Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Wearables – Rutilated Quartz and Brushed Silver Earrings!

Last week at the show, I purchased the most incredible rutilated quartz tear drops. I love them so much that I got two strands! I also procured some fantastic brushed silver components and hurried to create several pairs of earrings. Here are several!

I also have several necklaces to photograph; they will be up in my shop soonest!

By the way, tomorrow is August 1, which means it’s time for the monthly jaC Jewelry newsletter! Have you signed up for your very own copy of the newsletter?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Edibles – Strawberry Cheese Cake

Here is the cheesecake Husband made a few days ago! It was the most delectable treat. My friends had some, and all said it was one of the best cheesecakes they’ve ever had. Give it a try!

12 graham crackers, crushed
5 tablespoons butter, melted
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
2 cups white sugar (0.5 cups for the crust, 1 1/2 cups for the cheesecake filling)
½ cup half and half
2 cups fresh strawberries
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and 0.5 cups sugar with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.

3. Combine fresh strawberries with half and half and puree in a blender. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add the pureed strawberries and half and half and mix well. Then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees F. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Don't Tell Momma

Hi! It’s Ruby. I know Momma has already properly introduced me to you, but in case you’re new to her blog, I’m a four-month old kitten who grew up in a shelter. Then one day Momma and Papa came to the shelter and adopted me! It was really hard leaving my sister behind, but I hope she has found a good home and a loving family just like mine.

Anyway, I have been dying to try out blogging, but Momma said that my typing skills needed improvement (as evidenced here), so I worked really hard to learn how to type better.

When I had that typing thing under control, I did something sneaky. While Momma was at work, I opened up her computer and learned all about her blog! Here I am checking out that blog post about clothes/shoes shopping Momma wrote.

Now I am up to speed on posting, editing, inserting pictures, etc. Momma has no idea that I’m writing this post to you right now, either. What a surprise it’ll be!

I thought I’d share with you some of the things I do that are a teeny tiny bit mischievous. Here I am playing in the faucet. I end up all wet, but it’s worth the fun! I was trying to take out that shiny thing in the center of the faucet but wasn’t able to this time.

And then… I was about to be caught, so I had to run. Ah well, there’s always next time.

Momma has no idea. Don’t tell her.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – Avocado Slicer

If you use avocados often, consider investing in this terrific avocado slicer by Progressive! It not only eliminates for peeling avocados, but it scoops the pulp right out and slices it at the same time!

We got one as a gift a little while ago, and now use it all the time. Great little kitchen gadget!

Monday, July 27, 2009


One of Husband’s least favorite things to do is go bead shopping with me. He gets bored quickly while I spend hours looking at beads, so I usually don’t take him along when I go.

Yesterday I really wanted to attend a gem show. I had never been to one, and there won’t be another in NYC any time soon. During breakfast, I mentioned that I didn’t have anyone to go to the show with me. “I’ll go with you,” he said.

We walked there for over 30 minutes in the 90+ degree heat. While I spent well over an hour (but probably close to two) shopping for beads, he sat on the bench and read his book. He did not complain or try to rush me – just waited patiently. Then we walked back for another 30 some minutes, and by the time we had lunch it was several hours overdue. Again, no complaints.

It was one of the sweetest things he had ever done for me. That’s what true love is. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Unreasonables – Catch-22

About a year ago, we signed a two-year contract to lock in the price on cable and internet. We weren’t going to sign a contract because we knew we’d move this summer, but the sales person in the NC office assured us that we could transfer our service.

When we contacted the company to transfer our service, the answer was: “You can’t transfer the service”. I should have seen this coming. After more conversations, the company said, “Go ahead and set up your service in NY; once you do that, we’ll be able to see it in the system, and will not charge you a termination fee.” This sounded great in theory. We set up our service in NY and informed the NC office before we even moved. Great!

And then we got a bill for $120 termination fee in the mail. We called, and the NC office said something like, “We have no access to your records once you leave NC, so we have no idea if you have service in NY. Call the NY office and ask them to fax us proof of your service.” We call the NY office, and they say, “We don’t do that.”

It’s a Catch-22.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Receivables – Hadley Hutton’s Art!

I just discovered Hadley Hutton’s shop and am in awe of her work! I love that some pieces are subtle and soft, like this gorgeous Magnolia Branch - Print, while others are bright and colorful, such as this beautiful Summer Swallow - July Monthly Series.

My favorite print is Rusty bird. I know exactly where I’d put it in our new apartment!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Wearables – Finally, New Pieces!

In case you didn’t notice, I added nine new pieces to my shop this week! I was so excited to finally be able to create again. Of course, the new designs included pearls! Let’s take a peek at several.

Crystal Briolette and Brown Pearl Earrings 4Glamorous Espresso Girl Earrings - Crystal Faceted Briolettes, Tiny Chocolate  Pearl and Sterling Silver Earrings are a dressed up version of Espresso Girl earrings that I sold a month or two ago. I used a similar design and added stunning crystal faceted tear drops! Love the way they turned out.

The next two pieces, Pearl Elegance Bracelet - White Keshi and Brown Potato Pearl and Sterling Silver Bracelet and Pearl Elegance Bracelet - Crystal Faceted Briolette, White Keshi and Brown Potato Pearl and Sterling Silver Bracelet, are close relatives. They feature my favorite white keshi pearls and gorgeous soft chocolate brown pearls. I am so pleased with them – they came out just as I envisioned!White Keshi and Brown Pearl Bracelet Two-Strand White Keshi and Brown Pearl BraceletI am hunting for new beads again today, which means more to come to my Etsy shop very soon – possibly as soon as this weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Heart

Pam at Pixelimpress wrote a post about a single picture that represents her heart. She tagged me to do the same!

I didn’t even have to think about it.

The second I saw her at the shelter, I knew she was the little furry creature we would take home, care for, love, feed and spoil. Our hearts melted.

Three weeks later, I’ve grown to love her more than I ever thought possible.

Here is my little Ruby.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What do you do with Fresh Sage?

A vendor at the farmers market gave Husband a bag of fresh sage. It smells wonderful!

What do I cook with it? I’ve never used fresh sage before. Give me your ideas!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – Hand Lotion

I have to put on hand lotion every time I wash my hands. They feel dry if I don’t!

A good hand lotion is a must for me. I have stuck to Bath & Body Works hand cream for several years now, and just love the silky texture and scents. I get several at once during their semi-annual sale, and they last a while. My latest favorite is Cherry Blossom!

What are your favorites?

Monday, July 20, 2009

jaC Procures at the Farmers Market – Cornflowers!

I am used to seeing cornflowers that are bright blue. When I discovered several gorgeous cornflower bouquets in pink, white/purple and burgundy, I had to have one! Aren’t they gorgeous?

Of course, Ruby thought they were for her to play with, and shredded one flower into pieces. She separated each and every petal! Now they are high enough where she can’t get them. :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Unreasonables – A Little too Close for Comfort

My adorable kitty Ruby, who’s perfect in almost every way, plays with her litter. She thinks her litter box is a toy! I suspected that she did, but wasn’t sure. Today, I saw it with my own eyes! While I moved her litter box to wash the floor, she got in it and started playing with the litter by throwing the little pieces in the air, which brought her much joy! She looked like a kid playing in a sand box.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I am happy that she uses her litter box when she is supposed to; but she seems to enjoy the litter a bit more than I’d like her to. How do I make her stop thinking it’s a toy?!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Receivables – Rain Boots!

You do quite a bit of walking in NYC. When it’s pouring out, rain boots are a necessity! I have a 15-minute walk to work, which is long enough to ruin a good pair of leather shoes if rain comes down hard.

Hunter BootsI did a lot of research on rain boots and determined that Hunter boots are what I need! While I was looking for a picture of the pair I want for this post, I found them here at 15% off, with free shipping and free returns! Moreover, contributes 7% to Upromise. (If you’re not familiar with Upromise, it’s a college savings account anyone can open for existing student loans or future loans for your kids. If your current school loan lender participates in Upromise, you can transfer the savings you accumulate in your Upromise account to your loan account. Certain retailers will contribute a portion of your purchase to your Upromise account! 7% is generous; a lot of retailers have been cutting back lately and contribute as low as 1% of your purchase. I will blog about it soon to give you more details on Upromise!)

Anyhow, I just placed an order for these. I’ll be prepared next time it rains!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Friday!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Doing anything fun?

I am planning to go bead shopping! I think we'll go catch a movie, and then I plan to make some new jaC pieces! It has been a while since I've been able to bead, so I am really looking forward to it!

Stay tuned; I will share the new pieces with you soonest! For now, let's take a look at these cute summery Sweetest Flower Earrings - Orange Czech Pressed Glass Flower and Silver Earrings!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Drinkables – Mint Iced Tea with Maple Syrup!

Last summer I bought a glass of the most delicious iced tea! I liked it so much that I decided to make my own using the same ingredients; I have made it multiple times since then, and it is incredible! Last weekend I bought some fresh herbs (rosemary and peppermint) at the farmers market, and was really excited to use the mint leaves to make tea for the first time this summer!
Here is the recipe – it has become an absolute favorites!

Boiled water (50 oz)
10-12 fresh mint leaves
1/8 cup maple syrup (adjust this amount depending on how sweet you like your tea)
1 Twinnings English Breakfast tea bag

Boil water. Place fresh mint leaves and maple syrup in a large mug.

Add the tea bag, enough hot water to fill the mug, stir and let the contents sit for 5-10 minutes.

Pour the contents into a pot and add the rest of the hot water. Let sit until the tea cools. Serve on a hot summer day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Started Out with Nothing

And still have most of it left.

Remember my shopping trip for work clothes on Saturday? We spent hours in multiple stores, and I bought... nothing. Can you believe it? Nothing!

I stuck to items on sale and tried on a few things, but they were either the wrong size or were not that special for me to buy. It always happens that way - when you're looking for something in particular, you can never find it. :)

We did get ice cream on the way back. Thank goodness for ice cream!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – Bodum Kettle

Here is another kitchen essential in our household: a Bodum electric kettle! We use it daily to boil water for coffee, and sometimes tea (and iced tea).

Ours is two years old and is working really well! I love that it automatically turns off when the water boils.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Message from Ruby!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Unreasonables – the TV Is on unless It Isn’t Working

We can hear our neighbor’s TV from our bathroom. We hear it in the morning; we hear it late at night; we hear it during the day. It is ALWAYS on. I have a hard time comprehending how it is humanly possible to watch that much TV.

The other day, the alarm woke me up, and I came in the bathroom half-asleep. Something was wrong. It took me a minute to realize that it was quiet. The TV wasn’t on! I began to worry if something happened to our neighbor. Then I heard her. She was on the phone with the cable company – her cable wasn’t working! She turned on the TV, and there was no picture or sound.

A half hour later, the TV was back on, and all was well in the world again.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Receivables – Work Clothes!

It has only been a week since I started the new job, and I already feel like I don’t have enough work clothes! I haven’t bought anything new this year except two dresses, so today I have forced talked husband into going shopping with me!

We are going to scour Bloomingdales for deals! Well actually I’ll be scouring while Husband will be patiently sitting nearby looking (and no doubt feeling) bored. That is why I love him!

I found a few gorgeous pieces at Bloomingdales online; I am not ready to pay the hefty prices, but they are so fabulous to look at!

How fantastic is this Trina Turk "Astra" Ponté Dress? Just a little different from your typical little black dress and so stylish. Love it.

These Chloe Women's Burnished Peeptoe Flats are just adorable!

I am a big Cole Haan fan, and this Genevieve Plaid Small Triangle Tote is so beautiful!

Wish me luck finding deals – I will report back soonest!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Wearables – Gorgeous Coral!

Coral is one of my favorites to work with. It has so much character, and I love the texture, distinct color and shape of coral beads. Next time I go to the bead shops, coral is on my list of things to buy! Here are a few coral pieces available in my shop right now; they are fantastic for the summer time!

Asymmetrical Necklace - Coral and Sterling Silver Necklace is a lovely salmon color. I love its chunkiness and, of course, the asymmetry!

Think Pink Earrings - Coral and Sterling Silver Earrings are a perfect combination of delicate, yet slightly bulky. They are so dainty and pretty!

I love the striking centerpiece in the Nature's Touch Necklace - Red Jasper and Sterling Silver Necklace with Fossil Coral Pendant . What a stunningly feminine piece!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Have to Brush Ruby’s Teeth

How often, you ask? Oh, daily.

June 20090010That’s right. We went to the vet last night. The vet recommended that I brush my baby girl’s teeth (for those of you who don’t know, my baby girl is Ruby, the kitten). Daily. Starting now. With a small brush and special tuna or chicken-flavored tooth paste made just for kitties. True story.

I want Ruby to live a long a healthy life; I just don’t know about this. Something about brushing a cat’s teeth seems weird to me. I can’t imagine that she’ll embrace the process, either. Mika lived for 17 years, and was just fine with her never brushed teeth.

Going to think some more about this one…

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

MAC or PC?

Time has come to get a new laptop! My current one is a Dell, and I love it. I have never had a MAC and heard wonderful things about it. I am trying to figure out which one to get.

I'd love to hear your experience! Any thoughts? Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – Lush Cosmetics!

I first walked into a Lush store in London. The products were beautiful and looked good enough to eat! While I was tempted to try some of them, I was a poor college student and could not afford it.

Several years later, I read an article about Lush in a local newspaper and visited the store. I recognized it right away! I was so excited to finally be able to try a facial mask, and have been buying Lush cosmetics now and then.

This weekend, I got the Love Lettuce face mask and Ocean Salt face and body scrub. The face mask is made fresh, needs to be refrigerated and has a 3-week shelf life. It is an excellent exfoliating mask; I’ve tried several kinds, and this one is one of my favorites! I tried the face and body scrub for the first time, and absolutely love it! It smells absolutely amazing and produces wonderful results. Here is a picture of the scrub. Can’t wait to try something new next time!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Carless and Loving It!

For the first time in our adult lives, we are proud car non-owners! We each had a vehicle that we couldn’t do without; now that we’ve moved to the big city, cars are no longer a necessity! Friends and relatives suggested we keep the cars since they are not costing us. While we do not have car payments, it is easy to forget two big expenses: parking and insurance. Here, garage parking will run you $500 a month (yes, per car). I haven’t looked into insurance, but I know it is hefty! For two cars that we will rarely drive, we’re saving well over $1000 a month by not having them.

With climbing gas prices and an excellent public transport system that takes us anywhere we need to go, we happily gave up our cars. They found good homes - we gave them to two friends who needed them a lot more than we!

Next time we need a car, we’ll just rent it for a day!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We Went to The Guggenheim

But not really. It was Thursday, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum happens to be closed on Thursdays. Note to self: check the schedule next time! I love modern art and was really looking forward to our visit. We shall try again on a non-Thursday. The building, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see the art in it!

We did stop by the museum shop, where I took this really neat picture of the ceiling.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

I Loved Her the Minute I Held Her

Meet Ruby, our new kitten! We got her at this shelter three days ago. The second I saw her, I knew I’d take her home. By the time we were done with all adoption paperwork, it started raining hard, so she got to come home in a taxi!

She is three months old and very playful! She didn’t hide when she got home and started to explore and run around right away. While skittish on the first day, she was comfortable with us picking her up the next day. I have the hardest time taking her pictures – she moves so fast! Here are a few I did manage to take.

Ruby loves to play with her new toys! She carries the lady bug around in her mouth everywhere she goes. She also loves to play with shoe strings. The tip of her tail is red – you can see it in the last picture!

Here is Husband holding her while she’s sleeping. More to come!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Hidden Treasure – Top of The Rockefeller Center

If you want to see NYC from 70th floor, visit the top of the Rockefeller Center. While it is not as high as The Empire State Building, the views are spectacular (see for yourself below!), and the lines are much shorter. We went around 9:30 am, and there was no line!

If you have a military ID, you can bring your whole family for less than half the price!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Miss America

We went to visit the Statue of Liberty the other day. She is magnificent; it is an impressive sight! Here are a few pictures I took.