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Go January…it’s your birthday…

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

Hello, my little winter chickadees!

Well, the holiday season is over, and we now have the long stretch of winter to face. Everybody has turned their Christmas lights off, it’s dark, it’s cold, and we don’t have any statutory holidays until Easter.


The only bright spot for me is that my birthday is this month.  And while I am on the far side of my 30’s, I still get excited about my birthday. Mind you, that’s probably just because I love attention.

I also love garnets, January’s birthstone. I’m a bit weird about garnets, though — I’m not a fan of them when paired with diamonds. However (confession time), as a general rule, I don’t like it when diamonds are used to accent precious or semi-precious gems.  I prefer for the gemstone to take centre stage, or for it to be paired with something interesting or unusual. Pairing a garnet (or a sapphire, or an emerald, or a pearl) with little accent diamonds just seems kind of, “Ooh, let’s jazz this up a bit by adding a bunch of little diamonds!” I guess it just seems sort of lazy.  Mind you, I’m sure there IS some fantastic jewelry out there that pairs gemstones with diamond accents — it just seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

I told you I’m weird.

Anyway, back to garnets. Take it away, wiki:

Garnets species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, pink and colorless.

Garnet species’s light transmission properties can range from the gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the opaque varieties used for industrial purposes as abrasives. The mineral’s luster is categorized as vitreous (glass-like) or resinous (amber-like).

Of course, red (rhodolite) garnet is the one that we see most often.  The word “garnet” comes from the Latin word “granatus,” meaning “grain” or “seed.”  This name was given to the garnet because of its close resemblance to the pomegranate seed.

A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.  As well, garnets were once used medicinally, to increase strength and ward off several medical problems including blood disorders, heart palpitations and lung disease.

The irony is that this garnet jewelry would CAUSE heart palpitations, thank you very much.

Yes, this is a baby’s pendant, but I see no reason why I couldn’t have it set in a longer chain for myself. It’s just too adorable!

Hammered gold and garnets? Why, yes. Yes, I think I shall!  I’m definitely a sucker for hammered gold, so those earrings are right up my alley:

We also have this simple, but perfect ring. The setting doesn’t distract from the gorgeous, deep, rich red of the garnet.  Delicate, but still very, very striking.  Me likey.

So, happy birthday to all my fellow January babies! May your birthday bring you some pretty new garnet baubles!



New Year, New Moon, New…Moonstone?

Monday, January 3rd, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

No, not THAT New Moon. The January 4th will see the first new moon of 2011.  And of course, thinking of the moon makes one think of moonstones.

For years, I had wanted a moonstone ring. A friend of mine had one, and I had always admired it. Mind you, I had always admired everything about this friend’s style — she is one of those people who always looks perfectly, effortlessly put-together. (Of course, the fact that she is a six-foot-tall cool blonde probably contributes somewhat to this effect, I’m thinking.)

Anyway, on a trip to Holland in 2005 with my now-husband, we stopped at this tiny little store in a tiny little town, and there, he bought me a sterling silver ring with a moonstone in it. The funny thing was that I put the ring on my right ring finger, as that is where it fit. When we exited the store, all of our Dutch friends started oohing and aahing and clapping. It turns out that they wear their wedding bands on their right ring finger, not their left.  So they thought we had just gotten engaged.

I look at this ring and am flooded with good memories. If I had a chance to grab any of my jewelry in the event of a fire,  this ring would be one of the first things I would grab.

In India, moonstone is regarded as a sacred stone. It is believed to bring good fortune. And really, couldn’t we all use more good fortune in 2011?

So it is a stone that is reputed to bring good fortune AND it is a stone to which I hold a great sentimental attachment.  Do I really need more reason than that to hunt for pretty moonstone jewelry for my beloved readers? No. No I do not need more reason.

You could have stunning moonstone-and-pearl earrings :

Or you could have this beautiful bracelet:

And of course, you simply cannot go wrong with a moonstone ring! Mine is sterling silver, but this unique gold one is SO eye-catching, no? It’s a wee bit pricey, but it would make a marvelous engagement ring (a deliberate engagement ring, as opposed to my inadvertent false Dutch engagement adventure, obviously.)

May the new moon and the new year bring you plenty of good fortune (and plenty of pretty baubles, of course!)



Drop Everything!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Sometimes, a girl needs an emergency kit.

No, I’m not talking about a medical kit, or about a kit of emergency supplies for one’s vehicle (although you SHOULD have those, by the way — self-reliance is superfantastic.)

I am talking about the emergency kit that you keep stashed at the back of your bottom filing drawer, that contains a few key items that can add a bit of evening sparkle to your daytime work look, should some unexpected social event land in your lap. We don’t always have time to go home and change. Nor do we always have the time/money/mental energy to go shopping for an entirely different outfit.  Having a workplace emergency kit of fabulousness helps keep you from that panicked, “everybody will look great, and I’ll look like an office drone!” moment.

It goes without saying that beautiful shoes should be part of this kit, but we’ll leave that category up to the Manolo, as he has recommended scores of mouth-wateringly beautiful shoes over the years.

It’s the jewelry I’m talking about.

Having one or two special, sparkly, lovely pieces stashed away for emergency events can make the difference between feeling confident and feeling invisible.

And nothing brings an outfit from day to evening like some drop earrings.

I’m not talking delicate little pearl drops here, folks. If you’re going to put this kind of responsibility onto a piece of jewelry, it has to have the broad shoulders for it.

These earrings, with their effortless mix of gold and silver, are strong but still somewhat airy, dressy but not TOO much so. I could totally see these becoming the workhorse of my evening jewelry wardrobe.

These are fun earrings that can add a shot of colour to a neutral ensemble.  Devastating with a smoky eye and pulled-back hair.
These remind me a bit of rock candy sugar lollies…and that’s not a bad thing.  They’re particularly divine this time of year: icy and gorgeous.

Any of these (or the fabulous drop earrings of your choice) would definitely make a staid outfit MUCH snazzier, and at least make sure that you have no regrets about how you look.  How you behave may be an altogether different matter, but we’ll just keep that between us, shall we?



You Should See a Doctor About That Cuff

Friday, November 5th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

So, you’re wearing an outfit that seems a little…not quite right.

Maybe it’s too sweet, or too blah, or too something. All you know is that your usual kick-ass-itude appears to be crowded out by the sheer”meh”-ness of the whole thing.

What to do?

Get a cuff.

No, I don’t mean “get slapped upside the head”.  This is a non-violent blog.

You think she put up with any crap?

I’m talking about cuffs. Gorgeous, strong, womanly, bold cuffs. A cuff is not for the meek or the  mild. It has presence and verve, and a bit of 1970’s disco-diva awesomeness. It channels Wonder Woman, and who was more unapologetically and stylishly kick-ass than Wonder Woman, I ask you? (None. None more kick-ass.)

A cuff can be a classic piece, depending on the style, but it’s not one of those classic pieces that can sometimes fade into the woodwork. It’s noticeable. And it’s JUST the thing needed to add that strong-woman edge back to your ensemble.

So, whether you’re dressed down in jeans and t-shirt or all dolled up, a well-chosen cuff will let people know that you are Someone To Be Reckoned With.

Look — strong and beautiful cuff bracelets, both simple and ornate!

Don’t you feel stronger already?


La Petite Acadienne

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      Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Mr. Manolo Blahnik. This website is not affiliated in any way with Mr. Manolo Blahnik, any products bearing the federally registered trademarks MANOlO速, BlAHNIK速 or MANOlO BlAHNIK速, or any licensee of said federally registered trademarks. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the author.