Tag Archives: gold

Cheers to our Bachelorette: Celebrating in the Desert!

This past weekend Bri and Kris traveled down to Palm Springs to celebrate Meredith’s second-to-last weekend as a single woman! With the beautiful backdrop of Palm Springs, we couldn’t have been more excited to celebrate our friend in style at the lovely Villa Carmelita!

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The weekend began with pool time and champs, courtesy of the beautiful Bubbly Bar.

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Meredith’s fabulous MOH Whitney pulled together thoughtful and creative party favor gifts, including adorable personalized water bottles (perfect for hydrating in the Palm Springs sun), custom hair ties titled “To Have and To Hold…Your Hair Back!” (and yes, they were the fabulous ones that do not crinkle your hair!), and a very practical Emergency Kit filled with bachelorette weekend essentials (Shout Wipes, Chapstick, Advil, etc.).

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An aside: that beautiful flower arrangement on the table was courtesy of our bride-to-be’s thoughtful fiancé, Denison!

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A Triple Knotter’s bachelorette party would not be complete without a whole lot of gold—including gold balloons! (via Etsy)

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Customized cocktail napkins, foil straws and candy finished off the festive look.

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Friday night started with homemade Pasta Puttanesca (courtesy of the multi-talented MOH Whit!)

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…and continued with merriment – and a cocktail or three- into the wee hours. Late-night partiers were  treated to this lovely evening view of the courtyard.

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Saturday morning continued with more pool time (who wouldn’t at this gorgeous property) and more cocktails, including these beyond fabulous bloody mary’s, which were adorned with a bacon garnish.

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We all got a fantastic throwback to our 20s when the keg cups and ping-pong balls came out. Girls paired up for a game of beer pong, but wait! We have to disinfect the table first! (This is something we never would have thought about in college!)

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Turns out while we’re a bit more conscientious about cleanliness, we aren’t quite as good at the game anymore. It took a bit longer than we expected to wrap up the first match, so we moved on to Flip Cup!

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After flip cup, Whit got the BBQ going and we noshed on a delicious grilled lunch and continued to lounge by the pool.

Saturday evening started with a fabulous toast to our soon-to-be Mrs. Hatch. (Sip, Sip – Hooray!)

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Cocktail hour continued with a “How Well Do You Know Each Other” Q&A game, which included quizzing Meredith on answers provided by her fiancé Denison. They did amazing—it’s a hatch-match made in heaven!

We also each brought along a lingerie gift for Meredith and got to share lots of smiles and laughs as she guessed which piece came from which friend.

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A bachelorette weekend always includes about 900+ photos and we had no shame in indulging!

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But before we knew it, time was flying by and we were being whisked away to downtown Palm Springs for private dinner at Workshop Kitchen + Bar.

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After dinner we grabbed a quick cocktail at the ever-delicious Bootlegger Tiki and finished the night with hours of dancing and drinks at Bar.

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This weekend was quarterbacked by Meredith’s fabulous MOH Whit, and we can’t thank her enough for making the trip so special.

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The weekend also included lots of support/help from Meredith’s family and besties, including: Kendra, Colleen, Jill, Kristen, Lauren, Nida, Rachel and Sevana!

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Bri and Kris were so excited to have been able to share such a special weekend Meredith…

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…and cannot wait to watch her walk down the aisle as Mrs. Hatch.

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Signature 3 (Mar 2016)

 

DIY Heart-Shaped String Art

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As many of you readers know, I’m on a major 2016 mission to add seasonal décor to our home, and with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I wanted to think about something simple that I could add to prep for the holiday. While I love the concept of Valentine’s Day, my husband and I tend to be quite low-key when it comes to celebrating the day. We might have a nice dinner together at home, find a local activity, or give a small gift — nothing too elaborate. I wanted our home décor to match that sentiment and focused on adding a few simple things to our common room areas.

While perusing Etsy, I came across the concept of a heart-shaped string art project and the sometimes-over-zealous DIYer inside of me was like, “Let’s give it a spin!”

Typically, I tend to read a few other blogs or craft sites to get the step-by-step directions, but this time, I decided I would just wing it!

The first stop was my local craft store, where I picked up:

  • An unpainted wooden plaque (Tip: Make sure you consider matching the thickness of your plaque to match your nails)
  • A package of ½ inch nails
  • Cotton Floss

Once home, I supplemented my newly purchased supplies with a few things I have in my craft stash. These include:

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sponge paintbrush
  • A piece of cardstock
  • A small hammer
  • Ruler
  • Scissors + Tape

The first step was to get my unfinished wood plaque painted. Since this was my first try, I kept my plaque rather small, so painting a few coats of white acrylic was not going to take too long.

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While the paint coats were drying, I made a quick stencil with my cardstock. Obviously if you have a pre-made stencil your heart shape will be perfect, but I was able to make a fairly-decent one from free-hand cutting.

I carefully outlined the heart on my newly-painted white plaque, and then started marking off even notch marks with my ruler.

Next it was time to hammer in my nails. As you all have probably come to know…I LOVE white and gold. As such, it was no surprise that I wanted gold nails, and I was lucky to find these adorable brass nails (similar here).

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I found this to be one of the more tedious parts of the project, so I broke up the steps by switching off between measuring and adding the nails.

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After a bit of time, I had my entire heart shape outlined in brass nails.

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And it was finally time for the fun part! The string that I chose for this project was DMC Cotton Floss (see here) in a metallic gold finish (no surprise, huh?). I find this material worked quite well for the project, and most craft stores have this product in a huge variety of colors. If you’re looking for a more rustic look, then a thin jute string may also be a good alternative.

I tied the cotton floss on the base of my heart and slowly started working my way around the frame of the heart, looping the string around each nail before moving on to the next.

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Once the outline was complete, I tied off the string, and then started a new knot (on a new nail). Next I continued to string my cotton floss randomly amongst all the nails.

TIP: Definitely consider tying off your string every 10 nails or so. You’ll find it becomes more challenging to keep the string tight, the more nails you loop.

Before long, I started to see the shape of the heart come together.

The one challenge that I did have was determining when it was time to stop stringing. I consulted my phone and looked at finished pieces on Google to get a sense of what I wanted my finished project to look like.

In all, I’m quite happy with the completed décor piece. I added it to a decorative tray that we have on a little bar area of our family room for the Valentine’s season. I love it so much that I may consider finding  a permanent home for this piece as part of our year-round home décor.

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Happy Valentine’s Day readers!

Q&A with a Jeweler [Wedding Rings Edition]

Mom Pic (Resized)Peggy Woon is a GIA-accredited jeweler; now a retiree, she was in the jewelry industry for more than 30 years. For 28 years, she and her business partner co-owned the Silver Lining Jewelry store in Oakland, Calif.  Today, she spends her time spoiling 3 grandchildren and 2 German Shepherds, as well as volunteering with local non-profits. Unable to stay away from her first passion, she can also be found working the jewelry counter at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale and occasionally at Given Gold Jewelers on Piedmont Avenue.


What’s the most popular metal for wedding rings? 

For men, I see a trend toward more affordable metals like titanium, carbon fiber and tungsten; these bands are somewhere in the $200 to $300 range. They’re all alternative metals, used for cool applications like spaceships because they’re heat resistant or used to formulate new prosthetic pieces because they’re non-allergenic. These days, jewelers can do a lot of different styles for men’s bands by mixing in different metals to make the bands look fancier.

For women, for the past 10 years white gold -not so much platinum- has been more popular than yellow gold. I don’t think it will change any time soon. I don’t see yellow gold making a huge comeback, but lately people have been going for more rose gold. People think it looks warmer because of its pinky copper tone, but it’s harder to match other jewelry to it. If people do pair jewelry with rose gold, I typically see it paired with silver or white gold, rather than yellow gold.

What other wedding-related trends are you seeing?

You’ll always have some people looking for a big solitaire bling with a band against it, but in the last 4-5 years, the trend in wedding rings has moved toward something a little different – not necessarily a large solitaire diamond. Rather than a solitaire with a band against it, some are opting for a single band with diamonds all around it. Also, rings with color stones are becoming increasingly popular, such as emerald and sapphire.

Where should people store their most precious jewelry at home? 

Being in the jewelry business, we have heard many stories of jewelry theft. If you wear pieces often that are very valuable to you, please don’t store it in a jewelry box or an open container on your dresser or nightstand. That’s the first place robbers will look for valuables. It’s best to regularly put things in a very safe, but not obvious place. Just don’t forget where you hide your jewelry!

When it comes to the five C’s (cut, color, clarity,  certification, carat), are there areas people can compromise on, yet still get a beautiful-looking diamond?

  • For cut, you can compromise. It’s rather hard for the untrained eye to tell if a cut is good or bad. It’s about the precision of the cut; professionals often check the cuts by holding stones side by side and looking for how the stones reflect the light. When it comes to cut, its more about your preference. If it looks appealing to you, that is what matters. See if it sparkles in a way that you like and if it’s cut in a shape that you like.
  • For color, if you have a yellow-gold setting you can compromise on getting a diamond that’s more yellow-tone on the color scale; it won’t show as much due to the yellow-gold setting.”D” is a colorless diamond, but H, I  and J are more yellow.
  • For clarity, try not to compromise on this. The inclusions – such as carbon – in the diamond will darken the look of the stone.
  • For certifications: if you’re getting a diamond over 1 carat, try to get one that is certified; this is just for peace-of-mind. If you change insurance, certificates will stand over time. Whereas, if you get a diamond that isn’t certified, you may have to do reappraisals.
  • For carat, this is an area you can compromise on. Let’s say you are looking for a 2 carat diamond. Consider buying one that is just under 2 carats, such as 1.95 carats; it can lower the cost by 10-15% , but to the human eye, no one will be able to tell that it’s not 2 carats.

What are your recommendations when it comes to buying diamonds online?

Every retailer, whether online or not, will have good and bad customer reviews. I personally would prefer to go to a store and find a reputable person who has been dealing in diamonds for a long time so that I could see and touch the product. One online option to consider is Blue Nile; they specialize in diamonds and have a wide selection. One other uncommon brick and mortar option to consider: Costco. It’s one of the best buys around; they often have certified diamonds. People might feel funny saying their diamond came from Costco due to social stigma or pride, but the Costco jewelry selection is good and so are the prices.

This is part of an ongoing series of blog posts featuring experts