Sunday, May 21, 2017

Minimalist Jewelry

Minimalist Jewelry

As with clothes you probably wear 20% of your jewelry 80% of the time. In fact unlike clothes it is probably an even smaller percentage. I know I wear the same bracelets every day, I may add one or two more on the weekend. I typically wear the same two necklaces. I have five or six pendants that I just switch out on the same chain.

At work I have a security badge that I wear, it is on the Vera Bradley safety lanyard in a slim ID case. I have had the same one for three years now. I have to say I am super frustrated with Vera Bradley’s quality. While the patterns are pretty the are expensive. They get dirty easily and will fray. I have tried washing them over the years but they never seem to look clean. I have worked for 3 school systems and their rules for wearing an ID badge vary. I started wearing mine full time my second year teaching. Since I am short (5ft) and look young I find it has helped with establishing respect in the classroom. It also helps with substitutes and parents who may not know my face.  

Over the last year I made a concentrated effort to sell the jewelry I seldom wear, to pay attention to the ones I favor (i.e. why do I tend to reach for that necklace almost everyday?), and to invest in versatile higher quality pieces that match the “color theme” of my wardrobe when I do purchase new jewelry (which i seldom did even when I was a hoarder).

For about 3 years I was a big fan of the Alex & Ani bracelets. Trendy, yes, but bracelets are my weakness and I did wear 2-3 everyday. Something I noticed was they seemed to be silver plated and not sterling silver. No matter how carefully I stored them or wore them, they always seemed to tarnish and chip at the 2 year mark. I hated wearing them once them were noticeably damaged. Reluctantly I sold them all on poshmark. Due to the tarnish and wear on them I was no longer wearing them and they just sat sadly in my jewelry roll. Luckily they all found new homes.

Using the money I got for the sales on poshmark, I invested in a pandora sterling silver bangle. I wear it everyday on my right wrist. I have a pandora chain bracelet I wear on my left. I prefer it with no charms at all, it is so pretty on its own. I have a leather bracelet I also wear on my left that I received from a community member while I was working at a local youth club. I have one other Pandora bracelet, it is a pink leather double wrap, I mostly wear that one on weekends. I have 2 necklaces, both with a longer length, I have found that I like the necklaces that rest just above my stomach. One is a LOFT owl necklace I got 6 years ago when I worked there. The other was acquired this past winter after saving up. It is the long beaded Pandora Essence necklace. I switch out the beads to make a “new look” every time I wear it and for it to match my outfit. At $110 it is hands down the most expensive piece of jewelry I have ever owned. I timed the purchase to coincide with a spend $125 get a free bracelet sale, which is how I got the chain bracelet I wear on my left wrist.

Lastly earrings. I have always worn a pair of earrings until I lose one by way of it falling out. Most of the time I wear a pair for 2 years minimum. The set I have in my second holes I have had for 5 years. The primary set were a pair of turquoise ones from Aeropostale from 3 years ago. I just happened to loose one last month while in a changing room. I have very sensitive ears, even nickel free will get them infected the first time I put them in. After deliberation it seemed stainless steel might be the way to go. I love Fossil jewelry for this reason, most of their jewelry is stainless. I like it even a bit more than silver, never tarnishes. I bought a set of silver tone stainless steel love knot earrings from Fossil last month and am in love! That’s it, I don’t have any other earrings.

Last bit of jewelry I is two stainless steel bracelets from Fossil, one silver toned with a heart charm similar to the Tiffany one. The other is a gold tone chain one. I don’t often wear gold toned jewelry, but have increased its use in the last 3 years or so with the advent of mixed tone stacking jewelry. I love that the rules of fashion have changed and one doesn’t need to wear monochrome color.


Double wrap pink leather Pandora bracelet

Pandora bangle

Pandora heart chain bracelet

    Brown leather braided bracelet

    Loft owl necklace

    Pandora essence beaded necklace

    Assorted Pandora and Hallmark stainless steel chams ~15

    Pandora pink ring

    College class ring

    High school class ring

    Fossil steel bracelet

    Fossil gold tone bracelet

    Assorted pendants ~5

Friday, May 5, 2017

Pensacola Pack List April

Pensacola Pack List

We spent the weekend in Pensacola, FL so my bf could run in the Fiesta Five Flags 5k/10 run. When I stayed in Pensacola in January swimming was not possible. While it is much warmer along the gulf coast in winter then much of the rest of the US, we can usually get away with shorts at best. There are those intrepid few that swim, but as I grew up in New England and have had more than my fair share of cold in my life, I am not one of them. I loathe cold weather. Actually, cold weather is not the problem, it is slushy snow, black ice, cutting winds and months of zero sunshine that I despise. Funnily enough I believe it is mostly out-of-town visitors, tired of cold themselves, that actually swim here in the colder months.

    April, however, is a great time to be at the beach. Warm to hot days with little to no humidity, longer days with the time change, off-season pricing and almost no tourists. You can find whole stretches with not a soul for solo time. The water is warm enough to swim in. I could go on and on. Therefore my packing list changed from our trip in January to this last weekend of April. I almost forgot, there is one caveat to spring visits. The rain. You could find 10 days of nothing or 3 days of thunderstorms. I packed keeping this in mind. One more nugget, I have a 5 year-old chihuahua named Indiana Jones “Indy” for short. He always goes on vacation with us unless we are flying somewhere. I am including my packing list for him too (yes, he is a bit of a diva, and yes I am a first time dog mom, so I overpack).


1 swimsuit

1 coverup

1 pair jeggings

1 linen shirt

1 pair capri yoga pants

1 tee

1 tank top

1 pair athletic shorts

1 long sleeve tech shirt

1 dress

1 denim jacket (my go-to when I wear a dress)

1 pair flip flops

I was wearing work clothes when we drove over, since we left straight after work. Work clothes were 1 pair of khakis, 1 work tee and I wore my tennis shoes.





Travel size baby powder


Travel size shampoo/conditioner combo ( I don’t like hotel shampoo, dries my hair out)

Hair clip


Ipad/charger (could've left it behind, didn’t end up using it, I usually don’t so I am actually not sure why I did pack it)

Headphones (my nice bose ones, again, didn’t need, not sure why I packed them)

Camp/sport towel


Sarong (yeah I finally got one!!!! And as in the past, it is super useful for everything)

Sarong clip



Wool buff


Combo lock

Face mask

Beach chair

Swim noodle

Beach umbrella

Tom Bihn  Synapse 25

Tom Bihn Sidekick

Ultrasil sea-to summit backpack

2 Lewis and Clark featherlight packing cubes

1 Lewis and Clark featherlight packing cube

Things I would do differently next time

I definitely should have left the Ipad and headphones at home. When it is only a weekend trip they are really not necessary.

I forgot my earplugs! Of course the air conditioner was extremely loud.

I usually put a couple unused dryer sheets in my bag to make it smell nice, I didn’t this time. They really make a big difference.

Laundry bag, I really haven’t found a good one yet, but every damn time I travel I wish I had one.

I have also been toying with the idea of using shoe bags. I just toss them in now, but they can smell and in this case were covered in sand. A good set of shoe bags is most certainly on my radar now.

I also recently ordered the Matador Mini Pocket Blanket. There are several end of the year school events happening where it would be useful. In addition I used my sarong as a beach blanket this weekend because red flags were out and swimming in the ocean was banned so I did not need it as a cover-up. Normally I don’t need a beach blanket because of the chair, but our dog does need one as the sand gets hot. On our next trip I will use the Matador for him and my sarong as my cover-up/towel The sports/camp towel was for him, he likes to swim (He is a Chihuahua and gets cold easily if not dried).

One last item, not really an item, but act. I will change into my loungy clothes next time before leaving on a trip. The three hour car ride would have been way more comfortable in yogas and a tee.