Monday, November 30, 2009

Just in Time for the Holidays

Tomorrow I am giving away these beautiful pearl, spinel and sterling silver earrings ($25 retail value) to one lucky recipient of my monthly newsletter! Good luck to all jaC Jewelry newsletter subscribers!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A NY Thanksgiving and Hiatus

We are spending Thanksgiving in NY this year! We are planning on going to see the Thanksgiving Parade, but we will see how the cooking goes first.

Since it's just the three of us (Husband, Ruby and myself), I got a little fresh chicken instead of a turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! Go ahead, eat way too much - I know we will! :)

I will be on hiatus for the long weekend, but return on Monday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Need your Opinions!

Do you know what this is? This is the last survivor of a martini glass family of five.

I am sad to say that as a result of my antics this weekend, the glass is no longer usable. I broke it (and the first four earlier). I know. I am not very proud.

Hiding from embarrassment.

To make Momma feel better, I am shopping for a new set of Marini glasses for her! I finally figured out this Google thing (the things I learn because I get myself in trouble!). First up are Temptation Martini Glasses. I like them. They are blue and pretty, and look like they'd be fun to play with.

Or maybe I should get something less tempting... like these Dizzy Cocktail Glasses. Do you think these are suitable for martinis though?

Now this set of Retro Aluminum Martini Glasses is Ruby-proof. The most damage I can do is spill that green Apple Martini all over the cream carpet. On the second thought, that's a LOT of damage. I will do my best not to do it.

Which ones? Thanks for your help, everyone! Much catnip to you all,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables - MAC Eye Shadow

Ever since I discovered MAC products, I've used the eyeshadow exclusively!

Thanks to MAC paints, it stays on all day, and I love the plethora of colors and shades. My favorites are 4-color palletes like one pictured here. You can fill it up with four shades of your choice!

I've got three or four different ones, and am working on filling up a fifth. I am really loving the neutral colors in this limited edition Notoriety palette. Hmmm maybe I will go ahead and add it to my collection! ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Year-End Resolution

Here are the things I'd like to accomplish before the year-end:

1. Clean my closet! I disposed of a good 25-50% of my clothes when we moved in June. Now, the only way to make room for new clothes is to dispose of something old. Well, I've been purchasing new ones, but not getting rid of the old ones! My closet is a mess.

2. De-clutter our living room. Same as above - we have been accumulating "stuff" and storing it in the living room. Everything must go!

3. Figure out a solution for the jaC Jewelry newsletter. My new computer does not have the program I use to create my newsletter. There is no way to get that program, either - it is no longer sold. I keep using my old computer once a month to create my newsletter, but this is a temporary solution. I need a permanent one. This one's going to be the toughest on this list.

4. Figure out if I want to take another jewelry class (wax carving) or photography class next, and sign up. I am really looking forward to this one! I think it's going to be wax carving, but you never know.

5. See "The Nutcracker" ballet. This one should be easy - I already found the venue; all we need to do is pick a date and buy tickets!

See, they are not completely unreasonable. :) What are your goals?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Gone vs. Went

Stacy asked to explain the difference between gone and went. Here it is:

Gone is the past participle of to go. Used as the verb of a sentence, it must always be preceded by an auxiliary verb such as has, have, had, is, am, are, was, were, be, or one of their contractions.

Went is the past tense of to go. It never takes an auxiliary verb.

Incorrect: They gone to the movies.
(Gone needs an auxiliary verb.)

Correct: They have gone to the movies.

Correct: They are gone to the movies.

Correct: They went to the movies.

Incorrect: You could have went with them.
(Went takes no auxiliary verb.)

Correct: You could have gone with them.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

There are Nice People in the World

My boss's boss gives a Fruit and Nut granola bar to one of his subordinates every day. That subordinate is on vacation right now, and the bar goes to his subordinate. His subordinate, who happens to sit next to me, does not like fruit, so he passes the bar next to me. I happen to like Fruit and Nut granola bars very much. How nice is that?

Thank you, my boss's boss's subordinate's subordinate!

And if you followed all that, I will give you a cookie (or a Fruit and Nut granola bar).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I need your Ideas!

I've written 305 posts! That's a whole lot of posts.

I blog almost daily (and Ruby blogs once a week). Sometimes (like today) have a hard time coming up with a topic.

What do you want to know? What do you want to read about? Give me your ideas, please. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet My Second Cousin!

Hi everyone -

Allow me to introduce to you my second cousin Monica! Momma's cousin found her on the street with a bad cold and an infected eye that was shut closed. She took Monica to the vet, who gave her some medicine, and then brought her home and nursed her back to health. She was a teeny little thing - only two months old, and couldn't even say "Meow" as she had lost her voice because of the cold.

Thankfully, she has fully recovered now, and as you can see, her eye is just fine! I am really excited to have a second cousin and can't wait to play with her some day!

Much love,

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elevator Speech

Elevators at work are in extreme shortage. The company is remodeling several, and has shut off a few more to cut costs. I work on a higher floor in a tall building, and there have been instances when the elevator has stopped on every single floor before getting to mine. By the time I wait for the elevator to come, then ride it all the way up with a stop on every floor along the way, it easily takes 10 minutes.

The cafeteria is on the second floor. What really annoys me is when people take the elevator from the first to the second floor (I am talking about young, healthy people - I know some of them personally, and they are perfectly capable of walking one flight of stairs). What annoys me even more is when people take the elevator from the second floor down to the first! Am I being unreasonable?

Monday, November 16, 2009

jaC Procures on Etsy - Snow White Holiday Tree Earrings by Alison Kelley Designs

I recently purchased a pair of these Snow White Holiday Tree Earrings - Swarovski Crystals, Sterling Silver from Alison of alisonkelleydesigns. They came in the mail the other day, beautifully wrapped in a box with a pretty ribbon bow. Even though they are a gift for my Mother-in-Law, I wanted to take a peek at them myself. I carefully removed the ribbon, opened the box and found them to be even more adorable and sparkly than I thought they would be! These earrings are absolutely marvelous, and I can't wait to give them to my Mother-in-Law this Christmas.

Let me tell you a little bit about Alison, the lovely creator of the tiny Swarovski trees. Alison and I "met" about a year and half ago on Etsy. Ever since then, we've exchanged frequent e-mails, spoken on the phone and purchased jewelry-making supplies for each other. Not only is she a dear friend and an amazing mother to three energetic boys - she is also Ruby's Godmother!

Be sure to check out her shop, where you will find more holiday earrings and beautiful jewelry for any occasion!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Receivables - Christmas Tree Ornaments

We are getting a Christmas tree this year! We have never gotten one before. We don't have any ornaments. I was curious to see what I could find on Etsy, and here are a few finds I loved!

Mr. and Mrs. Hoot....Christmas Owl ornaments....Amy Butler fabric, $28, from aprilfoss

One Sweet Linen Tree Ornament, $24, from allthingswhite

Mini Hand Knit Christmas Stockings, set of 2, $9.50, from PrairieThreads

Pink Peppermint Ornament, $35, from fernanimals

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Wearables - Holiday Bracelets!

Before we look at this week's pretty new pieces, here is a quick note to let you know that my friend is hosting a jewelry show for me this Sunday. I will close my shop that day and re-open it as soon as I am back from the show. If you've had your eye on a one-of-a-kind piece, don't let it get away from you!

I added three amazing bracelets in winter holiday colors to my shop recently! They feature one of my favorite combinations - handmade lampwork beads and white keshi pearls.

Poinsettias in the Snow Bracelet - Red, White and Silver Handmade Glass Lampwork Beads, White Keshi Pearls and Sterling Silver Bracelet, $85

The Bluest Moon Bracelet - Blue, Ivory and Silver Handmade Glass Lampwork Beads, White Keshi Pearls and Sterling Silver Bracelet, $85

Merlot Bouquet Bracelet - Cherry Red, Ivory and Silver Handmade Glass Lampwork Beads, White Keshi Pearls and Sterling Silver Bracelet, $85

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Gold Star for Husband!

I have been craving bubble milk tea with tapioca for several years now. I haven't been able to buy it for any particular reason.

Last week, Husband showed up with a cup of bubble milk tea; he bought it for me at a Chinese restaurant all the way in Flushing and carried it back on the subway (for about an hour)! I was so excited, until I discovered that he sampled the tea on the way and drank two thirds of it. (The first time he tried my tea a few years ago, he did not like it. This time, he discovered that it is very good! Go figure.) Still, it was a pleasant surprise.

Today, Husband delivered a full cup of bubble milk tea from the same place! It traveled all the way from Flushing on the subway for an hour, and he managed to stay out of it. :) It was delicious! Husband gets a gold star for this one, don't you think?

Don't worry. I shared.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great News!

Momma and Papa were going to go away for several days over Thanksgiving. They have changed their plans!!! They are staying here with me - isn't it fantastic?

They claim it's because of the last-minute change of plans and other fake reasons. The real reason is they do not want to leave me all by my lonesome! I am so happy. I was NOT looking forward to having a strange babysitter check on me daily.

Now I get to eat a lot of turkey and cause mischief all day. Life doesn't get any better than that!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Irreplaceables – L'Oreal Top Coat

I relied exclusively on L'oreal nail polish for years. I recently started branching out into other brands (e.g., OPI) for color.

A top coat is a must for my nail polish to remain intact and chip-free for a week; I've stuck to L'Oreal, as I have not found a better quality top coat. It works equally well on solid colors and French manicure! I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meet My New Kate Spade Purse!

Yesterday we spent all day at a huge outlet mall! We had seven hours to look around, but were done in about five. It was important to stop when we did to preserve Husband's sanity. Anyway, my favorite purchase of the day was this gorgeous Drawstring Opus bag in poppy color! It looks just like the one pictured here, only the drawstrings and handles are dark brown patent leather. I had no intention of buying a new bag, but it was over 60% off!

She is a beauty! I love the bright poppy color and the classic style.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Saw vs. Seen

Today is the second week of our weekly grammar review! I am sad to report that my Strunk and White's Elements of Style is still missing. I really wish the culprit found it and returned it to me... Anyway, Stacy asked to explain the difference between saw and seen.

Saw is the simple past tense. Seen is the past participle.

Here are several examples:

I saw that movie already.

I have seen that movie before.
When was she seen last?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Best $90 I Ever Spent!

Over the summer, I got this coat while it was 40% off at Nordstrom. Now that it's starting to get cold here, I thought I'd give it a try. After wearing it once, I am convinced that it's one of the best purchases I've ever made! It is warm, semi-stylish and SO soft! I feel like I am wearing a down comforter. I don't know how I ever made it through the winters without it!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday Edibles - French Onion Soup

Over the weekend I decided to make French onion soup for the first time! It was pretty easy to make. The onions took a while to caramelize, but other than that, it was a success! I found the recipe here and modified it as noted below.

2 lb medium onions, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced lengthwise
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (32 fl oz) (I used regular)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices of baguette
1 (1/2-lb) piece Gruyère, Comte, or Emmental (I used a mix of Gruyère and Emmental)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Special equipment: 6 (8- to 10-oz) flameproof soup crocks or ramekins (I got a set of four, $29.99, at Bed, Bath and Beyond); a cheese plane (I used a regular knife instead)

Cook onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt in butter in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring frequently, until onions are very soft and deep golden brown, about 45 minutes to an hour. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

While soup simmers, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange bread in 1 layer on a large baking sheet and toast, turning over once, until completely dry, about 15 minutes.

Remove croûtes from oven and preheat broiler. Put crocks in a shallow baking pan.

Discard bay leaves and thyme from soup and divide soup among crocks, then float a croûte in each. Slice enough Gruyère (about 6 ounces total) with cheese plane to cover tops of crocks, allowing ends of cheese to hang over rims of crocks, then sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat until cheese is melted and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Note: I strongly recommend making the soup 2-3 days ahead (but do not add croûtes and cheese to soup); cool completely, uncovered, then chill soup, covered. The flavors need time to marry, and the soup is SO much better 2-3 days after you've made it! Reheat soup before proceeding with recipe when you are ready to eat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Can You Do This?

I have been taking yoga classes twice a week. Look how flexible I am now!
Catnip to all,

Monday, November 2, 2009

Who Wants a Big Fat Tip for Christmas?

Our doormen do.

Who addresses Husband by his first name and discusses sports every time they see him?
Our doormen do.

Who rarely acknowledges me and fails to give me our packages?
Our doormen do.

Does it bother me?
Not at all.

Who thinks Husband decides how big of a tip the doormen get for Christmas?
Our doormen do.

Who is wrong about that?
The doormen are!

Who will get a big fat tip this Christmas?
NOT our doormen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Grammar Sunday - Their vs. There vs. They're

Today is the first week of our weekly grammar review! A certain somebody who resides with me lost my copy of Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Until I find it or replace it, I will rely on Google to help me out.

Stacy asked to explain the difference between their, they're and there. Here we go!

Usage of their, they're and there:

1. Use there when referring to a place, whether concrete ("over there by the building") or more abstract ("it must be difficult to live there").

There is an antique store on Camden Avenue.
The science textbooks are over there on the floor.
There are many documents that are used in investigations

2. Use their to indicate possession. It is a possessive adjective and indicates that a particular noun belongs to them.

My friends have lost their tickets.
Their things were strewn about the office haphazardly.

3. Remember that they're is a contraction of the words they and are. It can never be used as a modifier, only as a subject (who or what does the action) and verb (the action itself).

Hurry up! They're closing the mall at 6 tonight!
I'm glad that they're so nice to new students here.