathom, not everyone has the same affinity for those luscious leather calf wrappers. But booties? These work for everyone. Hey! I saw that smirk of doubt! Stick with me!
    Assuming you have jeans and a cute sweater or two. Assuming you even have a dress or a skirt. Maybe even leggings. Ok?I KNOW you have jeans. These can transform and ordinary trip to the glamorous grocery store?to an extraordinary adventure! You don't believe me? Girl?it's all in the attitude. And dude?if you are reading this?I have shoes for you too, just not today?k?

    Here's the bootie beauty?not to be confused with booty beauty?that's an entirely different post! Booties come in a plethora of options. Flat. Heels. Open toes. Fringe. Leather. Suede. Black. Brown. Red. Blue. Do you see where I'm going here? You WILL find a pair you need?and in your budget.

    Questions I always hear? I don't know what to wear them with! Am I too old? Fear not my friend?I've got you. I'll show you how. But that's for another week. Let's not get ahead of ourselves! And as for age? SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE! Fashion is timeless. It's what makes YOU feel good. If you like them. Buy them. There are only a few fashion faux pas when it comes to age?and pretty much they revolve around mini skirts and crop tops. And if you were at TypeA with me last week?it was a costume party people!! Geesh.

    Back on track.

    First, let me show you the TWO pairs I have for fall. Don't judge. I needed two pairs for the sake of example. Harsh people. Harsh. Then I'll show you a few options that I think will fit your style and budget.

    Treat yourself to one thing this season that you will wear until flip flops once again don our exquisitely painted toes?booties. {basically I just like to say and type the word bootie?I pretty much giggle like a 9 year old boy every time}

    First are the Azaria from Brown. Buckles. Fantastic. I've worn them with jeans and a skirt. AND?they are comfortable! (see last weeks post for two of my outfits with these booties!) I also have this black pair - the Simone - again...from - LOVE them!

    I know I talk about ShoeMint a lot..well, because they are awesome. It's basically a shoe club. You choose within the first 5 days of the month whether or not you need shoes that month. If yes, it's $79.95 - if no you just skip. I think over the last few years I have purchased 5 pairs of shoes from them - but a couple times I forgot to "skip the month" and was charged the $79.95?so I had credit :) You also earn points and discounts, and truly?the selection is amazing?and the shoes are very high quality - when I have purchased?they are total splurge item for me. If you are interested in joining, here is my referral link --- > click here.

    I realize both of these have heels?I'm a heel girl. I can walk, and have even been know to run, in heels. THAT'S ME. I realize that's not normal for most. Thus the options below?you really are a tough crowd today!

    1. Scarlett boot by American Eagle for Payless $34.99 (black or brown)
    2. the Lina buckle bootie from Target - I LOVE these! $39.99 (black or brown)
    3. Candies ankle boots from Kohl's - this color is gorgeous $29.99 (and Kohl's has SO many options it was hard to choose only one! And did I mention, Kohl's is ALWAYS having a sale!)
    4. Moto boots from Old Navy - not exactly a bootie, but not a boot either and they are fantastic! To note?25% off today October 1 $39.94
    This is just a springboard for you?and shoot?you have to go to Target anyway?just go try on a pair or two. I'll show you how to wear them next week. Until then, go back to my fashion post from last week?or even my favorite jeans post. Hold fast my friend?you can do this?and you WILL thank me.

    Permission granted to go shopping. You just need to tell me which of my choices are your favorites?and what you choose for you! Pretty please? I like comments!

    love you to pieces?me and my bootie,