5 Stocking Stuffer Ideas – Under $50

There’s something about seeing your stocking full of small little goodies that just brings so much joy to Christmas morning. Popular items to find in stockings are chocolate, candy, travel size games, DVDs, books, bath & beauty products. I always like to pair some of these small treats with a WOW gift that wouldn’t normally be expected in a stocking.

Here are 5 inexpensive jewelry ideas under $50 to surprise the ladies that are on your ‘nice’ list.

1. Fashionable Bracelet: Everyone loves the sounds of jingling bells during the holidays but I prefer the sound of dangly bracelets. So much so that I just ordered this black & pink agate bracelet today. I would totally recommend this to women of all ages as a nice stocking stuffer for only $45.

Gemstone Bracelets2. Colorful Bracelets: If you have many girls in your family to buy for that gets expensive so I think this is a fantastic idea – this set of multi-gemstone bracelets. The set is on clearance at Ice for $99 but this includes 10 real gemstone stretch bracelets including amethyst, quartz and many more. So in one purchase you get ten different ladies on your list a gift and it only cost $10 each. This saves time and money which are two things we always need more of especially during the holidays.

3. Pearl Earrings: It’s hard to find a woman who wouldn’t wear pearls. They are classic and will always be a favorite to many so why not surprise a special someone with a pair of pearl studs. Starting as low as $50 you can have a stocking stuffer that will be in style forever.

Persona Charms Collection4. Persona Charms: Many women own a charm bracelet so why not add to their collection by giving a bead or charm for their personalized bracelet. Starting at $30 a charm you can either get one or a couple to add in their stocking. The charm can reflect their personality such as favorite color, hobbies, etc.

5. Sparkly Jewelry: To really get a WOW when opening a stocking is to mix things up and add something really sparkly. Of course, you can add diamonds but I wanted to stick with an under $50 theme so I recommend a piece of cubic zirconia jewelry. Add these dazzling CZ drop earrings to her stocking this year.

What do you like to give or receive in a Christmas stocking?

The Basics of Pearls: Wearing and Caring

While diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, pearls aren’t far behind – they are elegant, refined and timeless enough to instantly elevate any look. However, many women may not be aware of the best ways to wear and care for their pearls.

The natural oils on your skin are good for pearls, and will help them maintain their luster. However, if you are wearing a necklace, don’t wear perfume or makeup on your neck, as the substances could harm and discolor the pearls.

Additionally, think twice before sporting strands of pearls in warm weather – your skin’s oils may be beneficial to the pretty pieces, but sweat, which is naturally acidic, is not good for them.

If you notice that your pearls look dull or dirty, you can easily clean the jewelry as long as you’re careful. Wash the pieces in distilled water, using a mild baby soap and a soft, natural-bristle brush. Then rinse the pearls in distilled water, pat them dry with a soft cloth and lay the items out until the string is completely dry.

For extra shine, pearls can be rubbed with a bit of olive oil after cleaning. To keep them looking lustrous between washes, gently wipe pearls with a soft cloth after wearing.

A Unique Approach to Pearls

A Unique Approach to PearlsPearls are classic, but they’re also current and hip. Here’s how to elevate them from timeless to timely.

1. Pair them with silver. After you’ve thrown on your leather coat and are finishing off the look, stack on silver bangles which will offer a sexy contrast to the feminine strand of pearls around your neck. The juxtaposition of the metal against the pearls offers an updated twist to your appearance.

2. Layer your pearls. The more the merrier in this case. Instead of one sweet pearl necklace, pile them on and be sure to choose strands of different lengths. By layering different lengths, sizes and colors, you create an interesting look that says you’re a girly girl with some edge.

3. Wear them with casual threads. Most women use pearls to dress up an ensemble, but they can go with low-key items too. Throw on a pair of jeans and your favorite knee high boots and top off the look with a pair of pearl studs or a long pearl necklace.

Preparing for the Holidays

The holidays entail a lot of preparation – deciding on the perfect gifts for all of your loved ones is no simple task. Jewelry is a great go-to gift, but take your time to ensure that the pieces you choose are appropriate and timeless.

A pair of pearl earrings are perfect for any holidayThe holidays entail a lot of preparation – deciding on the perfect gifts for all of your loved ones is no simple task. Jewelry is a great go-to gift, but take your time to ensure that the pieces you choose are appropriate and timeless.

For the young (and young at heart): Insect-inspired jewelry. This trend sounds creepy but we promise it’s sweet. Insect-shaped trinkets are gaining popularity, but think cute, not startling. Ladybug-shaped pieces make a sweet gift for women of all ages. Fashionistas suggest it will be hot for spring but we think you should stock up now.

Don’t forget the cardinal rule of gift giving: when in doubt, go with the classics. A pair of pearl earrings or an emerald ring will always be in style. Look for classic gifts with a modern spin that will look on-trend in the coming seasons but still be wearable for years to come. Diamonds, of course, will always be in style. But a chic pendant or bracelet adorned with precious gems is a surefire hit. If some of the ladies on your list have a big personality, opt for bold colors such as emerald and sapphire.

No matter which items you choose, a little bling under the tree is almost guaranteed to get a smile, and maybe a few tears (the good kind!), out of the women in your life. Don’t forget to consult our Christmas Gift Guide for my gift ideas.

The Perfect Jewels for a Layered Look

A chic gold bangle will add that touch of class every layered look begs forThe fall and winter seasons tend to be a time when people begin to pile on the clothing in order to stay warm. Many looks from the runway feature various tunics layered beneath luxurious cardigans and topped off with a chic jacket and plush scarf. For those who love a little sparkle in their look, there are several ways to rock your favorite pieces of jewelry without going overboard. Continue reading

Straight off the runway: Pearly dangle earrings

Hot for Fall: Pearly dangle earrings
Hot for Fall: Pearly dangle earrings

One pet peeve of runway shows? They always forget the jewelry! I know, I know, it’s all about the clothes but in the real world we know that no outfit is complete without its proper accessories. So you can imagine how excited I got when I saw pics from Oscar de la Renta’s recent show.

Earrings! On the Runway? Yes. Yes. And yes please!

The daring dangles are gorgeous and, according to Mr. de la Renta, hot for fall. Like on the runway this perfect pair would look great paired with an evening gown, but I’ve also found some with a more versatile feel. Specifically, these black pearl drop earrings. Want to lighten in up a little bit? Not to worry, they come in a more traditional white pearl version as well. I’m having trouble deciding between them.

Thanks Oscar!


Use pearls in your fashion forward look

Pearls can be both classic and modern.Pearls are often touted for their vintage appeal, but women should realize their luminescent orbs can also be modern and fashion forward.

Women who want to don the shiny baubles have many options available to them. In fact, some of the most contemporary starlets have been seen donning them on the red carpet.

One idea is to mix and match colored pearls. Show off a long, gray pearl necklace while donning a pair of white or pink pearl earrings.

Also, use your clothes to modernize the look. A pearl necklace will seem on-trend when worn with a pair of dark jeans, a long flowing blouse and some gorgeous high heels.

Zen and the art of accessorizing

Pearl earrings are great for the summer.The summer months were made for relaxation. Long weekends lying out on the beach, barbecues with friends and campfires under the stars are perfect ways to decompress. Shouldn’t your jewelry be as simple and effortless as your sun-filled days?

In the summer time, we suggest embracing a minimalist attitude toward jewelry that will allow you to easily accessorize all of your favorite warm-weather outfits.

Find a few classic investment pieces that will work with everything, and wear them everywhere you go.

A simple pearl necklace will take you from the office to cocktails or a backyard garden party without any extra fuss. And, the smooth and lustrous pearls will feel soft against your skin no matter how hot it gets outside.

A silver cuff bracelet is ideal for those who like to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. It will look fine whether you’re camping, hiking, hanging poolside or at work.

A pair of diamond stud earrings is the perfect solution for women on-the-go in the summer. The ice will sparkle in the sunlight, glimmer at candlelit parties, and never become tangled in your windblown hair.

No matter which pieces you choose as your signature accessories, it’s important that you opt for items that match your overall style and will be comfortable for you to wear on a daily basis. By choosing simple jewelry that will work for every occasion, you’ll always feel elegant and appropriate in what you have on.ADNFCR-2807-ID-19890774-ADNFCR

Fashion Advice From: Nurses

Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Safety and style are what nurses look for in jewelry
Nurses are an integral part of the health care system. They really keep it humming. My aunt Camille has been a nurse her whole career and now supervises teams of nurses. I recently asked her about what she and her co-workers wear for jewelry on the front lines of health care.

So, I bet that wearing scrubs all the time gets boring. How do nurses add sparkle to their work wear?
Well, not all nurses work on the floor or directly with patients. There are some nurses who don’t wear scrubs but the ones that do have a hard time adding a personal touch. Wearing protective gloves means that you really can’t wear big rings. Depending on the protocol at the workplace they might even require that nurses not wear rings at all. Our main goal is health and safety for everyone we care for – even ourselves! I think that earrings are probably the best way to add a unique touch.

When I started working in nursing almost 40 years ago we had to wear all white – you know the traditional nurses uniform. These days there are all kinds of patterns in scrubs and professional team wear that keep things from being too boring. I was recently in a pediatrician’s office and all the nurses there had on scrubs that the kids there loved.

Are there any trends in earrings that you’ve noticed on the nurses you work with?
Diamond stud earrings have always been popular. I think that anything small and conservative is a good bet. Dangle or long tear drop earrings aren’t safe or suitable for the professional setting. You want to have earrings that are easy to keep clean.

What about down time? What about Friday night?!
Ha! Are you kidding?! Lot of nurses work 12 hour shifts and they’re pooped when the work is done. Just like lots of other women, they work hard for their families when they get home. On special occasions though, when they can have a night out, the nurses I work with love to be pampered. Something special like bold gem earrings – or a long necklace is a lot of fun. They want to wear something that is normally off limits at work.

Fashion Advice From: Teachers

Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!
Teachers don't have look like schoolmarms!

Next to parents, teachers may very well be the most important people in our kid’s lives. They care for them five days a week for almost 10 months out of the year. Teachers can teach us a thing or two about a professional yet easy care style.

I recently sat down with my teacher friend Robin (she’s 37) and asked her about her casual chic style. Here’s what she shared with me:

What’s one piece of jewelry that you think is a “must have”?
Other than my wedding rings, it has to be earrings. I think it’s good to keep earrings classic and simple. I generally stick with smaller diamond or pearl earrings – nothing too dangly or flashy. I want to be taken seriously by parents and co-workers. More conservative jewelry helps me do that. I have a pair of sapphire earrings my husband gave me for my birthday one year that I wear all the time!

Do you ever feel that you slip into the “schoolmarm” look?
Ha! Teaching is fast paced and you have to be ready for anything. So expensive and fancy clothes will just get ruined. No high heels here! I think that be taking fresh fabrics and a more sporty approach keeps me from looking like a fuddy-duddy.

What about necklaces?
Well, long necklaces are problematic. If you lean over students to check their work, you can hit them in the head with a long necklace! I wear a diamond solitaire pendant a lot. It has a shorter chain that keeps it out of the way. I also wear a shorter pearl necklace a lot too.

What about the kids? Do you see any fashion trends popping up in what the kids wear to school?
Well, I am constantly surprised at what parents let their kids wear to school! Seriously, they must be really busy in the morning or have given up the fight. A lot of kids are wearing bright colors and lots of stripes – both are not good for me! Of course girls still love flashy costume jewelry and I have to ask them to put it back in their book bags all the time. I think what I like best about working with young people is their fresh attitude. They mix things up and see the world with optimistic eyes. It’s really the best part of my job – the kids.