As that holiday designed for lovers is on the fast approach, the pressure is on to find the perfect gifts for the loves of all our lives.  Searching for meaningful presents is one of my favorite things, and as I've gotten older, I try to think about the lasting effect of what I am giving out. Diamond Print by Glimmer of Gold on Etsy

Now I know that we can't all afford to give diamonds, as much as we would like, but a thoughtful piece of jewelry always goes a long way.  It isn't about running out and snagging something just because it's sparkly, though.  Seriously.  Just cause it sparkles doesn't mean you don't have to think about it.  Jewelry is such a personal gift because it reflects your vision of their personal style.  Oh, the pressure!

One of my favorite places to go when I'm on the hunt for a special piece of jewelry is online shop Anjolee.  In my experience, there are two real options when it comes to shopping for a jewelry gift:

1. The Classic

The fail-safe option.  Go for something timeless and it will become a staple in any jewelry collection.  A pair of diamond stud earrings are not just something that can be worn forever but they are also something that can be passed on and stay 'in fashion'.

diamond studs

If you're feeling brave, a slight twist on such a classic item might be just the thing.  The lovely people over at Anjolee sent me these stunners that have the timelessness of the stud earring but bringing it up just a little to become a sweet little statement look.

surrounded by diamonds studs

2. The Custom

This option works best if you know the recipient of the gift a bit better.  It also makes the gift that much more special too!  If you visit Anjolee, they give you all the options you could possibly dream of to make a really personal, thoughtful gift.

From the shape of the stone, to the length of a necklace, quality and weight, even the addition of gemstones...you can really make a piece your own.  I own

Head over to Anjolee to explore.  It's ever so much fun!

(All jewelry images c/o Anjolee)

Etsy Monday: Inmost Light.

Love a good fairy tale?  So does jewelry designer Victoria from Inmost Light.  Now I'm not talking about Disney fairy tale here...but something more mysterious, a bit darker and deeply whimsical.  She works with enchanting elements, both in structural style and emotional inspiration.  Lockets, pocket watches, the starry night sky, vintage filigree, mystical iconography.  What was that?  Oh yeah, I'm obsessed. The Moonlight Traveller Locket Ring

In A Secret Garden Pocket Watch Necklace

The jewelry itself is so unique and is one conversation starter after another.  All Victoria's pieces have a personal name and a story behind them.  Here's my major dilemma: I want all the things.  All of them.  In my wardrobe.  Looking as beautiful on as they do off.  Sigh, it's hard-knock life.

Khaleesi Tribal Necklace

Aurora Borealis Ring

Midnight Flower Ring

See something you love too?  Well, Victoria is giving Thrill of the Chaise readers a 10% discount when you use the code 'THRILL' at checkout.  SQUEAL.  Get all the things!  Check them all out at the Inmost Light shop here.

Moon Hare & Moon Necklace

Secret Order of the Raven Necklace

Northern Star Locket Necklace

Glass Star Necklace

Starry Sky Ring

(All images c/o Inmost Light)

Every Heartbeat Belongs To You.

Erica Weiner makes some pretty cool jewelry.  A while ago, I geeked out pretty hard to these 'Sweet Nothings' necklaces from In God We Trust that made delicate statements like 'Sweet Tits' and 'Bless This Mess'.  (I hope no children are reading this...sorry, parents.)  And now my geek mode is in even higher gear over Erica Weiner's 'Heartbeat' necklaces.

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Though the word 'juxtaposition' drives me completely nuts after hearing it ten times a day at fashion school, I think that's what draws me to these romantic hearts with unexpected lyrics.  And maybe it's the lyrics a little bit too.  Since the song has a special little place in my heart for personal and ridiculous reasons, 'Islands in the stream, that is what we are' by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers is my favorite.

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Looking for something just as ridiculous and equally as lovely?  You can also choose from:

'And after the party, it's the hotel lobby' - R. Kelly

'Been down two times' - Fleetwood Mac

'Don't say you don't, please say you do' - Morrissey

'With my mind on my money and my money on my mind' - Snoop Dogg/Lion

'Shorty you're my angel' - Shaggy

'Guess I gotta keep on ramblin'' - Led Zeppelin

'This must be the place' - Talking Heads

Buy any and all of these necklaces on Erica Weiner's website here.

(All images c/o Erica Weiner)

New (But Not So New) Obsession: Doloris Petunia.

Let me be straight up with you all.  I have been wanting to write about Doloris Pentunia for over a year now.  What has kept me from writing about Doloris Petunia?  Haven't a bloody clue.  I have a list of things that I would love to write about if I catch a free moment or if I am feeling low on inspiration, knowing that they are my little gems I keep safe for just the right time/outfit/party.  But every time I consulted my list in a moment of need, Doloris always sat atop the list but never felt like something I should write about as a reserve.  Ya get me? But lo and behold, I saw a lovely tribute to Doloris P. the other day and I thought, 'DAMMIT, my secret is out and DAMMIT, it deserves some air time'.  So here we are.  Talking about Doloris Petunia.

Blonde Salad

If you're looking for a freaking out-of-this-world statement necklace (and I would prefer to carry on thinking every single one of you is, thanks very much), then Doloris Petunia is your lady!  Or rather, Doloris Petunia is your place and Courtney Prince, the mastermind behind this insane amount of beauty, is your lady.

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Her work is bold, colorful and not for the faint of heart.  Doloris Petunia is not the kind of jewelry that 'compliments'.  It's the kind of jewelry that stands out, gets you noticed and makes a STATEMENT.  And the statement that Doloris Petunia lives by?  'Because one of a kind is the new black'.  Can't argue with that...

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Check out all of Doloris Petunia's collection here.

(All images c/o Doloris Petunia)

Diana Ho Designs: Bohemian Beauty.

When I came across Diana Ho's work on Etsy, I was immediately taken with her style.  It's delicate, bohemian, organic but really edgy.  It's incredibly cool and beautiful without trying too hard...basically the way all things should be.

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Diana created Diana Ho Designs (DHD) Jewelry Collection in dedication to her mother, Kimberly, who passed away in 2012. Kimberly adored jewelry and Diana uses her work as a way of keeping her mother's spirit alive, allowing her creativity to blossom through design.  'My vision is to always find new innovative ways to incorporate art into fashion, where art is key. My mission is to provide a way for people to feel beautiful and express themselves through unique pieces.'  How perfect.

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Diana is offering an incredible 20% discount to Thrill of the Chaise readers, yay!  Visit Diana's shop on Etsy here and use the code: TOTC20 when checking out.  Happy shopping!

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(All images c/o Diana Ho Designs)

I May Love This Cocktail Ring More Than Cocktails.

When I was in college, I treated myself to a pretty badass cocktail ring.  I still have it and it is something of a celebrity amongst my friends and signifies, to me at least, a lovely time in my life as a carefree kid in college.  It's mildly ostentatious...gemstones of yellow and pink set in silver with diamonds so it's safe to say that it doesn't get the chance to see the light of day much.  When I stumbled across this beauty, I couldn't help but think maybe this is the next level of cocktail rings for me.  It's much more understated, a little dark but thoughtful and still gorgeous.

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There is a beauty in its simplicity that somehow makes it unusual.  Everyone needs a great statement ring, right?  And now that I am actually old enough to both wear one of these rings while legally drinking a cocktail, it makes me think that an update, or at least expansion of my collection, may be in order.

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So what I'm saying is 'gimme'.

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(All images c/o One Garnet Girl)

Written In The Stars.

One of my favorite things about being at my childhood home is being able to look up at the sky and see the stars in all their glory.  It's dark.  It's beautiful.  And it reminds you just how incredibly small we really are. After I saw this beautiful constellation necklace below from Zelma Rose, I went on a little hunt for all things celestial.

We Have An (Astrid) Winner!

Thank you so much for all your entries to the necklace giveaway with the amazing Astrid Endeavor.  We are very happy to announce that the winner is...DRUM ROLL PLEASE...Bonnie MacTavish! Don't forget that you can still get a 10% discount on your purchase at Astrid's Etsy shop (I just did!) if you enter the code 'BLOGLOVE' at the check-out.  She has so many gorgeous necklaces and look at this badass brooch.

(Image c/o Astrid Endeavor)

The Handmade Statement Necklace.

I came across this image the other day and adored the look (barring the lipstick, sorry lady).  It is such a basic outfit but it really comes to life with such a fun and bold necklace.

I immediately thought about an Etsy shop I had seen a couple days earlier.

They are slightly less refined and not as bold in shape but they still do the job.  Visit An Astrid Endeavor on Etsy to see their full collection.

Don't forget...today is the last day to enter to win a copy of 'Paris vs New York'!

Cool Cameos.

When I was very young, people used to tell me ridiculous things and I used to believe them.  My best friend Allie (the bride-to-be in this post) convinced me once that there were elves living in her basement who would leave us markers and coloring books to play with.  Come to think of it, it was also Allie that told me that if I stood on a beach towel in the middle of her living room her dog wouldn't be able to come near me. (I came from a house with disinterested cats and a dog the same size as me really freaked me out.)  The point is that I'll participate in some rather fantastical ideas without much question. One of the most vivid memories of mine as a child believing in some kind of magic was playing at my great-aunt and uncle's home which always seemed to me to be some kind of fairy tale forest.  There was a single day I remember playing with another girl about my age who was also visiting the house.  I would never be able to tell you her name or why exactly she was there.  (While writing this, I am starting to really hope that I didn't make her up too.)  She had a little pendant that was peach colored with a white cameo on it and it was like nothing I had ever seen.  This chick told me some story about how the cameo was magic and would tell us where to go on a journey through the woods, leading us on a wonderful adventure.  I think we got about as far as my uncle's woodworking shed a mere 50 feet from the house before being called in for dinner.

So when I came across this incredible take on the traditional cameo on Shopbop the other day, it really got me excited about the whimsy of this style of carving and how cool it looks mixed with modern fashion.

This find obviously led me on the search for other cool cameo objects:

Click through on each image to get shopping details!

My Favorite Things: Paris

Well, it's official. This is my last day in Paris. I've learned a lot and met some incredible people along the way, including Jenna from Paris Cheapskate, a writer from NYC who has moved over to this amazing city to stay only as long as her money will last her. She and her website have been amazing resources in getting inspired and excited by Paris. So let me hand it over to Jenna who I am thrilled to have as a guest on the blog today... We all know that Paris is a dreamworld when it comes to shopping: lingerie, haute couture, shoes, vintage, and it even has its fair share of thrift stores. And, believe it or not, I haven’t always been a cheapskate. Here are a few of my favorite Paris purchases.

This is actually two of my favorites, though the dress is kinda hard to see. I got the dress, a form-fitting vintage number with a twirlable skirt, covered in a pink-and-earth toned jungle pattern, at Vintage Desir (aka Coiffure) in the Marais for a scant 10€. That place is a goldmine. Paired with a braided brown belt, it is the perfect outfit for a daytime date, picnics, and, as you see above, toodling around on a bike in Giverny.

This adorable hat I also got in the Marais, though I’m hard-pressed to remember the name of the boutique. I have an embarrassingly small head and it’s humiliating to try on hats. Sometimes my best friend likes to take me to Target and just laugh at me while I try on hats. This is the only summer fedora style I’ve ever been able to find that actually fits my head, and it’s come in handy on many a sunny day to top off a casual about-town outfit.

On my first trip to Paris, I figured I should come away with at least one chic bathing suit to end all bathing suits. There is nothing that assures you more that you’re okay with your body than to spend two hours at Le Bonmarché trying on every single thing they have and walking away with three new swimsuits (oops). This one by À La Plage, however, remains my favorite, with its adjustable bottoms and an old-fashioned top that boosts my bust.

When I completed my first novel, my wise mother told me I should splurge and buy “a little something” to commemorate the experience, so that whenever I wore it I could remember the achievement. This is a good reward habit to form, and after keeping my eyes open to little baubles and simple rings around Paris, when I found this lovely necklace at Cécile & Jeanne, I knew it had to be mine. Imagine my delight when it turned out to be 50% off. Its unique gold edges and bright rubies bring a little black dress to a whole new level. When I wear it, I feel beautiful, elegant, and, inside, proud of myself.

Shopping in Paris can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re O.D.’ing– there’s just too much good stuff. But here’s some sage advice: buy only what you believe you would never stop thinking about if you didn’t get it. If you do that, whatever you pay for your wearable souvenir will be worth every penny. And you will always be able to rejoinder the inevitable compliments with a casual “Oh this? I got this in Paris.”

Read more from Jenna, get the best cheap-chic insight on Paris and check out my guest post this week at Paris Cheapskate.

(All photos courtesy of Jenna-Marie Warnecke.)

Loving on Pamela Love.

Since I saw Pamela Love's work a while back, I have been hooked on the somewhat tribal, romantic, dark and organic work.  I know I have mentioned Ms. Love a couple of times in the past few weeks, speaking about the top CFDA finalists and their work with J. Crew (here) and also on my birthday wishlist (here) but I am ever so surprised with myself that I have not properly showcased the jewelry designer.  So that is what I am going to do riiiiight abouuuuut NOW. Pamela is a New York native and started making jewelry in her Brooklyn basement in 2006.  She has since then been a finalist and is running her own business with a growing in-house team in Manhattan and really showing the fashion industry that maintaining design and brand integrity, as well as fighting for your dreams, returns an amazing reward.

Here are some of my favorite pieces from her current collection featured on her own website:

There is also a great selection of items not found on the Pamela Love website at Shopbop.

Refinery29 posted a feature last week of a brilliant sneaky peek inside Pamela's studio that you can check out in full here along with an interview with the designer.

Elke Kramer Gorgeousness.

While catching up on one of my favorite blogs, Style Bubble, I was really struck by one post that featured the delight of great things that come in small packages.  One of the highlights of the post were a collection of gorgeous little rings that Miss Susie Bubble styles so well, and which also drew me to explore more on Elke Kramer jewelry.  Now I'm obsessed. There is something very medieval and mystical about the jewelry while also maintaining the right amount of femininity.  So I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces from the current collections which are gorgeous and, very surprisingly, really affordable for such special items.

Los Milagros.

From the moment I arrived in San Miguel, I was fascinated by artwork that made use of small silver charms depicting hearts, faces, legs, arms, elements from nature...the list seems endless.  On my first proper day and outing in the city, I was exploring the monthly artists market at the Instituto Allende and was taken with one stall in particular.  Wooden jewelry featured carvings of the images I saw in all the silver charms, as well as antique charms that were added to some of the pieces that added a personalized charm.

I was immediately drawn to one necklace in particular that featured a heart and multiple strands of small round wooden beads, all hand-painted in a muddied red with a subtle gold brush run over top.  The artist herself, Rocio, very quickly introduced herself and was kind enough to explain different prints and shadow boxes that were also featured as part of her 'shop'.  I decided that the unusual necklace had to come home with me that day but was so impressed with Rocio's work that I asked if I could feature her on Thrill of the Chaise and she very kindly invited me to see more of her work at her home later in the week.

To give a bit more explanation behind the title of this post and these little charms that act as a theme behind so much of the artwork in San Miguel and Mexico itself, I will relay the information given to me by another artist at the market.  These charms or 'milagros' are very literally called 'miracles'.  Depending on what matters weigh on you or what you hope to pray for, you get a 'milagro' or charm that relates.  The heart for matters weighing on your heart or the leg for a physical impairment.  There are so many to choose from, you'll never be without the right 'milagro'.  You take your milagro to the church and pray, leaving the charm as a gift and reminder of the prayers you have made.  Beautiful, right?

Rocio's home was that of a true, inspired artist.  It was bright and light.  A pink painted chair on the porch was a reminder to have fun no matter where you find yourself.  She had created a lovely display of her work which included so many more necklaces and bracelets depicting and including various 'milagros'.  She had earrings for miles, made with bottle caps and gorgeous depictions and colors.  Her shadow boxes told stories of Mexican wrestlers and the beauty of 'found objects'.

What struck me most about Rocio and her work was not just the usage of materials that might otherwise be discarded, which as re-energized into something incredibly beautiful, but the love for art that she has instilled in every member of her family and her wanting to share her family through art.  Prints on the walls of old postage stamps enlarged made a beautiful statement being able to see the ink stamps and writing that covered parts of the image.  Rocio explained she found the stamps in a box of her grandmother's things and thought they were works of art in their own right.  Also as a part of her grandmother's relics, she told us how her grandmother had passed on many antique 'milagros' (yes, the charms) in various sizes and shapes, which she has started to work into some of her jewelry and shadow boxes.  Something which some of us may hide away in a box in the attic, Rocio wants to share.  She told us they were too beautiful to not be shared and to know that she wanted a part of her family history to become a part of another family spoke volumes about the kind of woman Rocio is.  What good are material possessions if they are not being shared and their story not being kept alive?

In sharing her family through her art, it was wonderful to see how proud, and rightfully so, Rocio is about her family (husband and lovely children), all of whom are artists in their own right.  Her husband makes beautiful, one of a kind lamps and shadow boxes full of more of these precious charms.  We saw cork jewelry her son makes.  And she let us see pictures of the dolls her daughter makes of socks and found objects which has won her awards at school for creativity.  I am not sure which was most impressive...her overwhemling pride in her family's wonderful and individual talents or the talent of each family member themselves!

Rocio currently only sells her items in-person at markets but her work is AMAZING so if you would like to contact her about any of the pieces you saw in this post or would like to discuss a custom piece, please get in touch with me!

Tick. Tick. Boom.

I don't tend to wear bracelets.  Thing is, I have very little paws and throwing a bracelet on my wrist tends to make them look even more like puppet hands.  Unsurprisingly, that is something I try to avoid.  But when I was gifted a beautiful rose-gold Michael Kors watch for Christmas, it turns out, if I go for more of a bangle situation, things are starting to look up! First step was when I stumbled across an amazing 'Daily Break' from Lucky Magazine, one of the best places out there for great deals and a bit of fashion and design inspiration.  Totally worth the money at full-price (though for 24 hours thanks to Lucky, I was able to get them for half), I purchased two incredible arrow bracelets from ShopDesignSpark.  One in silver and one in rose-gold.  Love them, love them, love them.

With Refinery29 as my 'trend bible' of sorts, I was very excited the other day to read a piece about some incredible bracelets that, hey ho, seem to carry on my arrow theme.  Who knew I was so obsessed.  But beyond the aesthetics of these unique bracelets, there comes an even more unique story.  PeaceBOMB is a collaboration with Article22 that not only works to bring awareness of the violence and war in the country of Laos but also to support local artisans through support of history and art.  These bracelets are made of metal scraps from the bombs dropped and left on the land across the country.  Not one to be particularly political, especially when it comes to fashion, I have such admiration of this project and it's products.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMIneJa8Vik&context=C36df32eADOEgsToPDskJ0gxQ36P7PJnHqM6tmtX1o]

My favorite are the engraved bracelets which are decorated not just with the aforementioned arrows, but also with an inscription telling you where the particular bomb you are wearing was dropped and made into your personal piece of art.  These dainty bracelets are beautiful but also more powerful than any of us may ever know.

That girl is FANCY.

I love pretty things.  Which means I am really into jewels.  I refer to a delightful woman on London's Portobello Road as 'Jewelry Lady', from whom I have bought/been gifted/helped others buy some of the most gorgeous pieces I've ever seen.  My mother has been known to hide her nice jewelry from me because I potentially cannot be trusted.  When I was in college, I thought a $600 diamond cocktail ring was an 'investment'. I was recently approached by Anjolee.com, an incredible manufacturer and retailer of fine diamond and gemstone jewelry, and given the opportunity to customize a pair of earrings on their website.  And my response was 'ohhhhhh yes!'  Obviously.  What kind of girl turns that down?!

I had an absolute ball getting to spend time looking through the Anjolee website which has basically anything a jewelry fiend such as myself would be looking for.  Diamond earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants a plenty.  What is so much fun about the website is how interactive and personal an experience it is.  Customers have the chance to make all their own decisions on setting materials, stones, sizes, etc. while getting to look at 360 degrees images to really get a proper look at what you are creating.

Anjolee has an incredible number of both stud earrings and hoop earrings to choose from, making this one of the best 'hardest decisions' ever.  As much as I love the look of drop and hoop earrings, I have always been a girl who gravitates toward studs.  I went for Trillium Stud earrings in white gold and opted for garnets in place of diamonds.  It was a bit of quirky that I love in a classic style.

When the earrings arrived, they were even more lovely than I had expected!

The quite obvious next thought was what to wear my new little treasures with and I wanted to share how I would style an outfit around these shiny delights  :)

CASUAL

Let the earrings be a classic pop of color or a stand out basic if you choose diamonds with a sweet white or cream dress with a neutral or black leather jacket.

Show off the earrings as part of a rich Bohemian or hippie chic look, matching the earrings to a great red tie-dye tunic.

Add a great color or quirky-classic style to a great nautical themed outfit.

DRESSED-UP

Take the nautical look and dress it up with a nautical stripe gown and 60's French up-do and headband.

Choose a skirt color that suits you and your earrings to create this youthful and romantic look.

And, of course, a fun black cocktail dress that let these earrings show off!

Thank you so much to Anjolee for letting this girl create a pair of such gorgeous earrings!

I want Mawi!

So as you all know if you have read my blog in the past, I am obsessed with Mawi Jewelry but have yet to own anything from their collection. They are currently doing a give-away of one of my fav necklaces and I am on a serious mission to at least do my best to try to win it :) If any of you would be so kind as to visit the Mawi Facebook page and the comment on how to win, and then 'like' my comment (the comment with the most 'likes' wins), I would be beyond appreciative!

I mean, who wouldn't want this necklace?! (Oh, I should mention that I'm the very first comment. Kate Neary. I'm determined, haha)

Friends Forever

My best buddy, Allie, and I go way back.  She knew me when I was still living the easy life in my momma's tummy (our parents are best friends, as well).  And we have always been pretty cool kids...and obsessed with shopping.

We have tried in vain numerous times to find and wear 'best friend' necklaces that were just the coolest thing out there when we were young.  We can just never seem to find the right ones or ones that seem to suit us.  But I still love the idea!  So here are some things I have found, including friendship bracelets I am in love with, that may just do the trick  :)  Allie Kat, you in?