New Obsession: Ettika Bracelets

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There’s my bestie and me two summers ago with our silly band-filled stacks. This summer, let’s step our game up, ladies!

Stacking bracelets, especially mixed media varieties full of sparkles and rope and other pretty things, are a standing favorite of mine. The more colorful, the better. If you’ve ever had a yearning to re-enter childhood for a while, just so you could stack your wrists up with symbols of friendship, now is your moment, with a grown-up twist. Ettika jewelry is durable but graceful, on-trend but classic. The only problem you’ll have as you scroll through their lovely site, is how to choose what you want.

I’ll likely devote an entire post on Born… to their exquisite bridal collection with an emphasis on the headpieces, but felt that Sparkles really needed a blast of these summery wrap bracelets today. Without further adieu, here come the favorites:

rockwrap

Blend pretty pastels with badass spikes on this Rock Wrap bracelet in Disco Queen, $88, ettika.com

satincord

Worn alone or in a stack, these satin cord woven chain bracelets are the punchy pop of color every outfit could use. $38, ettika.com

friendship

A vast selection of friendship bracelets has you and your girls covered. I love that these incorporate rhinestones for extra shine. $40, ettika.com

roses

Everything’s coming up roses with this “Holiday Sparkle Stack” bursting with blooms and other girly details. $326, ettika.com

Try Something New: Knuckle Rings

Jewelry has taken so many exciting turns down the catwalk in recent seasons, from earrings that are more like ear-cuffs to glorious metal mixing, pearl-encrusted hair ornaments (consider that jewelry for your tresses!) and beyond. This morning, in the 90-degree heat, my poor fingers were a little swollen, but I had a strong desire to wear one of my grandmother’s gold rings. This chunky masterpiece was scooped up on one of the last trips she ever took with my grandfather to Italy, and its sentimental value is even greater than its monetary one.

ringSolution? I wore the ring higher up, right below my knuckle. When the finger is straight, the knuckle is totally covered. Kind of a cool look! There was no puffing or strain, and it was easy to spend all day typing (hey, that’s what we writers do!) without a second thought. I received a ton of compliments, too. Any tricks you love for reinventing your fave jewelry items? I want to hear!

Giddy for Gold

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whole lotta gold! necklace & earrings from peter messina in huntington, new york. green and gold ring is a family heirloom. long gold chain belt from chanel worn as second necklace. this was a fun night of accessorizing!

Since I was a teen, I’ve preferred silver over gold. It’s not necessarily because one looks better on my skintone than the other; I believe it was mostly out of habit and trend. I adored putting on my grandmothers’ gold pieces that had been handed down, but if given the choice between the two colorways in my metal accessorizing, I’d go with silver over gold nine times out of ten.

Then something changed. I’m not sure if it was when the price of gold started to skyrocket a couple of years ago, or if it’s just a matter of growing up and reaching for classics. Either way, these days, I’m on board with the gold trend and my appetite can’t be sated. However, my engagement ring, and the band we’ll get to match, are platinum. For some reason, white metal remains a classic in bridal jewelry that I would not want to change.

So, if you’re going for gold and don’t have the fundage to invest in the real thing, here are some items I suggest you nab stat. From footwear to headgear and everywhere in between, gold is major right now, and it looks grand on everyone.

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Sara Designs gold-tone chain wrap watch is a great choice for dressing up your office look or adding an extra touch to any cocktail dress. $330, bloomingdales.com

headwrap

oh, yes you can! at on sale for only $6.99, this goddess headwrap is an absolute steal. urbanoutfitters.com

bikini

two pieces and countless stares… this adorable lurex bikini by Tooshie is a great shape to flatter many body types. $195, calypsostbarth.com

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the streets are lined in gold when you strut your stuff in these fab golden oxfords from sam edelman. normally $150, i found them at a super-low $99 from karmaloop.com

shoshanna

a lovely gold cocktail dress solves that age-old question of what to wear in lieu of your lbd. this shoshanna number with painted rose motif and POCKETS is amazing. on sale from $340 for $102 at shopbop.com

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

I can’t lie, I’ve always loved diamonds. Long before I met Josh, I used to tear out Tiffany ads, making an engagement ring wish-list scrapbook. I have a few vintage diamond pieces from both grandmothers, and I’ve always felt just a little more special when I wear them. My mom wears her fingers (and sometimes ears and neck) stacked with sparklers, and whether she’s headed to the mall or a ball, they always work.

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there’s my beautiful diamond, a 2-ct. round brilliant in a four-prong, timeless platinum setting.

Last year, when I briefly worked at Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue, my absolute favorite two hours spent on the job were during the store tour we were given as part of orientation. I had to keep running to catch up with the group, because (especially on floors one and two), the chance to stop and stare at the bling was just so amazing. I couldn’t stop.

Of course, just after the tour I returned to work and was sent home for being dressed inappropriately, which sort of soured the moment. But that’s nothing new for an envelope-pushing girl who’s always felt confined when faced with a strict dress code. I digress.

Tiffany & Co. Celebrates Its Blue Book Ball At Rockefeller Center In New York City

The company’s annual Blue Book event features their best of show-stopping jewels. I’m personally most impressed by the diamonds, natch. This year’s top celebs to attend were Gwyneth and SJP. I came across these photos from the blue carpet; do you not love how Sarah Jessica Parker pairs two over-the-top necklaces together, for a Carrie-esque, eclectic re-imagining of the designs?

Tiffany & Co. Celebrates Its Blue Book Ball At Rockefeller Center In New York CityBreathtaking. I love this look but must admit, I’m perfectly happy with my own amazing diamond. Every time I look at it I think, “It’s true! Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” And hey, it doesn’t hurt that the heart of the guy who gave it to me is much more valuable than the world’s most impressive stones.

A lovely thing happened on the way to the beach…

Crystal Pier, San Diego, California… where this little princess became someone’s fiance.

Devoted readers, friends, family… everyone in Sparkle Land who has been wondering where the Hell I’ve gone… please FORGIVE me. In addition to a glorious full-time job that pushes a tad (or more than a tad) past the normal hourly range of “full-time,” and a blossoming freelance writing roster that keeps me busy, Joshy and I disappeared over the week of July 4th for a little R&R… and a BIG life change.

That’s right. After three and a half years of love, laughter, and even some major tears, the man I picked up in a bar in March of 2009 gave me the surprise of a lifetime of July 5, 2012. I thought it was an evening stroll pre-dinner, until he knelt down and shared some very special (private) words, and asked me to marry him. I’ve never known such joy!

Back to Brooklyn, back to reality. I’ve never known such chaos! Between the job and the after-hours job, the wedding planning, and another big announcement that’s in the works (NO, I’m not pregnant!), we’ve been running around like crazy people. We even ran ourselves right into Sinus Infection Land this week, and it’s been Hell climbing out.

This was taken on our vacation, but pretty much sums up what we look like around here most days. Working from home, wedding planning, and other exciting things lead to lazy haircare routines and sweatshirt re-runs.

In any case, I just wanted to remind you that I am still here, and Sparklier than ever! I have a new bridal blog, Born to be a Bride, which I hope you will check out. And I have new, happier outlook. I will not stop blogging about all things sparkly from summer dresses and lipglosses to the fall collections, as they roll out. But there are some big changes coming for this little bride-to-be, and I can’t wait to take you all along for the ride. Let’s go!

xxx, Jensy

One thing this super-blogger and bride is always armed with: a Venti. Keeps me sane, productive, and creative.

Accessorizing Made Accessible

Living and working in New York can prove a very interesting study in human behavior, human intelligence (or, sometimes, lack thereof), and most importantly, human accessorizing. Now, everyone has their own style. My snide remark above is not to be taken in any hurtful way. But walking around city streets means taking in a lot of data on fellow humans. Some are brilliant! Charismatic! Charming! Some are, well, duds. Same to be said of their accessorizing, and here’s more on that.

I know a girl who works at a high end jewelry store and has amassed, over her several years there, several pieces of diamond jewelry. In addition to a whopping diamond engagement ring, a stunning diamond wedding band, and several anniversary or otherwise celebratory bands worn on her left ring finger, she always dons chunky gold signet rings, several diamond bracelets, whopping diamond crosses, anchors, and other symbols around her neck. Once I saw her in a long gold chain with several gold charms, worn AT THE SAME TIME as three different platinum and diamond necklaces. Too much, or just enough? On her, it works. And then there are the girls who wear one little necklace every day, and carry one little black cross-body pocketbook every day, and look lovely. So, this is all to say that there are many acceptable rules when it comes to accessorizing, and it’s up to you to decide what works for you.

While it might not be my personal style, I adore how she stacks on tons of gladiator-like sterling silver bangles and rings, does the headband, and the fringed boots. This girl is totally in character, and it totally works on her. Well done!

Forget the snow in the background and focus on the elegant simplicity of this look. Her entire outfit is neutral and sleek in all black. Her hair is pulled back into a bun. She has ONE and only one accessory speaking, and its message is brilliance. This is divine.

She is prim and proper and her accessories let you know it. A ladylike heel, classic Chanel bag and gold cuff and belt exude womanly confidence and New York grace. I love this look.

Bows remain major, and there are a million ways to get it right. I like her pink-on-pink, nearly over-the-top frilliness here, but less girly-girls can pull off a bow by sticking to more neutral colors, or wearing one with jeans and a tee. What matters is how YOU want to wear the bow.

A Long Time Coming

She might have warned against too many accessories, but even Coco loved to drip in jewels...

Not only have I let you down, my faithful readers, but I have let myself down, too. The rush and constant excitement of freelance writing paired with a full-time job has become a truly fun but never-ending cycle that allows little time for personal rumination and other simple pleasures. I have made the firm decision to NEVER wait this long again to update Sparkles & Fun and I hope I have not lost your love and attention!

For today, a quick trend note that I hope you’ll all enjoy. In working at Tiffany & Co and finding myself purchasing a ton of baubles recently, I find that sometimes it can be extraordinarily satisfying to wear too many pieces of jewelry. Yes, I must apologize posthumously to Coco Chanel who advised that a lady should always remove one thing before heading out the door. I proudly admit that more often than not, I’m adding something rather than subtracting. Elsa Peretti open hearts, Tiffany keys, double hearts, charms, Return to Tiffany… more sterling than one can imagine wanting floats from everywhere possible. Oh, and lest we forget the rings…

The moral is, my cherubs, you can never hold too firmly to the rules. What one person deems unseemly or declasse could just be your next fashion moment, so try to enjoy, indulge, and be merry this season.

xxx Jensy

Lavender Dreams

Her lavender skirt is a vintage find. I love how she roughs it up with messy, bleached hair and a bright red bag. Tres chic. Photo borrowed from lookbook.nu

I’m a pink girl and always have been, but recently my eye has been drifting toward all things purple and pretty. Though fall is upon us and it’s time to button up, and often darken up, there’s no shame in using this bold pastel in your styling from head to toe. Here are some fab uses for lavender.

Sweep the floor.

A floral chiffon skirt packs major punch and will look great with a gray wool sweater, tights and boots. Americanapparel.com, $58

Top it off.

The fun pattern keeps this classic cut youthful and cool. Anthropologie.com, $88

Wrap and go.

Things are coming up roses with this delicious scarf. Oldnavy.com, ON SALE for $10

Sparkle.

A beautiful amethyst necklace will brighten up your woollies. Bloomingdales.com, ON SALE for $312.50

Paint.

I've always been crazy for Liliacism, and am thrilled that it's still available. Essie.com, $8

Breakfast (or at least lunch) at Tiffany’s

Monday was my very first day at the new day job, and I certainly know why Audrey decided to go to Tiffany every time she had a case of the “mean reds.” Suffice it to say that the way I have designed the newest chapter in my sparkly life is extremely fulfilling; work all day with wonderful people at the most glamorous retailer in Manhattan (the world?), and come home at night to write, write, write.

Yes, I am a lucky girl indeed. Not very much to say for this evening, other than that Jensy has landed on her (stilettoed) feet. And I encourage you all, my sweets, to truly listen to yourselves above the rest. Only you can make the choice to make you happy. And being surrounded by glitter and smiles on Fifth certainly doesn’t hurt.

Arm candy

I’ve always viewed this time of year as the perfect moment for colorful jewelry, and the best way to pile it on is to stack a bunch of bracelets on top of each other. Each summer season, I change it up. Last year was the climax of the Silly Bandz craze, so I did a few of those gifted to me by my then-3-year-old friend Henry alongside a bright pink and crystal rope bracelet from Madewell and a few silver Tiffany chain bracelets. This year, it’s a little less chaotic, but still fun.

Left wrist (from left): Friendship bracelets from Papyrus (I scored them for $1 each at the beginning of the summer–and yes, I’m my own friend!). Tiffany charm bracelet from my dad, which he builds charm-by-charm every Christmas. David Yurman chain bracelet from Josh with diamond-edged heart. Every time I look down at this one I am reminded of his love, so that is never coming off. Black leather wrap-around bracelet by Humanity for All. These come in a ton of colors and are meant to inspire the wearer to do good in the world. Its messaging is really fun to read through on a rough day, and a great conversation-starter to boot.

Right wrist (from left): Elastic and crystal hairtie/headband by Jane Tran worn as bracelet. Evil eye red cord and crystal bracelet gifted to me by my brother, Noah. I truly believe this one keeps the evil spirits away! Ettika rainbow silk and crystal friendship bracelet. You can buy these by the stack on their site; makes a great gift!