Engagement Ring Shopping: Should You Do it Together?

Shopping for an engagement ring is one of those activities in life that falls into the exciting, yet stressful category. It can feel that there is so much riding on the outcome that it’s bound to be fraught with uncertainty. Should you and your beloved shop together for the perfect engagement ring or should you press boldly ahead alone with the selection left completely up to you?

Either way, it’s important to know that what you end up purchasing should be exactly the kind of ring your bride to be has always dreamed of and disappointment must be avoided.

Although the answer may never be absolute, there are a number of pros and cons to consider that can help make the ring shopping question significantly clearer.

Shopping Together

·         Pros

The primary benefit of shopping for an engagement ring together is that your fiancé will be able to choose the exact style of ring she adores with zero chance on your part of making the wrong choice.

Personal taste is a highly individual matter and with such a unique engagement rings selection available, stress levels can often rise when facing the decision alone. There is no accounting for how the slight nuances in different ring styles and settings and can prompt one to quickly fall in or out of love with a certain piece.

Nobody wants to wear a ring for a lifetime that doesn’t really suit their taste or style. Shopping together completely eliminates that possibility.

·         Cons

Buying an engagement ring together rules out the delight that a surprise proposal with a ring already in hand evokes. Introducing practical concerns into the picture often makes common sense, but also kills the ‘wow factor’ that happens with an unexpected proposal.

Life changing events that can be romantically ritualised are rare and these memories become a treasured part of a couple’s story. Planning to buy the ring together takes that opportunity away.

Financial Considerations

·         Pros

Engagement rings can be found to suit virtually any budget and it’s easier to keep within budget when shopping alone. If your lady falls in love with a ring that is more expensive than planned for it can be difficult to say no.

Issues of value, worth, generosity, care, devotion and willingness are all tied into the giving of a ring. These notions can be challenging to process in the heat of the moment with your partner. Shopping alone circumvents these issues and puts you in charge.

·         Cons

Couples make many decisions together in the course of a marriage. Each party brings something unique to the relationship and successfully navigating important choices creates deeper bonds.

Keeping your partner out of the decision making loop deprives you of her valuable input. Your partner may actually be more financially cautious than you and want to rein in your spending.

A more understated, modest piece may be her preference rather than a more expensive engagement ring. Without her participation in the process you are left guessing and hoping that the financial outlay was mutually acceptable, rather than knowing for certain. To browse a great range of engagement ring options, click here to view their page.

Whether you choose to shop for the engagement ring together or alone, be sure to think things through, seek advice from friends and family and read about how other couples have resolved the dilemma for themselves. No matter which shopping choice is made, ultimately it is the commitment to love that will matter most in the end.

Body Jewelry for Conch Piercing

So it has been over 3 months now since I got my conch pierced. I am actually surprised at how quickly this piercing has healed up. I got a double helix piercing done last July and the top one still hasn't healed. I am beginning to wonder if it will ever heal.

So now it is time for me to find some new body jewelry (I'm really liking Fresh Trends) for my newly healed (healing?) conch. I had a few ideas of what I wanted before heading online to check out what is available.

I am really into conch piercings, which have the cute ring, which goes all the way around kind of like this one:

So anyway here are the options I came up with – now to decide which one to get! I often find this is the hardest part especially when Freshtrends stocks such gorgeous body jewelry at affordable prices!

1. Gorgeous gold
I love this simple gold captive bead ring. So pretty and so classic. 

2. Daisy garden septum clicker
Available in 16g so perfect for my conch

3. Vertical captive bead ring
I like the simplicity of this and that it has the vertical captive bead ring which means it will sit perfectly.

So which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

Vintage Watches Shopping Tips

photo via morguefile
As you peer into the glass cabinet in front of you, you go deeper into a contemplative trance. To buy? Or not to buy? That is the question. With all the choices before you, a very convincing salesperson and a wad of cash to part with, it’s no wonder buying vintage watches can be a tricky task.

First things first, there are three main things you will need to consider when you first go searching for the perfect antique timepiece. These three things are:

1.      Have you done your research?
2.      Have you gotten up-close and personal to the item?
3.      Have you ensured the seller is trustworthy and reputable?

These may sound like obvious things to do before buying something so expensive. However, missing just one of these elements can throw things off track drastically and cause you unnecessary trouble. Finding a reputable seller should be at the top of your list. It’s clear by reviews and their lengthy presence in the market that Kalmar Antiques have a brilliant reputation for supplying quality antique pieces.

It can be a real enjoyable activity and with lots of knowledgeable communities and resources both online and offline, there’s heaps of learning you can do. This way you get in the know and can discover items of great value.

So let’s get nostalgic! Consider why you are doing it in the first place

The ‘why’ should always precede the how in any case. If you take great pride in vintage watches, you will no doubt invest more time and energy. If it is for business investment, both aspects are of equal importance. From Omega to Rolex to Heuer, there can be no certainty in vintage watch investments. So if vintage watches are a passion, you need to ensure you are grounded in reality when considering your choices.

Considering which brands are most reliable is crucial before bidding or buying a watch. Here are just a few:

Ø  The renowned Rolex
Ø  Patek Philippe
Ø  Omega

Doing more research on consistent top sellers is crucial to you tapping into a winning watch. If you’re actively on the hunt for vintage Rolex watches, Kalmar Antiques, as mentioned earlier, stocks a great selection.

Picking your vintage watch

You know a watch is vintage if it is 20 years or older. It can come from any owner or stock, but the most affordable are normally second hand. Generally, there are two types of antique watches.

The Estate watch or the Timepiece

These two categories include a wide variety of different types of watches. Important timepieces get their value from a famous lineage. It may be important because there have only been limited versions made or maybe it’s of unusually high calibre. Knowing the history is a crucial aspect which differentiates watches too.

Estate watches, on the other hand, are far more expensive than timepieces and are characterised by being part of the ‘estate’ of a deceased person.

Should you go down the pre-owned path?

With a growing number of places to actually buy pre-owned vintage watches, you have the luxury of choice.  The places where you can clock the best deals will be flea markets, antique jewellery stores and sites.

Buying vintage watches online

Here are the simple steps you must undertake when buying a vintage watch:

      Decide if you are going for a specific brand or style
      Determine if you want a specific model within that brand or style 
      Write down a list for a sound strategy. Split it into two columns: one for wants and one for needs. Consider the material and straps, whether it needs to be manual or you don’t have a preference.
     Once answering these questions see if they fit with what you want to achieve and your budget.

So before you make your first purchase, apply the points in this guide and get the vintage watch you’ve been searching for.

The Hottest Prom Dress Styles over Time

Image by Peaches Boutique

There are certain prom dress styles that have made serious impact over the years. Of course, there seems to be different trends each year, but it’s more about the right style fitting the right figure.

To make sure you turn up to your prom wearing the hottest dress, we’ve put together a list of which styles flatter different figures. Follow it, and you’re sure to be the Belle of the ball.

Petite Figures

Small frames look sensational in short, poufy shapes. This helps to add the illusion of an hourglass curve. For great ideas, view online store at www.peachesboutique.com.

If you’d prefer to look taller, mermaid gowns have been the way to go. They create a curvy silhouette with their dramatic hemlines and fitted bodices.

Taller Figures

Show your amazing height off with ruche dresses that will keep you looking to lanky. Micro-minis have become hot favorites and in past years high leg slits and high-low dresses have been popular choices as well.

Curvy Figures

Your curves are what make you beautiful. Show them off with a form-fitting dress, one-shoulder strap or an empire waistline that will make your waist look smaller. To keep up-to-date with this year’s hot trends, connect with Peaches Boutique on Facebook.

Apple Figures with Fuller Bust Line

Apple figures are usually “top heavy,” with wider torsos and broader shoulders. Some of the hottest prom styles draw attention away from the waist and towards the bust. Therefore, choose dresses that flow from beneath the bust. A ruched or draped material that gathers and lies across the middle works well, too.

Pear-Shaped Figures

Goddess-inspired gowns have been popular choices for girls who are pear-shaped. Grecian-like gowns that have a high waist and intricate neckline will draw attention towards your upper body and away from the hips. Alternatively, voluminous layers that float over the hips with an exaggerated A-line that plays up your waist will look amazing.

Sheath Evening Gowns

Sheath evening gowns have also made it as hot trends. They’re designed to hug the body tightly and are usually unbelted with a straight drape. These dresses look amazing with or without straps.

A-Line Dresses

A-line evening gowns are timeless classics. These somewhat bell-shaped gowns will fit snugly at the top and gradually widen towards the bottom, without pleating or gathering. A-line styles are simple and elegant.

Trumpet Shaped Dresses

These dresses are typically tight fitting down until mid-thigh or knees where they then flare out. While mermaid gowns hug the body to the knees and then fan out, trumpet dresses are fitted through the hips, down to mid-thighs and then dramatically flare out.

Empire Dresses

Empire shaped gowns involve the waistline coming up to just under the bust and then the skirt hangs loose and straight. It’s a light, breezy style.

The Dropped Waist

With these dresses, the waistline is dropped just below the waist and the skirts are either flared or fitted.

Princess Gowns

Princess gowns are also classics. This style is tight and cut in single pieces, hanging in unbroken lines from the shoulder all the way to the flared hem.

Use this list to help you choose one of the hottest prom style dresses.

5 tips for buying and restoring old houses

Not many people realise that one of my dreams is to one day buy an old house and fully restore it to its former glory. There is something so beautiful about older homes, they have spirit and warmth. It’s the sort of feeling you don’t really get with newer homes.

Here are my tips!

1. Choose something that you can finish
Many people get into restoring homes only to find that the job they have taken on is too big and too costly. So make sure you work out exactly how much time and energy you want to expend into restoring the property. Don’t purchase something that is far more work than you want to do regardless of the cheap price!

2. Budget
Make a budget for the renovations and make sure you stick to it!  Again, this comes down to choosing the right property – for your time, your money and for future profit potential.

3. Choose something with natural beauty
Gorgeous elements such as high beam ceiling or exposed bricks are all the rage, so choose something that has these elements. This will add to the value of the property in the long run and also give you something beautiful to restore.

4. Think about your future plans for the property
Do you want to sell the property, live in it or rent it out? If you choose to rent it out it might be useful to invest in some property management software in order to ensure you get the best bang for your buck!

5. Stick to the theme
There’s no point renovating a beautiful old property to turn it into something lifeless and modern. Stick with the home’s natural feel. If it’s a country feel go with that. A bit industrial style? Roll with that. Restoring is all about bringing life back to the thing being restored so take the house back to its original beauty, nothing more.

Need some help remodeling your home? Check out my previous post on giving your home a new lease of life.

Vintage style earrings by Totally Jewel

I recently received these beautiful vintage style tribal earrings from an Australian online jewellery shop called Totally Jewel. They have amazing jewellery at great prices and I was pretty impressed with the quality.

The order came super fast and in really nice packaging. It even came with a soft velvet bag to keep the earrings in which was a nice touch.

I've already worn these earrings countless times, amounting to countless compliments!

I also recently got my right conch pierced too which I will also do a blog post on soon when I have the time.

Let me know which Totally Jewel style you like best!

XO Ilana

Planning your Easter Outfit – 5 Must Have Wardrobe Items

I am so excited that Easter falls in March this year but it has definitely come around quickly. I haven’t had much time to plan any outfit ideas (or lunch ideas!) until now. Here are some cute clothing items I recently found that would be perfect for any Easter event whether it is large or small.

This little number is perfect to throw on over jeans and a blouse or even over a dress. Great for all weather and suitable for the Aussie climate. I could see this being worn to barbeques or for casual dates. I love items that can be layered as they are so much more versatile!

Perfect for dressier events or for when you just want to impress. This little blouse has the potential to take you from work to dinner and drinks with friends. Nothing is better than a cute black blouse and I just love the v-neckline – so flattering!

Another perfect casual item but also a great basic item for your wardrobe! I just love midi length skirts as they are wonderful for hiding any imperfections but also comfortable and stylish enough to wear a bit dressier with a nice blouse and jacket. I would wear this to a brunch with friends or to visit my family for Easter lunch.

Oh so pretty and perfect with so many flattering options such as high waisted pants, skirts and of course your staple jeans. The colours of this blouse also means it will go with a lot of different items which is always a good thing. This blouse will be sure to bring compliments your way!

Probably my favourite things to thrown on for a casual event is a maxi dress. Nothing is more comfortable but also feminine, cool and fun. These look great layered with denim or leather jackets in the cooler months or just wear as is in the warmer weather.
I hope you enjoy my top picks for Easter outfits! 

XO Ilana


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