A Tale Of Two Necklaces

During my River Walk Duchess Coronation in February (pre Covid Era) I was given the opportunity to start wearing my great great grandmother’s nearly 200 year old necklace made of gold, 5 diamonds, and 7 amethysts. I thought it would be amazing to be able to wear some of my family’s antique jewelry as my own ‘royal jewels’.

As much as I love this family heirloom necklace I am paranoid while wearing it. I had it secured to my top with multiple safety pins and neurotics checked it every two second to make sure it was still on my neck.

I knew if I lost it that my grandmother and my mother would both (justifiably) kill me.

I decided that I wanted to find another necklace that captured the spirit of the necklace but wouldn’t make me as crazy and that maybe was even a little more ‘me’ that my family necklace is.

I stumbled upon this beautiful sterling silver, gold plated, amethyst and freshwater pearl necklace (y’all know how I LOVE pearls!) from Ross Simons that conveniently was also under $100!

Necklace from Ross Simons

I think this necklace perfectly captures the spirit of my great grandmothers antique necklace but with a more bohemian kind of feel which is definitely me!

I like that I’m able to start collecting some pieces which can add to things that I can pass down in the future and start creating some other family heirlooms (see my previous post on starting to create heirlooms).

I think both of these amethyst necklaces can happily coexist in my jewelry collection and be lovely amethyst sisters together!

Texas Quarantine Vlog

Hey Y’all! I hope you’ve been safe during quarantine. I decided to post a quick chit chat and share how I’m feeling about going back to work now that we’re opening.

Art of Green ®️ -Hounds at Home

A happy dog is a dog with clean toys! My Buddy was napping though photos for this post but once the squeaker came out the nap was over and he was ready to play with his freshly cleaned toys!

If y’all saw my previous post on Art of Green ®️ y’all will know I’ve been using @artofgreenhome ®️to clean up 🧼 my daily kitchen messes (cause y’all know I can’t cook!) and also to clean my pups hard toys.

His squeakers get a spray/wipe & a rinse to keep them clean and ready for play time! And it also gets rid of puppy breath odor… cause that’s not cute! I thought the soft dog toys in the laundry but it’s been nice knowing that I can clean up the formally icky toys and not have the doggie toy basket start smelling like dog breath! I mean I love my dogs but the breath is just … not as lovable as the rest of them is!

How To Clean Dog Toys / Toy Areas:

WIPES

Cleaning up pet toys is a breeze with Cleaning Wipes, simply wipe down plastic toys then rinse with water.

POURABLE

Get rid of odor by adding ¼ cup (2 fl oz) Concentrated Multisurface Cleaner per gallon of water to clean floors and leave them smelling like new wherever your pup has been playing.

SPRAY

Spray the Multisurface Spray Cleaner 6-8 in. from plastic pet toys, wait a few minutes, then wipe away or rinse with water.

You can learn more at https://artofgreen.com/ !

*This post has been sponsored by Art of Green ®️ all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Creating Family Heirlooms during the Holidays

When picking out holiday gifts for friends and family, I got to thinking about family heirlooms and their importance in my families legacy, as well as the joy those heirloom items bring to me this time of year. When you bring out a silver ornament or a special pair of earrings, you start talking about you bought it our who gave it to whom and how long it has been in the family. During the holidays I also bring out a pair of earrings that are over 120 years old that were my 2x great grandmothers. I got to thinking… what heirlooms am I creating for my future 2x great-grandchildren to remember me by?

I have been lucky enough to inherit a few pieces to pass down and I had a few quality pieces of jewelry but most of what I had was costly costume jewelry that was certainly never going to last a lifetime. As I’ve gotten older (and hopefully a little wiser) I’ve started to invest more into quality jewelry pieces that will stand the test of time.

I realized that while I had not collected many pieces that I felt really told a story about who I am and about things I have done. I decided it was time to start investing in my legacy and my future family by collecting quality pieces to pass down to my future family members.

I partnered with James Avery to show y’all some items that I think make wonderful heirloom pieces that I have personally added to my collection and also give you a chance to win a $150 James Avery gift card to start adding to your own heirloom collection!

4 Heirloom Pieces to add to your collection:

1. Charm Bracelet

Charm bracelets have been around for centuries. Early Babylonians around 600 BC! But Queen Victoria really popularised the charm bracelet including mourning charms after her beloved husband passed away.

Charm Bracelets tell a story and that story can be shared and passed down in a tangible and meaningful way.

My James Avery charm bracelet story started off with the San Antonio Tricentennial bracelet that I purchased for my birthday and added on some iconic Texas charms onto it ie. Whataburger and the super adorable FIESTA Pinata charm! I recently included a few more charms to my bracelet’s story, the Taco charm (foodie life duh!) and the beautiful new Bell Charm from the new 2019 Holiday Collection.

This beautiful Bell Charm (Love Song Charm) actually does ring and there is nothing quite so pleasant as the sound a ringing silver bell.

Love Song Charm

This particular charm is darling and not just for its lovely name ( the Love Song Charm) holds a few meanings for me:

-My Dad is a Real Bearded Santa and having a subtle nod to Christmas is something really lovely to have on all the time.

– The bell represents the beautiful missions in San Antonio and the beautiful 5 bell display along the San Antonio River Walk. And since I’m River Walk Royalty for 2020 I felt it was perfect to add onto my bracelet that tells my Texas story.

2. Claddagh Ring

The next piece I invested in was a Claddagh.

Adorned Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh Ring is a very old Irish traditional ring that has been around for hundreds of years and having one to pass down is extremely important to me. The James Avery Claddagh ring is a classic piece but still with beautiful modern lines that is something that will be passed down to future generations of my strawberry blond and red headed future Irish family.

3. Silver Ornaments

Merry Christmas Ornament This photo provided from James Avery

There’s nothing like setting up your tree to really get you into the Christmas spirit. Part of the fun of putting up the Christmas tree is pulling out old ornaments and saying “remember this one this is from grandma” or “we got this when we visited” etc. sharing those stories are so important for ensuring that families continue to pass down important family memories. Having silver ornaments not only look beautiful on the tree but also ensure that those precious family memories don’t accidentally break due to a furry family members tail or some other calamity.

4. Subtle Statement Earring

My last heirloom recommendation is a pair of subtle statement earrings.

Venetian Frame Hoop Ear Posts

This pair has an elegant quatrefoil style ( very reminiscent of the San Antonio quatrefoil) that easily transition from daytime at the office to an evening affair. They are light and delicate but still sturdy and will easily stand the test of time both in changing the fashion trends and also being passed down from person to person. I cannot wait to tell my (currently nonexistent) future grandchildren how I wore these earrings during my reign on the 2020 River Walk Royalty Court!

Quality jewelry of precious metals like silver and gold are one of the few things that are able to be passed down from generation to generation because those items LAST. The $10 pair of costume jewelry earrings won’t last you until your granddaughters 16th birthday, but a pair of silver, gold, or gemstone earrings or a charm bracelet, now that will last generations past your lifetime. If you start curating your collection now, you will have a wonderful collection to pass down to your future great grandchildren.

For a chance to win a $150 James Avery gift card to start building your own heirloom collection follow me on Instagram and enter my giveaway (Closes 12/22)!

The Art Of Green – Sponsored Post

Some of you know I’ve been on the hunt lately for greener products to use in my home but that are still affordable. You know this lady is on a budget! I’ve been making some additional efforts to have the things I use on a daily/ regular basis be better for the environment and also be better to use around myself with fewer chemicals.

So I was excited to see that The Art of Green®️products are at my local H-E-B and at a really reasonable price! All 6 products I have were under $20, and that they are really sustainable and they they didn’t have any toxic chemicals in their products.

Art of Green products are safe to use around my two fur babies but are still really tough on dirt, grease and grime, safe for sensitive skin and is 98% naturally derived, so no harsh chemicals around my puppies sensitive paws 🐾 or skin or mine (skin not paws lol). Their bottles are also made out of post-consumer recycled materials!

I’m starting my cycle of Fall Cleaning (why wait for spring?!) and I’m obsessed with the lavender and eucalyptus sent! It makes everything smell so fresh and my pups like it too! It’s calming and clean but perfect for the season!

Something else I love is that they don’t test on animals!

I’m giving away Art of Green products on my Instagram on 10/08/19! Make sure to head over and enter so you can get your paws on it!

“This post has been sponsored by Art of Green. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

#ad

#paid #sponsored

VOTE FOR JESSICA! Help Me Become San Antonio River Walk Royalty!

I am beyond excited to finally announce that I am running for Queen of the River Walk!

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Why I Am Running:

I have lived in the Greater San Antonio Area for nearly a decade and upon moving here the River Walk was one of the first places I went to start my exploration of San Antonio and this blog. Besides my personal nostalgia, many of you know that philanthropy and giving back is very important to me. I work for a local nonprofit and dedicate a great deal outside of my job to various nonprofits in the San Antonio area as well. Many of the different populations that I work are military and also low income; being able to attend the free events that are put on by the San Antonio Riverwalk Association aren’t just a fun casual day out, but a huge memorable event for those families because they are something that is accessible both in cost and location. Keeping the programing at the River Walk free for the community is something that means the entire population can participate.

Being able to help raise money for the incredible programs that are on the Riverwalk that help protect the legacy and history of this amazing city is SO important, and I am honored to be able to bring attention to the incredible programs that are put on by the San Antonio River Walk Association for the San Antonio community, like the Armed Forces River Parade and the Ford Holiday River Parade. The River Walk is vein of the city, connecting the Alamo and all of the important historical monuments to the businesses and attractions of the downtown district. It is so important to me that the history of the city be protected, and that the parades and celebrations continue to bring visitors so that our city can continue to thrive.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Three Easy Ways To Help!

I would be beyond grateful for your generosity in assisting me. Following are a few ways that you or your business can help my royalty campaign:

Local Business Sponsorship: 

For businesses that wish to become a donor to my campaign I am offering several sponsor levels for both small & large businesses that provide you with advertisement opportunities across my blog and social media platforms of over 20,000 followers. Please email me at jessicalynnstrom@gmail.com for sponsor levels, donation form, and additional details.

Donate Services or Items: 

Donate an item, experience, or service to my silent auction/ raffle! These items can be simple like gift cards, tickets, staycations, or any professional services. If you would like to donate a raffle item, please email me for a donation form jessicalynnstrom@gmail.com.

Individual Monetary Donation: 

Any amount you can donate is so greatly appreciated! You can donate directly to my royalty campaign by CLICKING HERE and select my name!

I am so humbled and excited to be part of the San Antonio River Walk Royal Court and giving back to a city I love so dearly by working with the San Antonio River Walk Association which serves to promote, protect and preserve the Crown Jewel of our city, the Riverwalk. I hope that participating in the River Walk Royalty program will help bring much needed attention and funding to sustain the beautiful Riverwalk and keep its historical legacy alive for generations to come.

History Of The Riverwalk Royalty Program:

“Once upon a time, the “Crown Jewel” of San Antonio, known as the River Walk, had its’ magical water drained every year for a week. The citizens and visitors became sad that their beautiful river contained only mud. To bring joy to the good people, the citizens appointed a Mud King and Queen every year for the week of mud. The king and queen, in turn, raised money which was used to provide mirth and merriment along the River Walk once it was refilled. All rejoiced!  Through the years the river was drained less often and the tradition of Mud King and Queen ended. In the year 2010, the tradition was happily replaced with a court of River Walk Royalty who still rule today, bringing joy to all.

Since 1987 River Walk Royalty began serving for a full calendar year. Throughout their reign, they serve as ambassadors for the San Antonio River Walk Association sharing in the mission to promote, protect, and preserve the San Antonio River Walk. Each year four King and four Queen Candidates work to raise money for the many free River Walk events organized annually by the San Antonio River Walk Association. Nominees are announced in September and are given seven months to fundraise for their “position” on the royal court. Titles are awarded in the order of who raises the most money. King and Queen, Prince and Princess, Duke and Duchess, Count and Countess.  A Royal Coronation ceremony occurs in April.

Royalty are responsible for making appearances at not only River Walk events but various other occasions throughout the city. Royalty campaigns are one of the largest fundraising activities for the association. Not only is being a River Walk royal a great honor, it is a responsibility.  One must perfect the royal wave, ride in countless parades, and look great wearing a crown.” – San Antonio Riverwalk Association

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Jileon Rainboots: Wide Calf Rainboots + Coupon Code!

If you are a plus size gal like me, you might have a hard time finding boots. I personally love the look of rainboots but had been unable to find ones that fit my calves. Enter Jileon Boots! The UK based company makes rain boots (aka wellies) that fit up to 21 inch calves!

Use Code: JESSICA15 for 15% off your order!

Jileon Boots makes comfortable durable boots that are made to fit those of us with wider calves and wider feet. If you like to tuck your pants in, wear thick socks, or just like a bit more room, these rainboots could be just what you are looking for!

These boots are super durable and have held up in this rough South Texas weather, and they even have a 1 year warranty!

If you’ve been looking for a cute pair of rainboots for your own check out Jileon Boots & use Coupon Code JESSICA15 for 15% off your order!

Disclaimer: I was gifted the boots shown in the post. All opinions are my own.

*I also have two other pairs I purchased myself & I love them!

Whiskey Weekends

I spent this weekend checking out some of the sights and tastes of Blanco, TX. I got to stop by the old western town at the Buggy Barn Museum and also stopped by Ben Milam Whiskey. We are getting nice weather again in South Texas, in the 70’s, and so that means more day trips and adventures.52555077_2233244413593505_3766356924665167872_n.jpg

This dress from Eloquii has become of of my favorites. I can wear it to work but it also works as a cute spring and summer dress too. With South Texas bing so warm most of the year, I get a good deal of wear out of dresses like this, just add layers.

Eloquii had the DRESS on sale now but if your size is no longer available, they have a similar style and color HERE. I might also end up picking up the floral version too. 52602331_2232573960327217_6792803250379685888_n.jpgI have had these boots from Toms for about 3 years now. They have held up super well and I wear them A LOT! That is the nice part about buying leather boots, a good pair will las you YEARS, and with TOMS you also have the benefit of knowing that you’re also doing a good deed in the process. My exact style is no longer available, but they have similar styles HERE, and HERE.

Hill Country Photo Shoot with Simply Serie Photography

Just before Thanksgiving I got to do a shoot with Kate from Simply Seri Photography. I wanted to do some nice staged photos for some great glam shots for the blog and Kate was the perfect one to provide the lux experience I was looking for. 

This was also a fun experience to share as I got to drag my dear friend Will with me to model with me.  He hates being in front of the camera and doesn’t do social media, so having him agree to have his photos be part of this blog post and the experience is a HUGE deal and I’m so excited to share it with y’all! 

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Pure Glam!

Kate, the photographer behind Simply Serie Photography is  natural light photographer based in Boerne and San Antonio specializing in family portraiture, newborns, lifestyle, and weddings. But she provides SO much more than that. She is the only photographer in the area that offers a truly luxury experience beginning to end. 

BEFORE YOUR SESSION

  • Pre-session Consultation & Portrait Planning
  • Kate asked me what I had in mind for the photo session, what kind of shots I was looking for, and what I wanted to get out of the photos. I told her that I really wanted to have my friend’s vintage truck as part of the photoshoot and she gave me some great ideas on how to involve the truck into the series.
  • Pinterest Mood Board unique to your session
  • Kate was also amazing in outfit planning, giving me advice on what would look best on camera for myself and Will. She set up a Pinterest board for outfits and what I had in mind and different shots and then sent me clothing recommendations.  I really needed the help figuring out outfit options for him that would still fit into his style but be a little more elevated for the photos. Kate had some great ideas that he didn’t hate and really allowed me to involve both of our personalities into the pre planning. She was always available for texts with links to different sweaters and combinations to give her input. 
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Kate works tirelessly to make sure that the experience is amazing and doing the shoot with her was so different to other photographers in the area. It is like comparing the difference between buying a bag at LV vs. Target, luxury vs. just another person to move through the line. This was especially important to me because my friend Will is NOT someone who likes to be in front of the camera and he is not comfortable in situations like that. She made him feel so at ease and really worked to make the process as natural as possible. 

Check out some of the BTS shots :

AFTER YOUR SESSION

  • 1-on-1 Gallery Reveal:
  • If you were watching my ig stories you saw my gallery reveal. It is a great way to see your entire shoot and see the options available for leather bound album books, and museum quality photo canvas hangings.Prior to your gallery reveal you get to have Kate and her husband Chad can photograph the specific area in your home you want to hang your photo so that you can see exactly how it will look at various sizes in your home. This way you will never have to worry about getting your investment home and realizing that the print you ordered just isn’t big enough to hang above your fireplace ever again. 
  • Custom Portrait Slideshow
  • Print Consultation & Ordering
  • Hand delivered, installed, luxury heirloom items:
  • Kate and Chad will even come and install your canvas or print so that you know it is fully secured and ready to go. This is all inclusive with the cost of your session and photo purchase. It really is a full service luxury experience unlike any other photographer in the area. 

Another amazing thing that Simply Serie offers is that your photos will be catalogued permanently. If you decide three years from now that you’d really like one of the other photos of a loved one, you can rest assured that the photos will be there. Should there be a special occasion, or a tragic one, your memories will be preserved and available any time you want them.

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It was so important to me to have his car be a part of the shoot, since it is such a huge part of his life and I am so happy Kate recognized that and took the time to make it a character in the photo story. 
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She had just told him to ‘pull me along’ and I was laughing like crazy cause he really did!
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There really is no other photographer in the area that offers such a complete full service option like Simply Serie Photography. They provide a luxury experience from beginning to end, and if you are looking for the 5 star treatment for your families future memories, or to start them out, look no further that Simply Serie Photography in our own backyard here in the Hill Country!

 Book Your Session With Simply Serie Photography HERE!

*This post was edited to reflect the change in status of my relationship. We are still very close friends but the status of our relationship has changed and we are no longer a couple.

San Antonio Cocktail Confernece 2019

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference 2019 was another hit y’all!

There were so many incredible new drinks to sample and also so many new bar accessories to see and experience.

Attending the San Antonio Cocktail Conference gives you a reason to party for a purpose, with proceeds benefiting life savings children’s charities every year.

The San Antonio Cocktail Conference gives me the perfect chance to dress up and be extra!

The bartenders crafting these beautiful cocktails are truly at the top of their game and you can learn so much!

There are also all new brands piping up to try and develop a new love for!

I can’t wait to see what new things 2020 has in store! Keep an eye on the San Antonio Cocktail Conference details HERE.