Tag Archives: Jewelry

Give Love: 5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas With Heart

Give Love: 5 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas With Heart

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and this year more than ever the need to spread the love is real. Here are five Valentine’s Day gift ideas with heart.

1.Heart of Haiti

In Haiti I stocked up on heart shaped art pieces while on my recent trip to visit artisans with the Artisan Business Network who create pieces for the Macy’s Heart of Haiti line.  The art of Haiti is beautiful, and the hearts depicted everywhere throughout are part of the reason that it resonated so much with me.  Haitian art is heavily influenced by Vodou veves, or symbols, and the heart represents the goddess of love, Erzulie. These pieces make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts because when you purchase them you are helping to support Haitian artisans and their families. It is like giving twice, and you don’t have to travel to Haiti to find them since Macy’s partners with the Artisans and carries Heart of Haiti products online and in their stores.

Heart of Haiti

2. FashionAble

While in Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow I had the opportunity to visit the FashionAble factory where I met women waving beautiful scarves and better lives. Since then FashionAble has branched out into leather goods and jewelry and I am in love with their new lines. Each piece gives back to those building a brighter future for themselves and their families.

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3. Roost Crate

Give your honey some honey!  My father was a bee keeper so I grew up harvesting and eating honey on everything. Honey and Honey bees have a special place in my heart so when I saw that the February Roost Crate “Farmer’s market in a box” was dedicated to honey I had to order one as a gift to myself!  A Roost Crate “you’re the Bee’s knees” box would also make a super sweet gift to your honey! If your sweetheart is a foodie you might just sign them up for one of the subscription options and keep the love flowing month after month!

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4. (RED)

(RED) always has fantastic partnerships and proceeds from (RED) products go to the fight against HIV/AIDS. My favorite this Valentine’s Day is the (RED) app! How cute are these emojis?!? A cute, simple gift to download on your Valentine’s phone.

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5. Alex & Ani

I love this local Rhode Island company that gives back globally. They have partnered with (RED) for a collection of bracelets that benefit The Global Fund. Perfect for your Valentine!

ALEX AND ANIl contributes 20% of the purchase price of each Heart of Strength Charm sold, with a minimum contribution of $25,000 between January 2017 and December 2017 to Global Fund to fight AIDS with (RED)®.

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LOVEly Gifts for Valentine’s Day

LOVEly Gifts for Valentine’s Day



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Wine, Chocolate, Jewelry and heart! We’ve got you covered with this list of a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day gifts this year.

My absolute favorite Valentine’s Day gift pick is the Alex & Ani special edition Product (RED) bracelet where 20% of the proceeds go to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS. I also happen to also be obsessed with the arrow rings and bracelets the just came out with!!

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Olive & Cocoa is the place to find updated versions of Valentine’s Day flowers, chocolate and gifts.

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I love this “bundle of love” that FEED came up with for Valentine’s Day this year where each purchase provides 35 meals for school children around the world!

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Wine always makes a wonderful gift, especially the wines from One Hope because they each give back to a different cause. These wines are perfect for Valentine’s Day the purchase of the glittery pink bottle filled with Chardonnay goes to fight Breast Cancer and the glittery red bottle of Pinot Noir that  helps fight Heart Disease. There are also some fun for the holiday gift packages like the All You Need is Love Gift Box, the Baker Gift Crate or the Birthday Babe Gift Box.

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Heart of Haiti  Fair Trade products found in Macy’s Department stores are produced in collaboration with Full Circle Exchange and help Haitian Artisans to support their families with their beautiful hand-made crafts.

PicMonkey Collage6In my mind life is all about love.  Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to spread the LOVE, whether it be romantic, love between friends or the love of family. It is a great opportunity to let them know you care. Making someone feel special doesn’t have to be with a gift. The gifts above are fun suggestions, and some of them even give twice by contributing to a good cause, but sometimes a simple note or gesture can make someone feel just as special. I’m wishing you all days full of love, and a Happy Valentine’s Day!




Sea Of Glass

Sea Of Glass

When our boys were toddlers my friend Michelle and I used to let them walk along side us on the beach while we combed the sand to find beautiful treasures of sea glass. Two states and six years later, when Michelle decided to start a business creating jewelry made from sea glass, she ran into an interesting problem.  The now common practice of recycling has made Sea Glass increasingly more difficult to find.  Part of her desire was to create jewelry using environmentally friendly recycled materials.  When researching alternatives to sea glass she came across recycled glass beads made in Ghana.  She fell in love, and her Lollie Beads creations were born.

African glass beads have been made by tribes for centuries in areas such as Kenya and Ghana, but have seen a recent resurgence in popularity due to the global heightened desire for environmentally friendly products.  The glass beads have a similar texture and translucent look that is reminiscent to that of sea glass.  I love the fact that she only sources her beads from Fair Trade suppliers to ensure that the artists who make the beads benefit directly.  Fair Trade partnerships were created, and strive to ensure that the trade and retail of handmade creative products are produced in safe and fair practices.  Their goal is to continue to improve the working conditions of those in developing countries, to ensure fair trading partnerships between organizations and producers, and to sustain the economic growth of developing countries by linking producers to new trading avenues.

I had first seen Ghana glass beads when through social media I followed my sister-in-law on the ONEMoms trip to Ghana last spring. There ONEMoms helped to  usher in the inaugural vaccine program with the GAVI Alliance.  The ONEMoms team also visited a glass bead factory  on their trip  where they observed how they were made, and posted photos of the resulting gorgeous glass beads that I had never seen anything like before.

 I suppose part of my close bond with my sister-in-law and my friend Michelle comes from sharing the values of caring for the environment, and the desire to give back. It still felt like some amazing full circle somehow when within 6 month they both introduced me to these stunning beads, that had been around far before any of us, but that I had never seen before last spring.  I fell in love with the African continent when I spent six months traveling through it in my twenties. Ghana was one of the countries I did not get to go to, but I tend to gravitate towards anything made in that region, and love to support tradespeople there.  With the holidays approaching I scooped up a bunch Lollie Beads Bracelets to give as gifts, and of course a few for myself to wear too!  Michelle is now selling Lollie Beads at craft shows, a few boutiques, and they can be purchased at www.lolliebeads.etsy.com.  Sea Glass lovers rejoice!

Maasai Inspired Necklines

Maasai Inspired Necklines

Photo by Elizabeth Atalay

Necklace by Barbara Zeldin

I love the Maasai inspired necklines I’ve been seeing on the pages of fashion magazines this month!   A few years ago I commissioned my friend, and jewelry designer Barbara Zeldin to create a necklace for me based on the Maasai women in the above photo.  Barbara’s beaded bracelets and necklaces reminded me of the intricately beaded beautiful Maasai patterns I had seen in Kenya years before.

Bracelet by Barbara Zeldin

What I’ve noticed now, the thread wrapped necklaces, metal collar plates or woven  necklines of the dress itself, manage to conjure up the same exotic intrigue as the originals in East Africa.

Holst + Lee as seen in New York Magazine

Photo by Elizabeth Atalay


Burberry Ad


Aurelie Bidermann from the pages of Vogue

Spread the Love: Great Gifts

Spread the Love: Great Gifts
Spread the Love: Great Gifts

You know those people who deck their homes for Christmas with neon lights, bells and whistles, inside and out? They may wear red and green all month, and have little jingle bells hanging from their ears. They lOVE that holiday with all their being. Well, that is how I feel about Valentines Day, I do wear a lot of red in February, but it’s also the American Heart Association campaign to wear red for heart health in February, so I can get away with it.  I also decorate my house a bit, but really how far can you go with the hearts and the red without it taking on the look of a brothel? My complete ardor for Valentines Day may have a tiny bit to do with the fact that it happens to fall on my birthday, but how can you not love a holiday that is all about love?! Because Valentines Day makes me so happy, I truly enjoy spreading the love with gifts and cards for my kids, my friends, and of course the love of my life, my Husband. Here are a few fabulous finds this year for the ones you cherish.


Vosges Chocolates:  I blame this little obsession on my friend Lisa who discovered Vosges when she lived inLincoln Park in Chicago way back as Vosges opened their first boutique in that area. Their packaging is exquisite, so it always makes a great gift to send, and the the contents are sublime!  Their Chocolate  flavors are curated from around the world, like the spicy dark chocolate Aztec collection (my favorite), or the Naga bar with flavors from India like curry and coconut.  Sampling the exotic flavors is an adventure in every bite!



The Best Friends Bangle set by Alex & Ani.  They are an amazing Jewelry company that serves as a great example by giving back to society. How much do you love this bracelet set!?  Their bangles have become hugely popular, and just in time for Valentine’s Day they launched the Best Friends bangle set.  This is a beautiful way to share the sentiment that you care, and 20% of the proceeds from this set goes to The American heart Association to help save lives.  So you are really giving twice with this gift!



The FEED (RED) LOVE 30 bag  is another great gift if you like the idea of giving something that also helps others.  I love the look of  it, and each bag purchased provides about one month of life-saving assistance in food and medication to someone in need.








Have you seen the new Tony Duquette Jewelry collection by Coach!? Beautiful! Any of the brilliant  baubles in this line are sure to please!








Sometimes it’s the little things…at Starbucks if you pick up one of these cute cards in stores now, then on any day between now and Februaury 14th you can bring it in after 2pm and buy one Caffe Mocha or Hot Chocolate and get one free for your friend.


Happy Valentines Day! It is all about love! So share it!