Thursday, September 20, 2018

Lately 9/20/2018

Wearing: This sweater is back this year! I got it two years ago and it is one of the most worn items in my closet. The quality is impeccable and it's so beyond comfortable! This year they have come out with different colors than two years ago and I love every color. It's a very pricey sweater but I'm thinking it will go on sale in the next few weeks like it did a few years ago! Here's to hoping!!

Eating: Do not walk, RUN to your nearest Trader Joe's and try their sweet potato gnocchi with butter and sage. Holy moly. I grabbed a bag of it because I love gnocchi but I also love anything with sage. I literally popped the bag into a bowl and microwaved for 5 minutes and I had an insanely delicious meal. It tasted like something you would be served at a nicer restaurant. It's not really 'healthy' but I wish they sold the plain sweet potato gnocchi because I feel like I could recreate the butter/sage taste without using so much and in turn cutting back on the calories! A bag is plenty for two people, but I think you could even serve it to 4 people if you added in something like sausage and/or some sauteed veggies! It also reheats wonderfully. 

Sale-ing: Club Monaco is one of my favorites and right now they are offering an extra 30% off sale! This is usually when I get the best prices for cashmere! I really love this tweed jacket

 So I think I may have found my latest heartthrob: Noah Centineo. I watched 'All The Boys I've Loved Before' on Netflix and it was a really cute teen movie. However, even if you just watch it for Noah, it'll be worth it. He. Is. A. Babe. 

Listening: Well, we are almost done with September (can you believe it?!). But I finally got my September playlist in good shape. These songs are so good and I'm so glad I'll have this for travel days ahead! Right now I am obsessed with 'Magic In the Hamptons'. It is SO fun and just makes me smile and want to dance! 
Loving: Even though the Steelers aren't doing so hot right now, Henry still supports his team. I never thought I'd be 'that girl' that dresses their dog, but here we are. He is just SO funny with clothes on. 

Wanting: I did minimal browsing this week, so not much but scroll through to see!

Trying: This is a new category! I am always trying new products so I thought I would share with you one product a week that I am trying out! This week I am trying out Tula's latest product for acne-prone skin! I love a product that promises to keep my acne at bay so I'm excited to see how this one works. So far I like it. It's a lightweight gel that you can easily apply all over your face! Use code SYDNEY for 20% off! 

Pittsburgh-ing: The Gobblerito is back, I repeat, the Gobblerito is back!!!! For those of you that know, you know. For those of you that don't, you need to run not walk to Mad Mex and try out a Gobblerito- it is pure heaven. 

Traveling: Charleston and then Charlotte this weekend! Next up? Niagara-On-The-Lake! We are going to celebrate my mom's birthday. I have never been but I'm excited- I have heard that it is beautiful, especially this time of year! If you have any recommendations on what we should do, where we should eat, etc. let me know in the comments below! 

Quoting: 'Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles. It takes away today's peace.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Resetting Fine Jewelry

Resetting Fine Jewelry

Where I get my jewelry from is one of my most-asked questions ever. I'm pretty sure my jewelry style can be summed up as 'simple, dainty, classic'. I'm not a costume jewelry person (but there is a time and a place/outfit for it) and I always prefer 'real' jewelry over anything else. I also always prefer something subtle that doesn't draw attention but just adds to whatever I am wearing.

I'm lucky enough that my grandfather worked in the fine jewelry industry and therefore, my Grammie and Grandpa have always given me the most beautiful pieces of jewelry.

I've grown up knowing a lot about fine jewelry. My dad worked for my grandpa for a while so he's passed down the knowledge to me and my sister. Growing up, my sister and I used to color on GIA notepads that had diamond diagrams and showed the grading scales for color/cut/clarity/carat weight.

I've discussed this before, but the rose ring you see above was given to me for a birthday and I absolutely loved it. However, as I got older, I was not wearing it because I thought it could be confused as an engagement ring. So, I had it reset into the necklace that I have worn every single day since. I never ever take it off and probably never will. It's very special to me. My sister also has this same necklace from our grandparents.
Resetting Fine Jewelry
After I shared this transformation, I got questions about resetting jewelry almost daily so today I'm sharing another piece I had reset. My grammie recently gifted both my sister and I this dainty beautiful diamond ring. It was quite literally an engagement-style ring, though. So I took it to the jeweler and had the center stone and side stones reset. The jeweler came up with this bracelet design so as to incorporate all of the diamonds from the setting and I absolutely love it.

I think when you have a special piece with meaning, but it might not work for you, you should get it reset! There is no sense in having beautiful pieces just sitting in your jewelry box collecting dust. If you find the right jeweler, they will be able to create anything from super simple to a true work of art!

Also, once you have the stones reset, you can keep the setting and have something different set into it. For example, I am thinking that a pearl or sapphire would look beautiful in the rose ring setting!

I'm emotionally attached to the pieces since they have been gifts from my grandparents, but if you are not attached, you can sell the gold to the jeweler (depending on the jewelry) and that will take down the cost of the new piece!

You can also consider using extra diamonds from settings and incorporating them into your engagement ring or wedding band. You can even have settings melted down and reused for a new setting. It doesn't always work out perfectly, but if it does, I think that makes it even more special.

When you are having items reset, it's important to have a good jeweler that is well-skilled and extremely knowledgeable. Not only that, but you'll want someone creative. Some of those older settings can be so odd/out of fashion now and it's hard to look at a piece yourself and imagine it as a more modern, classic piece! Pinterest is also a great place to look as well as just googling the type of item you want. For example, if you have an old emerald piece, you can just look up 'emerald ___' the blank being the type of jewelry you want (ie. bracelet, earrings, etc.). And then you can take your inspiration photos to the jeweler and they can recreate it exactly or modify it!

Besides having items reset, did you know that if you find a good jeweler, they can create custom pieces for you? For example, I saw a sapphire and diamond ring that was out of my price range, but also too chunky/big for my taste. So you show the jeweler the design and have it recreated to fit your taste and budget. That means either sizing the carat weights down or adjusting the number of stones in the setting.

Have you ever reset your jewelry? If so, what did you have created?! I love getting jewelry ideas from others! If you don't have anything to reset but are looking for simple fine jewelry, I'll be sharing some pieces from AUrate with you soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5 New Beauty Favorites

5 New Beauty Favorites

Products Mentioned In This Post:
Charlotte Tilbury Blush// I had a few blushes that I was rotating between but I didn't really love any of them. I have recently become a huge fan of the Charlotte Tilbury brand after getting sent a press package of some of the products. So, I headed to Nordstrom and had a color picked out for me. I got the color 'ecstasy'. What I love about this blush is that the outer shade is for the upper cheekbone and the middle is for the apple of the cheeks. You can also just mix it all together for the prettiest bronzy flushed glow. 

Charlotte Tilbury Bronze + Highlighter// This is my holy grail highlighter. It's so natural looking and just gives you the most beautiful glow without ever seeming sparkly or 
'fake'. The bronzer is great, too. It's a little light for the summer, but it will be a great shade for me in the winter months when I am paler!
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Pencil// This lip pencil is a game changer. I have the color 'pillow talk' and this is one of the most popular colors because it's just a shade darker than natural lips. So, you can really fill in your lips and they just look natural but better. The pencil is matte and I don't love a matte lip so I top it with my favorite Dior Lip Glow in the shade pink or berry! 

NeuBrow// While this is expensive, it is worth every penny. I don't have super sparse eyebrows but I wanted them to become fuller so I could skip having to fill them in. This made my eyebrows grow so much and it's so easy to use.  You just swipe on at night and you're good to go. I noticed results after 2 weeks and noticed major results after a month. 

Alpha Beta Peel// I'm all about a peel. I do one every night and I love to try different brands each time I run out. My friend Aly recommended this product so I ordered it and love it!! I got the 'extra strength' because my face is used to a peel, and it really does work. I do it twice a week (since it's so strong) and definitely notice clearer skin. There is a reason this has so many great reviews!

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. Nordstrom is a go-to for me when shopping for makeup and beauty products. They carry all my favorite brands and when you go in to get your makeup done or color-matched, they are so helpful! All opinions are my own. 

Products I Want To Try:

Monday, September 17, 2018

10 Fall Wardrobe Staples

10 Fall Wardrobe Staples
The fall season lends itself to the best kind of dressing (in my opinion): layers! I can't get enough of layer colors and textures for a classic but cozy look. 

I was racking my brain to think of fall wardrobe staples that get the most wear in my closet each season. I came up with many more than 10, but tried to simplify it so as not to overwhelm everyone! These are pieces that I think regardless of your personal style, they are staples and (many are) functional for all women!
Barbour Jacket// This is my favorite lightweight jacket. It's casual and neutral so it can work with so many different outfits. I also love that it's roomy so you can easily layer once the temps start to drop!

Cute but Comfortable Flat Shoe// Think classic ballet flats or a velvet smoking slipper in either a neutral or fall hue like deep green or burgundy!
Vest// I love Patagonia J.Crew Puffer, . I notice myself reaching for vests all fall and winter long. They are so good at keeping your core warm without adding a ton of bulk. They're also cute, too! 

Chunky Sweater// Need I say more? I love a textured, chunky knit. It's warm and comfortable but adds so much character to any outfit. I also love a cashmere cable knit. I ordered two of the one I am linking- they're so cozy and cute. They come in so many colors and at $70, they are nice for the price!

Cashmere Wrap// I rave about these wraps all the time and there's good reason! They are so versatile! I wear mine like a scarf and the gray pairs really nicely with a Barbour jacket.

Oxford Cloth Button Down// This is my layering hero in the fall! I love the classic style and casualness of oxford cloth so I have every color and stripe imaginable! They're cute on their own but are great for layering! 

Leather Jacket// This adds a bit of edge and texture to any outfit. Perfect for a chilly night and works with everything from a t-shirt to a dress! Honorable mention to leather leggings, too! 

Neutral Booties// I am not a huge bootie fan. I would much rather wear flats or loafers. But some outfits just call for booties or booties are necessary for keeping you warm! 

Functional Neutral Rain Jacket// This has been one of my latest purchases. I had some 'cute' rain jackets but nothing super functional. I love being prepared for a rainy day!  
Plaid// Whether it's a plaid shirt, plaid scarf, shoes, etc. A plaid touch always lends a cozy casual vibe that is always well-loved during the fall season. I love a good plaid and plaids like Blackwatch can be treated like you would a neutral!

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