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Bloomin’ Gorgeous!

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
By La Petite Acadienne

It is THOROUGHLY winter now, my dears.

At the moment, the snow in my front yard is up to mid-calf, and after this weekend, it will probably be up to my knees.

Bah.

I know, a Canadian complaining about winter is like the guy who goes to the same restaurant every day but always complains about the food. However, taking my business elsewhere isn’t really an option.

Hence, I wallow in bitterness from about January 3rd until roughly sometime in late April.

There are only a few select tasks that will chase away my winter doldrums:

1. Getting my hair professionally blown out.  This little indulgence never fails to make me happy, no matter what time of year it is.

2. Receiving a kiss from my toddler.

3.  Eating homemade butter tarts. The Stonecutter made an obscene quantity over the holidays, bless his heart.

4. Flowery jewelry. It’s springtime-ish and cheerful and oh-so-feminine. Just looking at it makes me forget that it’s so disgusting out that I’ve had to wear my big Kamik snow boots everywhere. (That sound you just heard was the Manolo sobbing into his impeccable wool gabardine sleeve. Sorry, boss.)

Want to chase the winter blues away? You could start with these pretty, delicate earrings. Just skip them if your skin tone is similar, or else people may think you have an unfortunate growth on your earlobes. On darker-skinned ladies, however, they’d be SO pretty:

These earrings also make me very happy. I love the jasmine flower (not to mention the incredible scent of jasmine flowers.)  These are floral, but also somewhat exotic, and altogether lovely.

This bracelet is like a cooler, more durable corsage.  And really, why should we have to leave corsages behind after prom? It’s unfair, I say.

Some flowers are just meant to boldly impress, and this conversation-starting flower necklace does a thorough job of that. The multiple chains add a cool edge, but the piece is still delicate enough to wear with your more feminine clothes, I’d say.

Bisous!

LPA


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.

Bah.

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!

Bisous,

LPA


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!)

Bisous,

LPA


Baby bling

Sunday, December 19th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Happy Sunday, everybody!

My apologies for being rather quiet lately. I’ve been fighting a double-whammy of bronchitis & stomach flu, which has left me incapable of coherent thought, let alone coherent writing.

When putting my earrings in today, I realized anew that I have had these holes in my ears since before I even knew what ears were.  Like many women my age, my ears were pierced when I was a baby. It was simply the done thing.

Of course, like many things, there are both pros and cons thrown out there when it comes to piercing an infant”s ears:

Stated Pros:

1. The infant is incapable of yanking at the piercings, and by the time she’s old enough to have that level of motor control, she’ll be used to the earrings and won’t mess with them.

2. It’s much easier to clean and disinfect the piercings of an infant than of a squirming toddler or rebellious school-age child.

3. If your girl-child is not particularly feminine-looking, it does help reduce the constant refrain of “Oh what a sweet baby boy.”

Stated Cons:

1. The risk of infection is still very real, as is the risk of allergic reaction.

2. When your baby becomes mobile, there is the risk of her getting the earring caught on something and ripping it out.

3. If she DOES manage to get her earring out, or if it falls out, there is the risk of aspiration.

Personally, I tend to stick by the rule of not making any permanent body modifications to my child unless medically necessary.  So no routine infant circumcision and no ear piercing. (Besides, I see ear-piercing as an EXCELLENT good-behaviour carrot for a ‘tween girl, so why not keep that arrow in your quiver until it’ll be of the most use?)

However, I know that there are plenty of people who feel differently.

What are your thoughts on earrings on infant girls (or boys)? Adorable? Appalling? Or is your reaction best summed up as, “Meh…whatever the parents want”?

Bisous,

LPA


Sale Time – Kenneth Jay Lane!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

The lovely folks over at Zappos have some excellent sales on several delightful Kenneth Jay lane items. Here are some items that really stood out, but feel free to browse, darlings!

I love the sculptural look of this bangle.  It looks like wearable modern art that you picked up at the gallery of some avant-garde Scandinavian artist with no last name. However, at less than $50, it costs MUCH less than Bjorn’s artwork would.

Sometimes a girl just has to have a little bit of leopard print. Of course, the notable thing about leopard print is that a little bit really does go a long way. These earrings (20% off, people!) add just a subtle touch of the fierce animal print to your ensemble. AND, good news for my non-pierced friends — these earrings are clip-ons!

How unabashedly girly is this necklace? It makes me want to be somewhere drinking something with pineapple juice, an umbrella, and a dangerous quantity of rum. At the very least, it does an excellent job of chasing away the “Ugh…winter’s just STARTED and I’m already sick of it” doldrums, doesn’t it?  The fact that it’s 20% off the original price certainly doesn’t hurt matters either!

Happy bargain hunting!

Bisous,

LPA


La Petite Acadienne’s Reality-Based Chrismakwanzikah

Saturday, November 27th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Aaaaannnnnnddddd….back to Earth.

That was fun, wasn’t it?

Sure, I’d love to get all of those ridiculously lovely and extravagant gifts (from my prior post) for Christmas.  Will I? Heck, no. Am I upset about that? Of course not — hence the word “fantasy” in the title.  I’d also love to have a flat belly, a high, round bum, and the skin that I had at age 16. But some stuff just isn’t going to happen, and to be upset over it would be beyond silly.

However, the fun thing about the holidays is that there are all kinds of lovely and fun things to buy for others and to covet for yourself, at most every price point. So you can still have lots of fun wishing and hoping and giving, and in some ways, it’s even MORE fun, because these gifts can ACTUALLY happen!  So, without further ado, here’s my more realistic list of things that would be just delightful to find under one’s tree:

1. A pearl pendant necklace.

I adore the sheen and luminosity of pearls, but a full pearl strand is a little too buttoned-up for my current tastes. This necklace is less formal, but is still very elegant. And the chain, being rose and yellow gold, and silver, makes it a very versatile piece that can be worn with just about anything and worn by just about anybody, from you to your mother-in-law to your sister.

2.  Colourful little earrings

These are subtle and sweet, but add a nice pop of colour. And I love the shape: girly, but not twee. A perfect gift for your teenage niece, or for yourself as a reward for checking off your list!

3.  A pretty scarf.

My name is La Petite Acadienne, and I have a scarf addiction. It started out innocently enough, with just the odd scarf here or there, but now it’s starting to take over my life. I have some scarves that only go with one item of clothing in my closet. I do NOT, however, own an orange scarf. And I love orange. So I can TOTALLY justify adding this to my collection, right? Right? And if not, I know my mom would love it, and then I can borrow it!  Win-win!

4. A useful book.

If, like me, you thought that cleavage and girdles were something you only see in the mirror, then wouldn’t it be nice to have this handy-dandy reference book that gives you a nice overview of various gemstones, their characteristics and how to identify them? This is one of those books that I think most anybody would at least find interesting at worst, and utterly fascinating at best.

5.  I still want my housekeeper.

6.  Stuff that smells good.

I have absurdly thick hair. Seriously. Any time I’ve been to a new stylist, I can pretty much guarantee that in the first 30 seconds of the shampoo, I will hear the phrase,  “You have a LOT of hair.”  It goes without saying that my hair tends to take up a lot of room on this Earth. Anything that can make it less large is great. Anything that can make it less large AND make it smell so good that I want to spend all day with my ponytail in front of my nose? Even better. And this stuff definitely fits the bill. I got this stuff for my own sister a few years back. She loved it and used every single drop.

7. A funky little bracelet.
Monserat de Lucca Charm Bracelet

If you know (or are) a lover of all things steampunk, or if you just want something that is not “girly” but not too heavy, then this bracelet is something a little different from anything you may have seen before.

Happy shopping!!!

LPA


Designer Profile: Alexis Bittar

Thursday, November 18th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

In my last post, I featured a pair of earrings by Alexis Bittar, and also featured one of his cuffs in an earlier post. Looking at his entire line, I was utterly smitten, and so wanted to bring you more information about this talented individual.

Bittar was born in Brooklyn, NY to Bob and Helen Bittar, both university professors and antique collectors. At age ten, Bittar began selling flowers from a hand-painted cart near his home in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. On his 13th birthday, his parents gave him a tangled lot of antique jewelry.

It was an odd gift, but it sparked a life-long fascination with the craftsmanship of jewelry.

He continued his entrepreneurial career throughout his teen years, selling antique jewelry and vintage clothing on the streets. While in high school at The Bronx School of Science, he discovered the New York club scene, where he developed an interest in fashion and design.

In 1990, using Lucite and semi-precious stones and metals, Bittar created two different collections, selling his one-of-a-kind pieces on the corner Prince and Green Streets in Soho. In 1992, Dawn Mello, the fashion director of Bergdorf-Goodman discovered Bittar’s work. A year later, began a relationship with Saks Fifth Avenue. In the following years, Bittar began to sell his collection in stores across the United States, as well as Harrod’s in London and Isetan in Japan.

In 1996, Bittar designs a collection of Lucite and steel furniture for The Cooper Hewitt Museum. The same year, Bittar designed a limited edition set of home wares for Barneys New York and Takashimaya.

Bittar opened his first eponymous boutique on Broome Street in New York City in 2004. The same year, his designs were featured in a worldwide Estee Lauder campaign.

Bittar opened his second store in New York in 2008. Later that  year, his designs were featured on the cover of French Vogue, styled by Carine Roitfeld.  In 2010, Bittar opened his third boutique on Madison Avenue. Actress Joan Collins was named the face of his 2010 national ad campaign. In 2010, Bittar was nominated for the CFDA “Accessories Designer of the Year Award” alongside Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler. Bittar was presented the award by actress Dakota Fanning during the June 2010 ceremony.

Below are a few examples of Bittar’s work. I urge you to go look at his entire collection. Bring a bib, however, because you may drool.

Alexis Bittar Woven Teardrop Earrings

 

Enjoy!

LPA

 


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?

Bisous!

LPA


Shiny!

Thursday, November 11th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

There are definitely a lot of positives to this job: getting to interact with you, the lovely readers; working for the ever-kind and supportive Manolo; being on a team with such fantastic individuals; and getting to be my usual opinionated self.  However, one of the nicest parts is getting to spend (a ridiculous amount of) time online looking at beautiful jewelry.

So, “Shiny!” will be blog posts that result simply due to me seeing something online that makes me go, “Ooooooh!”

Because sometimes, being a freaking-fracking gorgeous bit of fantasy is all that’s needed.

Moonstones, diamonds AND emeralds? Oh, Mr. Clooney…you really shouldn’t have!

Bisous,

LPA


A Rose By Any Other Name…

Sunday, November 7th, 2010
By La Petite Acadienne

Oh gold…why have we forsaken you?

Gold is one of those metals that is classic, but lately, it’s been given rather short shrift, hasn’t it?  Does anybody remember the Sex and the City episode where Aidan gave Carrie an engagement ring, and she was upset that it wasn’t platinum? When her friends protested that she loved gold, she replied, “Yeah! Ghetto gold for fun! But this is my engagement ring!” 

She wasn’t alone in thinking that way.

I say, it’s LONG past due for gold to make a resurgence.  It’s warm, it’s elegant, it’s rich-looking, and it’s flattering to the complexion.

And you know what kind of gold is REALLY underappreciated? Rose gold.  Rose gold is the most unabashedly romantic-looking gold. Warm and girly, but underscored by unassailable class and grace, it’ll lend a whole new feel to your wardrobe and your outlook.

Behold — rose gold!

Heather Moore Rose Gold ChainMichael Kors Chronograph Watch

Ippolita Rose Gold Earrings












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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.