Sunday, September 17, 2017

Paul Wright Jewellery

More sparkly beauties to ooh and aah over!

It's no surprise that I'm obsessed with beautiful things-especially jewelry. I've never worn anything too large. Instead, I will choose smaller, classic pieces. Even in the days of huge hoops and statement necklaces, I was the one wearing studs and a strand of pearls. I guess a leopard doesn't lose its spots.



I started following Paul Wright Jewellery several months ago. His pieces are absolutely to die for! Paul is British, and studied, taught, and worked in Africa, Spain and England. For several years, he owned a jewelry design studio in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Paul took his interest in Estate Jewelry, and began creating Antique inspired pieces. Paul now has shops in Birmingham, England's Jewellery Quarter, where he designs and makes jewelry from silver, gold, and gemstones. Paul travels quite a bit to purchase precious gemstones. When I first met him, he was getting ready to attend a gem show in Thailand. I can only imagine the amazing stones he saw there! Paul Wright Jewellery pieces have a bold simplicity, and have been sought out by some of London's top stylists. His collections have been featured in several International fashion photo shoots, and worn by celebrities Rita Ora, Georgia May Jagger, and more.

Paul was amazingly generous, and sent me a pair of earrings and a pendant from his daisy collection. Paul Wright Jewellery's daisy jewelry is inspired by the Victorian diamond daisy jewelry that was popular in the late 19th Century. The pieces that he sent me have been made from silver and clear cz. They sparkle and shine so beautifully. When I opened the package, they took my breath away. I have received so many compliments on them, and I am so proud to wear them.


Paul Wright Jewellery has a variety of lovely styles, and I have recently given my husband a wish list of beautiful things that he is "allowed" to purchase for me at any time! If you are looking for something special as a gift, or a piece to treat yourself, I highly recommend that you look at Paul's jewelry. He has a stunning variety, and they are reasonably priced.

You can find Paul Wright at: 


Facebook: @PWJewellery

Instagram: @PaulWrightJewellery

Friday, September 1, 2017

20 Years

It is the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, the mourning of people around the world, and of her heart wrenching funeral. You cannot turn on the television, look at a newspaper or check social media without being reminded. Those who are younger may wonder why the date is significant, but for me, I cannot help but acknowledge her life and death.

I was fascinated by Princess Diana from the beginning. I was seven or eight when news of Lady Diana hit the US. My older sister would buy magazines, and I couldn't help but be interested in her life. Perhaps it was the idea of a real princess who looked like she stepped from a fairytale. I remember being at a friend's house that summer, and we woke up at 4am to watch her wed Prince Charles. It was one of those memories that has stayed with me through the years.


As she engaged in royal life, she gained confidence and championed causes that she dearly believed in, and thus she became a role model to young women from all over the world. As I grew up, I continued to admire her kindness, her dedication to her sons, and of course, her beauty.


On Labor Day Weekend 1997, I had a friend visiting from out of town, and we decided to go on a road trip to Laughlin, NV. I would be starting my first real teaching job after the weekend, and so it seemed like a good weekend to celebrate. As I sat at the blackjack table, I heard from someone that Princess Diane had died. It didn't register immediately with me that it was her. Later, as I watched TV, I was horrified to learn that the woman I had adored for practically my entire life was dead.

I didn't let on to my friends how crushed I was, because I worried they would think it was strange. During the days that followed, I was glued to the television while I was home. I saw people placing flowers at Kensington Palace, and I was sad for them too. I was only 24 or so, but I thought about Princes William and Harry, and how incredibly lost they must have felt. My dad died when I was 16, and mourn him still. I watched her funeral, and just felt such a loss. And over the years, I've thought about Princess Diana often. I've thought about all the young women who wouldn't have the opportunity to have her as a role model. 


I was not the type of person to be halted by the death of someone who I didn't know, but the life and death of Princess Diana touched me for some reason. My world is completely unrelated to that of Princess Diana, but I think of her death as a time marker.

And in the 20 years since, I have had good times, and I have had hard times. I have become a wife and a mother. I have received a master's degree, and I've moved from the West to the East, and now I'm in the Midwest. I've worked in public schools and private schools, I've taught art, been a counselor, an administrator and a stay at home mom.

I've been watching the news coverage honoring the life of Princess Diana, and my husband and I have talked with our children about her importance. She was a modern princess, she changed the monarchy and her charitable legacy lives on.

I find myself burned out and honestly, a bit lost after living what seams like a lifetime since I sat playing blackjack. I'm not sure what the next 20 years will bring, but I do know that life is unpredictable, and that's okay.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Roses N Rose'

If you've been a Preppy Mom reader for a while (thank you!), you know that I get super excited when I find a cool new company or an amazing product to share. I met the owner of Roses n Rose' in a blogging group, and she told me about her new skincare line. Of course, I had to try it!
Roses n Rose' was born in San Diego. A true American skincare company. Even better? They only test on the "babest babes of all babes, none of our furry friends." Their first product was their coffee based Rosie Cheeks body scrub, and they have added another scrub and a rose water face mist to the line. They are coming out with lip scrubs soon, and I'm so excited!

Another thing that makes Roses n Rose' a must have company? They have an entire charity line! They work with Moxie Box, and have created Charity by Moxie. For each product from their charity line sold, a percentage goes toward a charity that Roses n Rose' is passionate about. As they grow, Roses and Rose' will "continue to add products that support charities to their line and help the world become a better place." You can also donate to their charities without making a purchase by visiting their website here.


Of course, I wanted to purchase something from Roses n Rose's charity line, so I chose their Sunshine Scrub. This scrub was $16.95, and a percentage of my purchase went towards brain cancer awareness.

Sunshine Scrub is made with yummy ingredients like organic coconut sugar, coconut, pure cane sugar, coconut oil, vitamin e oil, and pineapple. I'm pretty obsessed with everything pineapple, so this was a perfect choice! Sunshine Scrub not only smells amazing, but it leaves my skin incredibly soft and smooth. The scent takes my mind to the tropics, and it makes my skin absolutely glow.

This will definitely be my go to body scrub from now on, and it's definitely a must have! If you'd like to purchase Sunshine Scrub, or another product from Roses n Rose', you can follow any of the links in this post, or you find them directly at:

Facebook @rosesnrosee
Twitter/Instagram @roses_n_rose

**I was not compensated in any way for my review. I purchased this item with my own funds, and all opinions are 100% my own.**

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

WRISTROCKS

Elyse Ryan WRISTROCKS

I have been a huge fan of ElyseRyan Jewelry for years. Elise Rosenstock, the founder and designer of ElyseRyan, is one of the most genuine people I know. Elise has worked with a variety of charitable organizations over the years, including Alex's Lemonade Stand, Easter Seals and the JDRF.
I'm currently loving this WRISTROCKS bracelet from ElyseRyan Jewelry. There are many WRISTROCKS to choose from; including collections for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a line made for the Mrs. World contestants, a bridal collection, collections benefiting different charities, and a variety of limited edition color stories. Each WRISTROCKS bracelet is one of a kind, filled with beautiful gem and crystals from all over the world and features a piece of silver, the designer signature of ElyseRyan.
The WRISTROCKS bracelet that I'm wearing this summer is pink and green (of course), with pearls, and clear beads. It goes with everything, and it's so comfortable to wear. You can stack these fantastic works of art or wear them as a stand alone piece. I wear mine with another ElyseRyan bracelet and a silver bangle.

If you'd like to see more of ElyseRyan's WRISTROCKS (and trust me, they're amazing), you can follow any of the links in this post (they are not affiliate links), or find her at:

www.elyseryan.com
Instagram: @ElyseRyanJewelry



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Who's Fidgeting?

I'm probably that mom that all of the teachers hated last spring. Yes, I bought my boys fidget spinners. A couple actually. I did not give them permission to take them to school, but unfortunately that did happen. I did notice that they helped them concentrate, however. For the past couple of months, they have been able to carry on conversations without becoming antsy to look at a screen in their lap. They've been able to watch a show on tv all the way through! These are very good things, as long as you don't mind a fidget spinner whizzing around on a finger while you talk to the kids. Ok, it's not that bad, but they really have helped.

I can say that I honestly don't mind. At times, I feel like I'm the original fidgeter. For me, my body is just restless. I have a hard time getting comfortable, and will often shift my weight, tuck one leg under, and then untuck a few minutes later. At least I'm able to recognize that I do this, and I can also tell you-it's frustrating to me. It is torture trying to sit still in meetings. My husband says it's like my skeleton wants to jump out of my skin. I've tried hard to control it by modifying my need to, well...fidget.

Renascent Studios makes a unique fidget chain ring that is both dainty and feminine. An original style ring that looks like two rings in one. With dainty jewelry being on trend right now, the ring is perfect. I always wear dainty jewelry, so my ring is like my version of the fidget spinner.

The Renascent Studios worry ring is a squared sterling silver band with a delicate chain gently dangling from the band. There are three little rings attached that move freely around the front of the ring, perfect to fiddle with. Renascent Studios offers several variations of their fidget ring-with or without the chain, the color of the chain and the rings. My ring (shown below) is sterling silver with a 14kt gold filled chain. It has 2 gold filled rings and one silver ring. It is so unique-I have people ask about it all the time.

These rings make great stacking rings and they are perfect for people with busy hands (yes, that's me). For people that are anxious or stressed they provide an excellent distraction and they work great to help focus your mind when meditating. Think of it as a beautifully adult version of the fidget spinner. Renascent Studios was ahead of the times! They have a whole shop full of lovely items.


If you'd like to find Renascent Studios, you can follow any of the links in this post (they are not affiliate links), or you can go directly to https://www.etsy.com/shop/renascentstudios/
Facebook/Instagram: @renascentstudios
Pinterest: @renascentjewels

*Renascent Studios sent me a ring for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own, and I was not compensated for my review.*

Friday, July 7, 2017

How Sensitive Are You?

It's no secret that I seriously struggle with my skin. I think that people with extremely dry, sensitive skin can be just as self conscious of their skin as someone with acne. Before you roll your eyes at me, please read on.
I've never really had breakouts, even as a teen. Maybe a lone pimple here and there, but that's about it. While I may be lucky in that department, my complexion has been anything but peaches and cream. My skin being red, blotchy and dry has caused me to stay home from many a function over the years. When I was younger, I would try and try to cover my redness, only to end up with dry patches and frustration. This completely ages me, but in junior high we had to square dance in gym, but the boy that I had a huge crush on complained because my hands felt leathery. It's not like I was an outcast or anything, it probably bothered no one but me, but oh how that has stayed with me through the years.
To my huge disappointment now, I do not have a single picture of myself from either of my pregnancies. As a matter of fact, my irritations, reactions, redness, itchiness and more attacked my entire body. I would scratch until I bled. One night, while in the ER for a kidney stone (being pregnant did NOT agree with me), I must have scratched off my wedding ring, which we never found.
I'm telling you all of this to let you know what a long road it has been for me-my entire life with severe eczema. I've been on steroids, used prescription creams, been through light therapy and more. I think one of the reasons that I became so interested in cosmetics and skincare is because I had to learn to cover up my redness, while also fighting irritations and dry skin. I've found a few moisturizers that have worked for me, but I've finally found a full line of products (for both face and body) that are soothing and non-irritating. 
I was excited to try Aixallia Skincare. I had to wait to try them because of a HUGE eczema flare, but it was worth the wait. Aixallia is an entire line made for sensitive skin. Made in Aix en Provence, Aixallia's products are made from ultra pure water and only the finest ingredients. They use an ultra-purification treatment to remove all chemical and bacterial contaminants from the water used to formulate their skin care. This purity makes Aixallia the most effective beauty treatments possible. Their active ingredients are used in a whole, natural state, making them safer, more effective and less susceptible to deterioration.
Aixallia sent me several products to test for review purposes. Their soft water base and neutral pH respects the skin's dermal/epidermal border. Their products are suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive conditions. Of course I was anxious to try their products!

I tried the Coconut and Calendula Exfoliating Shower Gel, the Rose and Almond Body Lotion, and the Olive and Rose Hand Cream. It did take me a bit to try these three, as I pretty much had a rash from neck to feet. I have pictures that the dermatologist took, but I will not be showing them. Trust me, it was bad! So, I added things very slowly, even though I knew everything from Aixallia was for sensitive skin.

The shower gel is probably my favorite product from Aixallia. It gently exfoliates, has nice suds, and can be used every day. My husband and kids use it, too. This is a must try product! The body lotion is also very gentle and it absorbs quickly. I'm not very good about remembering to put body lotion on, although with my dry skin, I really should be. I use cortisone creams so often that I just kind of miss other moisturizers. Aixallia's body lotion is very nice though. Their hand cream is very nice-I definitely recommend it. It is very light and it doesn't leave my hands sticky. It has little to no scent, and it's easy to have in my purse. There isn't sunscreen in it, although I really love this cream for during the day. I use a much heavier hand cream at night.

For my facial care, I tried the Emulsifying Make-Up Remover, the Green Tea Day Cream, the Lavender Night Cream and the Rose and Argan Eye Cream. Again, I added products slowly to make sure I didn't react. I didn't have even the slightest reaction.

Aixallia's Micellaire Water is fantastic! It is very gentle, yet extremely effective, packed with cornflower water and organic plant extracts. It removes my makeup effectively, including mascara. It doesn't irritate my face at all, which most things do. It doesn't leave any sort of film on my face. My husband and son have used it to cleanse their skin as well. Great stuff! I recently swapped out my heavier moisturizers for Aixallia's day and night creams. I'm actually kind of obsessed with the green tea day cream. It's light and fresh, and it leaves my face glowing. It's absolutely lovely. The night cream contains lavender water, which is soothing (and it's supposed to help you sleep). I like the night cream, and I'll continue to use it. My face does look fantastic these days, and I think the two work nicely together. I'm not a huge fan of lavender, but the scent is extremely faint. The rose and argan eye cream is light and it absorbs quickly. It leaves my eye area moisturized, but I don't feel like it has enough anti-aging properties for my 45 year old eyes. Since childhood, my eyes have taken a beating, and it's completely my fault. Having eye allergies and also itchy facial skin, I've rubbed my eyes and scratched the skin for as long as I can remember. Now I know what that did-aaarrrggghhh! I don't have crow's feet so much as deep horizontal lines under them. I need major moisture and major anti-aging benefits in my eye cream, and this one doesn't give me quite enough. I feel badly, because I really like it, but it isn't my primary eye cream. If you are younger-this is a seriously fantastic eye cream to revitalize and moisturized your eyes. Start early, and DON'T rub your eyes!

I am so happy and grateful to have been able to try Aixallia. The products have no impurities, no alcohol, synthetic fragrances, phenoxyethanol or parabens. Quite literally, it's ultra pure skincare.

If you'd like to find Aixallia Skincare, you can follow any of the links in this post, or go directly to their website at: www.aixallia.com. You can also find them at:
Instagram/Facebook/Twitter: @aixallia

*I was sent products from Aixallia for review purposes, but this review is 100% my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review.*

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Girl's Best Friend

They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I would argue that jewelry in general holds that special place in my heart. I admit that I spend an unusually lengthy amount of time looking at gorgeous jewelry and gems online. 

I'm actually fascinated by gemstones, and I think that working in that area may have been my true calling. I don't mean working in a jewelry store (can you imagine where my paycheck would go?), but actually designing jewelry, cutting gemstones and making gorgeous jewelry. Perhaps in another life!

For now, I get the chance to introduce you to some amazing jewelers, and to show off their work. I love how unique each designer is, and how their personalities show in their jewelry.

I purchased this beautiful moonstone ring from Gardens of the Sun. Meri Geraldine is the owner/designer in Bali. There are so many amazing things about Gardens of the Sun. Obviously their jewelry is spectacular. Each piece is completely unique, and their prices range from affordable to not (at least for me). I love how dedicated Gardens of the Sun is to its customers and to the environment. They use sustainable materials and they honestly want to sell jewelry that speaks to the individual.

Something else to love? "Gardens of the Sun values sustainability, tree planting, craftsmanship and quality materials. These are jewels you are proud to wear. They make you feel more beautiful inside and out, and remind you to be kinder to yourself." Each piece of jewelry purchased directly supports a women's tree nursery initiative in Indonesian Borneo. Gardens of the Sun is truly a company that I recommend with all of my heart. I adore my ring, and I love their mission.

www.gardensofthesun.net
Instagram: @gardensofthesun

I was sent these sweet little silver and cz studs by Violetta Blues. Violetta Blues is a new line from Idylle, a home decor store in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Store owner, Eva Graschi has started the new jewelry line, and the pieces are delicate and perfect for every day. She is extremely helpful and responsive. I'm very excited to see her jewelry line grow, and I'll be anxious to share more information as it does. 

The easiest way to see Violetta Blues' jewelry and to reach out to them is through Instagram. It is so fun to see gorgeous jewelry from new designers!

www.idylle.ch
Instagram: @violettablues

I love these dark wood and sea glass bracelets from Sea Candy Jewelry in
Laguna Beach. I'm actually kind of obsessed with the beach. Odd that I live in Iowa, or perhaps being completely landlocked is the reason that I dream of the beach. I am fascinated by sea glass. The journey that these smooth pieces of glass make to shore is remarkable. I have a zen garden that has pieces of sea glass among its sand, and I find it incredibly soothing.

Sea Candy Jewelry has a variety of jewelry made from sea glass, including pieces made from rare colors and types of sea glass.

Owners Olivia Oddo and Sean Malek donate 10% of their profits to ocean cleanup projects. They are doing their part to protect our oceans and beaches, so they can continue to be loved and enjoyed. 

www.seacandyjewelry.com
Instagram: @seacandyjewelry

It is such an honor to share these three companies with my readers. I adore their jewelry so much, and I truly hope that you will get to know them as well. Whether new or established, each is worth supporting. Their owners are all so genuine and love what they do. 

**I was not compensated for my reviews. All opinions are 100% my own.**