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!

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)!

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.

Merry Christmas at Flower Vault

Merry Christmas y’all! I hope you’re having an amazing day with family and friends!

I recently took some holiday photos at the Flower Vault in San Antonio. Their locations close December 31st so don’t miss out!

Send Holiday Cheer With Basic Invite!

Tis’ The Season For Holiday Card’s!

I’m excited to send out my own solo Christmas Cards this year! It’s a daunting prospect for the first time you’re sending out cards on your own!

Thankfully I recently teamed up with Basic Invite so I could get my holiday cards all set to be sent out and give y’all a Coupon Code: holi30 for 30% off!

The Basic Invite Holiday Cards Maker is such an easy way to get professional holiday cards done quickly and easily! They have over 500 designs to choose from and an almost unlimited color pallet for your cards (Even the envelopes!) so you can have a truly unique option for your family.

The process is SO easy and really quick. You can choose from personalized holiday cards no photo required, or go fully custom and add in a great family (or in my case solo) photo!

I chose to use an amazing photo of me from a recent photo session with a local Boerne photographer, Kate, for my card photo.

Once I had my fabulous glamour shot selected; I simply edited the text, changed some colors, and the front of my card was complete!

The coolest part about the whole process, is that Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite even offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders!

The great part about Basic Invite’s cards is that you can add in some really unique options to make your card stand out. The the backs of Basic Invite’s cards are totally unique and offer fun ways to put the hi-lights of your year together for friends and family.

I really love the adorable holiday ornament options to give quick easily digestible memorable moments from your year!

There is even an option to customize the interior of your envelopes for a really personal touch.

I chose my signature yellow with my initials for a fun pop of non traditional color for my envelope. There are over 40 different colors to choose from so you can fine something unique to you!

I can’t wait to send out my Christmas cards this season! If you’re looking to stand out this holiday season check out Basic Invite and use Coupon Code: holi30 to get 30% off your order and start sharing those memories right away!

And of course I will be sending Santa a card as well with my list…hopefully he will check it twice!

Summer Poolside Style: White Party

Summer White Parties are an annual tradition. It’s one of those occasions that makes you get creative with your wardrobe.


Since at a white party everyone wears white (kinda self explanatory), it’s the best time to get creative with your accessories without being too over the top.

If you’re as pasty white as your outfit (like I am), or if you just want to keep the sun’s harmful rays at bay, having a stylish hat is a summer wardrobe essential.

I love the straw hats from Goorin Bros. They roll up easily into my bag, but still hold their shape.

Its important to have a fun statement piece when you’re wearing the same hue head to toe, to keep your look unique and to add a pop of color.

I’m loving the Aztec Necklace from Grace and Charm, a local jewelry company here in the Hill Country. This delicate light weight necklace won’t weigh you down and is perfect for a breezy summer look.

I’m in LOVE with Amazonite right now, it’s the perfect stone for summer! The stone’s blue & green ocean colors are perfect for poolside style and definitely make this look!

Use Coupon Code: JULY40 to get 40% off your purchase at Grace and Charm!

This adorable ‘Totes Y’all’ tote from Draper James completes my summer poolside look. It’s red interior stripes just scream 4th of July BBQ!

However you spend your summer, I hope that yours stays sunny and bright!

Southern Summer Nights Look

A hot Texas Hill Country summer night calls for a bold look.

Wandering around this Boerne property, I loved seeing the old mustang grape vines that once thrived here, and seeing the rebirth of new growth and possibilities.

I love shopping local here in the Texas Hill Country. There are so many incredible places to discover and take inspiration from.

My Summer look features the ‘Aztec Necklace‘ sent to me by Grace and Charm . Grace and Charm is a local jewelry company in Austin that features beautiful handcrafted jewelry made with natural stones. I love that, while this is a statement necklace, it is not heavy on my neck, making this an easily wearable piece that has been in heavy rotation in my weekly outfits.

This mustard yellow dress reminds me of well mustard… which is a huge part of German and Czech dishes here in the Hill Country. I picked up this striking piece at Lenette’s Shop and Sip Boutique just down the road from Boerne in Helotes. It is SO nice to see local boutiques here that carry plus sizes!

Hat: Goorin Bros

Necklace: Grace and Charm

Dress: Lenette’s Shop and Sip Boutique

However you go bold this summer, do it with style.

Love,

-Jess