12 Days of Christmas Giveaways: Charise Noel Jewelry

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I’m so excited to share about this giveaway series – I’ve joined together with some other amazing bloggers and we will be having various giveaways over the next 12 days – each giveaway being open for 1 week, with the final giveaway ending on Christmas day!  Today’s giveaway is one I am super excited about because I am loving it and think so many of you will too, either for yourself or to gift to someone special in your life.

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I heard about Charise Noel from a friend, who heard about her from a friend,…  Her designs are just so pretty, classic, simple, and feminine, and I just love how easy they are to wear – no annoying tiny clasp that takes 18749 seconds to clasp.

Charise was kind enough to allow me to ask her some questions regarding her jewelry and her company:

Q: How did you get started with Charise Noel Jewelry? 

I never thought I would make jewelry as my passion and purpose in life.   Growing up I wasn’t interested in fashion.   I was interested in helping others.  However, I started making jewelry when I had both of my feet operated on at the same time and needed something to keep my hands busy since I couldn’t walk and was going crazy!  A friend gave me her tools and pearls because she thought she would make jewelry, but she found she never had the time.   As a 6th and 7th grade math and science teacher, I had put a mathematical equation together using the principals of the pulley system to eliminate the dainty clasp on delicate necklaces.  I had done this because my mom, who was a stage 4 breast cancer survivor, had lost dexterity in both hands and couldn’t wear her favorite jewelry any more.  I took the equation that I had already figured out and the tools and materials that my friend had given to me and thought I would see if my equation worked.  I sat and pieced the materials together and what I saw in my head I miraculously could make with my hands.  I made my first pearl necklace for my mom to try and the equation worked!

Q: Is there a creative process you go through to deciding what new designs are added to your collection?
Yes, I am a story teller with jewelry.  I make jewelry that is the easiest to wear and includes everyone.  The saying “the more the merrier” is a mantra for me.  I want everyone to be included in my jewelry, to find a necklace and say “this is me”.  If I have a purpose, a story, a cause, anything that is lovely and redemptive, then I get inspired from it and want to express that in my jewelry.  I draw inspiration for my jewelry designs from scripture and from people’s life stories, like my friend and actress Venda who has struggled with diabetes since childhood.  There are endless inspiring stories and causes.  I am blessed to be an artist who can portray the difficulties and hardships of life as beautiful jewelry.

I have needed a new creative perspective from time to time, like when ladies kept asking for a necklace that had charms.  And I would tell them “NO, I’m not a charm-y girl.”  I like individual charms, however when you put a cluster of charms together, it looks cluttered and makes noise . . . two things I don’t like.  So when I created my Magic line, it was my solution to the request of customers for charms.  I had to open my mind up to creating a charm necklace that I would like.  I don’t call them charms, though.  I call them Magic Endings, because they dangle off the ends but the individual endings are easily seen.  Now ladies get to collect Magic Endings that represent their favorite things in life, and I get to make a necklace that is elegant and simple.
Q: What is the most difficult thing about owning your own business? 

One word…Perseverance.  You make money and lose money, face obstacles and figure out solutions, and accept failures as graciously as you enjoy successes.  When you are building a business it can get messy.  There is no such thing as a perfectly happy story without mistakes and or tough lessons.  Although it is your own business, nobody can do it all on their own.  We need the help and support of others.  The decisions are yours and yours alone, because you have to be able to live with the outcome.  However, when there is a need, a calling, a purpose that is bigger than YOU, then you are not alone in it.  There is a need to work with others and allow God to do the impossible through you.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about owning your own business?

I am passionate about making jewelry that is the easiest you have ever used, regardless of your age or physical ability.  When I see a 3 year old who doesn’t know how to tie their own shoelaces, or a 93 year old with poor eyesight and trembling hands, easily put my necklace on and take it off by them self, my purpose is complete and that is success!  I just feel like screaming “SEE, YOU DID IT” but I don’t have to, because the first thing that comes out of their mouth is even more precious.  They look at me with wonder and say “I DID IT”!

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Charise sent me a Teresa Classic Beauty necklace (22″) as well as a Solitaire Magic Necklace with Magic Endings to review, and I am over the moon about them.  I have worn both, and they are so versatile.  Surprisingly, even though the Teresa has a pink/peach hue to it, it goes with so many outfits and has a beautiful mother of pearl/iridescent quality to it.  Here is the story behind the Teresa: “The Teresa necklace was designed for my Aunt who has crippling  Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for her to wear a dainty necklace every day that she can quickly do herself.  The pink color is for joy and the coin pearls lay flat because she is dear to my heart.”  Isn’t that just lovely?  I love hearing the inspiration behind the creations – makes them more meaningful.

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The Solitaire Magic Necklace is also so very versatile.  Because of the design, it can be worn in more ways – as a simple necklace without using any Magic Endings.  Or you can put it on just like the Classic Beauty necklaces, and then attach the Magic Endings of your choice to the magnets and get such a variety of looks.  Her Magic Endings also are used in her Magic Earrings, so even more functionality and swapability there!

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Would you like to win your own Teresa Classic Beauty necklace (22″) AND a Magic Necklace with 2 sets of Magic Endings?!?! Your Magic Set will come with the Solitaire Magic Necklace plus the pearl drop Magic Endings and an angel wing with blue gray bead Magic Endings, which equals 3 different necklaces plus the Teresa (plus who says you have to wear both the pearls or both the wings together – you could do one of each for a fourth look). Just enter the giveaway below for a chance to win big!  🙂  (here are pics of the actual Teresa necklace you will win, as well as the Angel Wings Magic Endings, the Solitaire Magic Necklace by itself, and the Pearl Magic Endings.)

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Also, as if Charise hasn’t been  generous enough, she has graciously given a code – LeafyNotBeefy – that is good for 72 hours from now for 50% off everything in her shop!!!  Yes, 50% off!!  These would make great gifts!

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Summer Loving

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What happened to spring?  I am not sure, but did it fly by faster than usual or is it just me?  And now we’re already into the final third of June?!

Bring on the sunshine!

sunshine (Loving my new Plexus super lightweight hoodie for chilly days this spring/summer)

 

A little while ago, I had to get some new glasses, and Firmoo reached out to me offering me a pair to review.  So that was super fun!  I decided to go the trendy route and try out a pair of these larger glasses – they are so not me, but it was fun to try something new.  I LOVE that there are so many online options these days for eyewear, and provided you get the correct measurements and have your prescription, it’s really not that difficult to get glasses that are just right for you!  I have a low-to-mid strength prescription (-1 and -1.5 or something like that, I forget off the top of my head), but I have a super strong astigmatism (-3 or -4 or something like that in each eye).  But the glasses came in a reasonable timeframe and the prescription is spot on.  Super clear and crisp.  I have never had a pair of glasses that didn’t have the nose pieces, so that is something I had to get used to with these – they are acetate, which I also never had.  These won’t be my everyday glasses just because I’m not super crazy about this trendy look on me, but they are a nice backup pair.  If I could suggest one thing to Firmoo it would be to increase the selection of non-acetate smaller framed glasses, maybe even more feminine detailed options.

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But I have been overall very pleased with Firmoo, and will definitely consider them for my next pair of eye glasses!

Q: Are you enjoying the start of summer?  Anything fun coming up?

A: I have an annual family reunion coming up that I’m excited about – great to see relatives you haven’t seen in a little while (and thankful I have a family reunion that I don’t dread going to – I know a lot of people could care less or don’t go to family reunions because family is divided and can’t find a commonality, which is sad but the case for many.)

Wrap Me Up in Blues and Pinks and Call me Summertime

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I very much love fashion and style, but I am by no means a fashion blogger, nor do I really keep up with all the current trends or colors. But one thing I do know – I love pastels, floral prints, romantic notions, detailed touches, and anything remotely feminine and girly.

If I could, I’d take one of nearly everything Joe Browns sells.  It’s about that time again – Joe Browns Summer Sale -when they have a great sale – lots of half offs and great savings. They are located in England, but they ship to United States in a very timely manner, and I’ve always been more than thrilled with their customer service and their clothing. Drool.I.Am. #swoonalert

So here is a collage of a FEW of my favorite items that will be going on sale (and seriously, I had to limit myself – but there are a ton more that I really like).  I noticed a trend with the pieces that I was loving the most – blues and pinks/peaches.

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Top row: Peggy Sue Dress; Perfect Pointelle Cardigan; Distressed Floral T-shirt with Scarf; Crochet Cover Up; Capri Trousers.

Bottom row: Vintage Dress; Santorini Top; Vintage Hitch Halter Dress.

Have you anything from Joe Browns?  Is my style your style?  If you like a little less over-the-top romantic, they have plenty of different styles to suit everyone’s whims, so still check them out.

Redecorating – Lauren Conrad for Kohls

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I adore the Lauren Conrad line at Kohls….just something about the chiffon and delicate floral prints, the pastels, the watercolors, just it’s all so me.  By the way, this is not a sponsored post or anything –  I just really like her line!  I have a few of her clothing pieces and love them, so when I was looking at redecorating a bedroom and bathroom, I decided to see what she had.  Lucky for me, it just happened that when I checked, they were on an incredible sale, so I was able to save some money in the process (who doesn’t like to save money?!)

Lauren Conrad *Clicking on the picture will take you to all the “bouquet” options Kohl’s sells.  Use THIS ebates link to save even more.

The “Bouquet” print is so beautiful!  You may remember my gray ruffle shower curtain – well, now it’s a beautiful bouquet print shower curtain.  I think it really springified the space.  The gray was calm and blended in well with the tile and the overall look, but it was a little boring.

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Same thing for the bedroom – it used to have a dark purple/light purple reversible comforter on it that was nice looking, but a bit blah after being on for many years.

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On this whole pastel spring kick, thought I’d share a beautiful Nataya dress I recently purchased.  This designer is super romantic and feminine, though rather expensive.  But it was on Zulily not too long ago at a fraction of the retail price, and I’m so glad I snatched it up!!

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Weekend wrapup – with a Joe Browns Fall wrap!

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I told you a little bit ago that I would have an item from the Joe Browns Fall line to review, and here it is:  The Sensational Chiffon Trim Top.  It has all those details that Joe Browns is known for – love the variety of antique-looking buttons, the soft fabric, the chiffon trim, the pretty softened navy color, the chiffon ruching at the neckline and the sleeves.  It is quite a bit longer on me than on the model of course, but I still love it.  The fit is also nice, fitted, but still comfortable (I got a size UK10/US6 for reference).  If I were to try to find a negative, it would just be that it is a little bit delicate – the buttons specifically you’ll just have to be careful with.  But this is just so pretty, I plan to hand wash it and be gentle with the buttons.  All the positives waaaay out number just that one minor negative.

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Details: grey t-shirt- LOFT; topper – c/o Joe Browns; jeans – Eddie Bauer via 10dollarmall; boots Beartrap Sheridan.  {I got these boots last year, and love them – I have thick calves and most boots don’t zip up quite, but these are wider calves and so they work.  They aren’t leather or anything, and they’re starting to really show wear, so not sure how long they will still last, but while they do I love them.

Here’s an idea of an outfit using more of Joe Browns Fall line – I love blue/gray/purple combination!

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This is just an aside, but I am no photographer… sometimes, when browsing blogs, especially ones that are fashion oriented, it can start to make you feel like you *need* to take outdoor professional photos.  Well, first of all, I love fashion and do quite a bit of fashion-themed posts, but that’s not all my blog is about.  Second, and most importantly, I just don’t have the ….everything you’d need to take professional-quality photos – my neighbors would think I’m nutso if I started taking photos in the yard, and I don’t have a photographer, so most of my photos are either selfies or on self-timer.  I figure this is just real life, ya know?  Usually, the best place in my house is in the bathroom – it gets good natural light, and so my grey shower curtain background will have to do as my “set”.  So never feel less than if what you do doesn’t seem to measure up to what others do…. we are all unique.  If everyone always did the exact same thing, what’s so special about that?  Just be yourself and have fun with it!

Since it’s officially fall now, scarves are making a big comeback (Truthfully, I wear scarves all year round basically, but fall is when you get to pull out the chunkier thicker warmer scarves.).  I had a few scarves that have hung on my scarf rack, lonely and longing to be worn, but they just seemed too bulky and overwhelming on me, and so they just hung unworn.  I don’t have a sewing machine, so I put off trying to do anything about it…until yesterday morning, when I decided to have at it with a pair of scissors.  I’m going to get some no fray seam glue, but it’s really not fraying much – I cut 3 in half the long wise, and now have 3 great scarves to wear again! (I can’t even draw a straight line, much less cut one, so I was really worried I would ruin them, but when you have it on, you don’t notice any slight crookedness). It’s amazing that just by reducing some of the bulk by cutting them in half really made me love the look of them so much more!   Soooo…take away?  If you have unworn scarves that you like, but for some reason just keep passing by, consider cutting them in half to see if the proportion of the scarf fits better!

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And finally, in random weekend wrapup news, I’ve begun doing Bar Method again – specifically the legwork section from the Advanced Dancers Body DVD.  It is so hard and so great at the same time.  I’m going to be doing it every day to every-other day through November… or that’s the plan at least.  It’s pretty short, so I think I’ll be good at keeping it up.  Also doing Oxycise at least once a day (really trying for 2-3 times a day, though) as well.

– Anything fun planned this weekend?

-What item from the Joe Browns Fall line would you most love to wear?

-Do you enjoy wearing scarves, and have you ever had to alter them?

-And finally, what exercise program are you currently working on?

*As part of being a fashion blogger for Joe Browns, I was sent product in exchange for my honest review.