We’re back! And stronger than ever. We apologise for the long silence. After we took a couple of years time for soul-searching (loads has happened here behind the scenes and changes came and were reined in long before Corona) we have now redefined our purpose and the purpose of this site.
I guess, many of us had a difficult time lately. Hopefully, this has also lead to some positive changes for you, dear readers. In the eye of a disaster, you usually realise what’s real and most important for you. Sometimes, you need to hit rock bottom in order to awake and free yourself from all the nonsense that has weighed you down before. We’ve probably all learned some valid lessons here. If not, now is the time to do so. At least, we took this opportunity, which is as good as any other, to start fresh!
Fresh starts is something I’m personally very familiar with. I’ve always been an advocate for change, because you can only grow through new experiences. However, I’ve had a hard time to figure out what really counts in life, and what I really want, let alone how to get there and who to take with me on this journey. I’ve learned that you cannot force anybody to stand by your side. You rather allow some people to be with you and let them go if you need to. Also, your preferences, what’s important to you, your aims and dreams may change over time. Even the end goal might be different from what you’ve expected. In the end, it doesn’t matter, as long as you follow your heart. I believe that life shapes us and depending on which opportunities we take, which doors we open, which ones are opened for us and which we choose to go through, our experiences change and so do we. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have an inert feeling of ourselves and what’s most important to us. But our choices and their outcome may take different shapes depending on what’s happening to us and for us. The truth is fluid and always open to interpretation. For someone that has spent three decades searching for the ultimate truth, the meaning of life, this observation was difficult to take in. Likewise, I’ve learned that the question of who I am can be answered in many different ways. Even right now, there is not one answer to that and they may differ in the future. I still believe that the core of my personality will always be the same. However, there are so many different layers to it that define me as much as my core traits. This is true for every other person and that is what makes us interesting and different. Thus, no-one may ever completely understand you. As long as you have a feeling of who you are and base your decisions on that feeling, that’s totally ok, though. It’s not easy to obtain that inert knowledge of yourself. Sometimes, we’re so influenced by social norms that we forget who we really are. That’s when we may feel unhappy and depressed, out or sorts, out of touch with ourselves and the world around us, disoriented, confused. However, every cloud has its silver lining: There’s always a lesson to be learned and always a solution to be found, even if it’s hard.
To accept life’s changes, to see your experiences as valid and important lessons, your personality and aspirations as fluid is one way to get there. Where? Well, to happiness. :)
As before, this blog is about enjoying your life at every given moment. More than before, however, it is about living the luxury of being yourself and celebrating yourself. It is about enabling others to be themselves, to see them, try to really see them as you should strive to see yourself.
We will cover a lot of topics and personal interests here. We’ll pamper ourselves, shop together, drink together, discover new places to go, new ways to live. We’ll try to make sense of life and sometimes laugh and maybe even cry together. Most of all, we want you, lovely readers, to be heard. Whoever you are, we want to shape this lifestyle blog around you.
Never forget, more than anything these days, time is luxury. Quality time with your friends, family and yourself. It’s never about money. Money allows you to buy a lot of things but it will never make you happy. Only you do can do that for you.
So, tell us about yourself! Who are you? What’s most important to you? What have you learned recently? What are your struggles and hopes? What do you want us to write about?
I'll be honest, I'm a material girl. I'm focused on quality, not quantity, but being able to buy that perfect dress in the window, me and my wardrobe just need to have, is pretty important to me. And so is being happy. Since I changed jobs and with that my line of work, I'm so much happier in my work life. I don't come home complaining about unfulfilling tasks, overtime and inconsiderate colleagues anymore. In fact, I don't come home that often at all, as the job change involved a change of location (countries, to be more precise) and nights spent away from my base. That was a god-sent for my irritated boyfriend. He finally got the break from my complaints he needed, and so did I. The downside of my job change except for having a long distant relationship? A much thinner purse. You know, like the one you put money in. A starving bank account, if you prefer. So, I wrote a letter to my best friend today on the subject of my motto "Do more of what makes you happy", which doesn't seem so easy after all.
Money is not everything. That perfect dress may be important to me, but so are experiences. Travelling, seeing the world, meeting new people – My new job offers all this. In fact, my job is all about experiences, not only for my customers, but for me, too. And that makes me pretty happy. But free experiences only go so far. Living costs money and so does experiencing that new hip restaurant, quality wines from around the world, shows, concerts, you name it. And what about spoiling your loved ones? So, I'm faced with a small but existential dilemma. The exciting job or the job that earns you money to live on well and secure your pension? Travel experiences during work-time or luxury holidays, delicious dinners, wine-tastings and shopping sprees in your not-so-endless free-time? How to prioritise?
I know what's right for me now. After all, I've been in my new job for barely a year. But I don't know what will be right for me and my boyfriend in a few months or years time. If or when I have to make a change, however, the question is what to do? What occupation offers a healthy compromise between financial security and time for fun? Eventually, security and a comfortable retirement are important, too. But I've never been one to worry much about the future. Who knows when my days are counted? Surely, it'll all get sorted somehow, someday. It always does. Until then, I'll live a little. Or as much as my bank account allows me to. :)
What about you?
Diamonds are a girl's best friend – an empty purse, however, is not. In our last post, we explored the world of synthetic diamonds and diamond simulants. We learned about three man-made stones, that, though chemically different from diamonds, deceive even the trained eye with their alluring sparkle. In this week's post, we tell you where to find the gems that are their glitter worth and how to keep'em shinin'.
As with real diamond jewellery, simulated diamond stones come in different qualities and quality settings. To avoid tackiness and disappointment, one should therefore always pay attention to the stones and metals used.
Yellow and White Gold have similar strength and durability. It is not the colour, but the carat weight (9k, 14k or 18k) together with the jewellery's design that affect the price. Fine silver is generally too soft for everyday wear. Sterling Silver, an alloy of silver and other metals, is the better choice for jewellery that is to be worn and loved often. It usually contains 925 parts of copper per thousand and 75 parts per thousand of other metals. Vermeil is a combination of Sterling Silver with a layer of gold on top. To be considered vermeil, the plating must be at least 1.5 micrometers thick and consist of at least 9k gold. Platings may wear off with time, but can be restored by a professional jeweller.
When shopping online, check reviews and pictures carefully. Also, pay attention to packaging. A higher cost, of course, may indicate better quality both of the stone and its setting, but not always. If you wish to keep your jewellery for a long time, always store it in a jewellery box when not worn, clean your jewellery regularly with a soft cloth or toothbrush and don't wear it in the shower.
As for the cut, there's nothing as timeless and elegant as the classic brilliant cut. Designed to give the (diamond) stone superior brilliance, a simple brilliant stud awards understated glamour to any look. Combine with a black sweater and skirt, and you're good for both office and cocktail party. Choose a classic four prong setting that never fails to impress, or something more elaborate to give your look a more personal note.
Enough said for the basics, now it's time to shop and swoon ;)
Most pieces shown above and below are available in both gold and silver settings.
Nothing lights up your face as much as pearls, especially combined with diamonds (or diamond simulants).
Say "yes" like you mean it, because you mean it. Engagement or not.
For good measure – because it's a night like that – choose drops, rows or clusters of diamond stimulants.
These are our favourite picks for timeless glamour. Which are yours?
If you cannot do without the real bling, stay tuned. We love real diamonds, too. ;)
Under-statement is a chic denied to over-
Jen is a life artist, writer and biochemistry engineer on a cabin crew adventure. She loves mixing cocktails and being an advocate for timeless, personal style, striving for a simpler, more intentional life without compromising quality and glamour.
What we're reading right now
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann,