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Why Tungsten Men’s Wedding Bands are all the rage, and then some.

The eternal struggle between traditional and modern wedding bands has finally been solved with Tungsten. This cooler-than-cool metal has a little bit of something for everyone. It looks traditional while embodying a forward thinking guy. It’s perfect for a man with a tough and rugged lifestyle, but it looks urban and sophisticated. It’s one of the most durable metals out there and is the only metal of its type that never loses its polish. It’s also a great deal more affordable than many of the traditional metals like platinum and gold. When I think of a Tungsten wedding ring, I think of a man who’s chic and cool but doesn’t mind getting a little dirty for his wife, and you can take that either way you like.

Tungsten Mens Ring

Tungsten Mens Ring

There’s tons of types of bands to choose from too like Black Tungsten, White Tungsten, Flat Tungsten, Diamond Inset, Laser Engraved and (my personal favorite because it’s on my man’s hand) Grooved. You can even combine Tungsten with Ceramic, Rose Gold, or many other metals. Keep in mind there are a few drawbacks, the first being that you can’t resize this tough metal. Most stores will exchange easily if yours comes in and doesn’t fit right, but then you really have to think ahead! The other issue is that engraving this metal cannot be done using traditional methods. Only a laser will work, so this may cost more and take more time.
With all of the choices and obvious benefits, it’s no wonder Tungsten wedding rings have been rising steadily in popularity for years. There’s no telling what the future holds for this amazing metal!

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Venetian Masks: Culture, Identity, & My Experiences in Venice, Part I

After learning a bit about the history and background on Venetian masks, both myself and my travel companions set out to find our favorites. We each had a different type of mask in mind. I wanted my mask to be delicate, white, lacy, and very “girly”, like something a debutante would wear to a ball. I definitely had a type that I was considering. One girl, who was with us decided that she wanted to get an authentic, colorful mask for every member of her family. Since she was from a large Catholic family, this would prove quite a feat!

Another member of our party decided that he wanted to find a “death mask”. As a quick note on death masks seems necessary here, let me pause to explain. A death mask was molded and created over a person’s face following their death. The reasons for this seem to have become somewhat skewed throughout time, but the most agreed upon purpose of this practice was that it would help the family to remember their loved one just as they were. Touching as that may be, the masks themselves often look morbid and are further decorated with terrifying animalistic features.

Naturally, the one male in our group decided he needed one of these.

As our hunt for the perfect mask concluded, we had learned a lot. Like many cities in Italy, we learned that the best items were certainly not those on the street where anyone could access them. The most authentic and gorgeous masks were hidden deep in a labyrinth of twisted, cobble-stoned streets. Just as on any travel adventure, if you have the time to look, you just may find your perfect souvenir. I know I did!

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Denim for Days

Denim in any capacity is huge in fashion for the spring of 2015. Denim in black, white, gray, or classic blues is back with a vengeance. Even bright colors like magenta, teal, or daffodil are a great new take on this classic style.

Feeling like it’s too hot out for long pants? No problem. The denim trend is exciting because of its versatility. You can find a clutch or oversized bag to go with your outfit, even if it’s just for a night out in a black cocktail dress. Accessorizing is half the fun with this spring trend! Unique styles and shapes can be found in footwear, earrings, hats, necklaces, and even rings. There is no right way to wear denim. A chunky necklace or bedazzled bag can only add to your outfit.

If you decide that you would like to wear denim in the classic way (on your legs), there are a few things to keep in mind. First, be very careful when washing denim. It shrinks, and the dye can run, so your best bet is to keep it out of the dryer and turned inside out in the washer. Another important item to keep in mind when wearing denim is its appropriateness. Sure, denim can be dressed up quite a bit for a night out or a party, but it will still never be suitable for a corporate function. Finally, be aware that fashion is all about what makes you feel beautiful. Choose the colors, fits, styles, and accessories that work for you and coordinate your wardrobe around them!

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Long, titanium- strength lasting marriage

When I started looking at wedding and engagement rings, I was shocked. It was truly baffling to see so many different types of weaves, patterns, alloys and combinations. But what really shocked me, was the price! All the popular jewelry metal rings were incredibly expensive. But then, I found titanium wedding rings.

Titanium wedding rings are by far less expensive and flashy than any other traditional type of ring. I discovered that it is not only very durable and affordable, but its composition allows for a lot of personalities in terms of color, in other words, they come in pretty colors.

Titanium Wedding Ring

Titanium Wedding Ring

After doing a lot of research, asking around at many different jewelries, and basically, doing more homework on the subject that I thought I would, I found that titanium is found naturally ready to use, this helps make it less expensive because jewelers don’t have to be mixing and matching different alloys to get it right.

It’s also really hard. This makes it very durable, so you don’t have to be replacing and giving the ring too much maintenance. However, it also makes patterning and encrusting them with gemstones much harder. Most titanium rings are very simple, yet elegant.

I think their elegance relies on the strength and beauty that the metal alone projects to the world. I ended up buying matching titanium bands for me and my husband, and we have not regretted it once. We wanted our rings to be as strong as our union and to show the world that we do not need flashiness to be happy with each other. So, it’s safe to say that we love each other, and our rings symbolize our bond perfectly.

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The Masquerade Masks of History

The history of the masquerade mask is much different than the cheap bulk rate masks that are purchased everywhere during the Mardi Gras and Halloween seasons. The story has not always been glamorous, and quite often immoral, but it was never cheap. The only thing the modern bargain masquerade mask has in common with the mask of history is the purpose of hiding the identity of the wearer.

Whether the idea started in Western Africa or Italy, it is uncertain, but the purpose of obscuring the identity of the wearer is common. Masquerade masks were designed to be ornate, opulent creations worn with an equally luxurious costume.

Venetian Mask

Venetian Mask

The African masks are worn by actors in an outdoor theater setting. The events are cultural and are performed by men to an often male only audience. One group is led by a man in a mask shaped like a shark, and another honors the spirits of their ancestors. It is believed that the traditions were transplanted to the Western Hemisphere.

In Europe, the mask was part of elite celebrations. The masquerade mask allowed the wearer the freedom of enjoying an event without the scrutiny of knowing who the partier was. As time passes the peasant, and the elite could party together without the normal social restrictions.

The parties and the masquerade masks became so popular in Venice that the makers were held in esteem, and they developed guilds and laws for the production of the masks. The history of the masquerade mask is long, controversial and by no means over.

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Lounging on my Hammock

There are few things as pleasurable in life as lounging on a hammock. They are a fresh, great way to rest and nap, even sleep a full night when in hot weather. Whether at the beach or your own backyard, you can lie and relax in the rocking motion that, at least in my case, lulls you into a peaceful sleep like that of a baby.

I remember being little and swinging in my grandma’s backyard hammock. Even if the days were cold, it was still a fun, safe way for a 5-year-old to swing. Sometimes, my parents even put me on the hammock to get me to sleep. (No, they didn’t win worst parents of the year awards or anything.) I was just a fussy kid that absolutely refused to go to sleep at decent times. Think of the same principle as that of putting a baby into the car seat and taking it for a drive around the block to relax and make it go to sleep.

To this day, I can’t walk past a hammock without wanting just to lie there and go to sleep. I also really love watching people do the same. It somehow makes me feel just as relaxed as if I were them.

My love for hammocks extends so far that I’ve even fashioned some hammocks of sorts for my cats. I live in a really warm place where furry animals prefer to sleep on the floor rather than to get onto the warm furniture!

I guess I’d like to find a hammock weaving course for me. That would be a fun way to spend time and do something I love. I’ll get working on that.

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Fascinator hats have been a regal, awesome and more of a royal statement of ultimate style for ages. But, it is not known to many of us that the history of these hats is equally fascinating. I tried these hats when I was much younger, and everyone told me that I looked like a stylish royal and fascinatingly beautiful in those fascinator hats. The history of these hats dates back to the 16th century. Back in those days, they were known as headdresses, hair furniture, hair ornaments, etc. It is only during the late 18th century that everyone started calling it a fascinator hat due to its covering structure and fascinating floral and ornamental decorations. The basic structure and design of these hats has also considerably changed and has evolved through centuries except for the fact that like the earlier days, nowadays also fascinator hats are considered the ultimate fashion and style statement.

During the onset of the 16th century, Italian women of nobility started using a hat-like covering for decorating their hair that usually fitted at an angle on their hair giving a tilted projection. This decoration was mostly adorned with pearls, jewels, and other floral accessories. In France and England, it was initially known as Attifet, and only the royals were allowed to wear it. During the 18th century until the Victorian age, these hats were known as hair furniture or headdresses and were heavily decorated to fit above the hair. It was only in the late 20th century and in recent times of the 21st century that the designs of fascinator hats have become more fashionable and trendy with toned down and much more elegant decorations and designs.

Designer Jewelry Trends: Spring 2015

As per usual, fashion is always changing. This season, there are a few items that are new to the fashion world. To start, the one earring trend is a thing of the past. The new modish item is two earrings that are asymmetrical in some way. This style could include that each earring is a different color. It also could mean that earrings are different lengths. Whatever the choice, uneven is the way to go.

Next up, we have the most popular current material: brass. Brass can be seen boldly appearing in large square or round shaped necklaces, wire rings, and curvy earrings. Brass has even been appearing as decor on clutches and handbags, as well as some collars of dresses.

Another jewelry trend that can be seen is the choker. The choker has certainly long been a piece considered to be very utilitarian. However, currently this piece is at the height of fashion. From Chanel to Dior, this trend is appearing in a variety of colors and materials.

A further re-created jewelry trend is that of the 1970s. We are beginning to see more bohemian pieces re-appear from everyone from Louis Vuitton to Donna Karan. This trend could include bracelets made of wood or decorated with fringe, earthenware or twisted rope necklaces. Some designers are even incorporating actual pieces of rock or shell.

All in all, the choice is yours. Whether you choose the asymmetrical, brass, choker or 1970s trend, just make fashion your own!

Swinging works of art.

I’ve always been really fascinated by hammocks. I don’t know why, but it’s true. They remind me of simpler times when I could just play and have fun. I love the patterns they can sometimes have and the colors.

Those bright colored hammocks are the best! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against simple, one- colored hammocks, but if it’s left up to me, I would fill the world with colorful hammocks for everyone to enjoy.

Sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I find beautiful works of art in the most random places. For example, I once found one in an alley. It was just there, hanging between the walls of the two buildings next to one another. It had this beautiful, flowered pattern in yellows, greens and blues that totally caught my eye and captivated me. I had never seen anything quite like it before and never have I ever seen something like that again.

I once found another hammock just hanging on an abandoned house’s porch. You could tell it was from back when the hippies were all the rage. It had the tie dye pattern and everything. It looked totally groovy with its irregular edges and psychedelic colors.

I hope that one day, when I’m older, I can share this love with my husband and children. Maybe they’ll think I’m crazy for being so obsessed with swinging pieces of woven fabric that you can lounge on, but hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Fall for Spring Fashion

This season, some of our old favorites are back, and many classic trends are arriving with a new twist. For the business professional, a pantsuit (or trouser suit for those in the U.K.) is essential. The new modification of this classic piece of work attire is a cropped pant. Shoulder pads are out; please leave those in the 80s. Pinstripes are a welcome distraction, and a brass or twine belt sets off the piece and makes it fresh.

Innovative fabrics for the season have their basis in all sorts of places: gingham from Brigitte Bardot, suede from the 1970s, and denim from Nimes in France. Fabrics give way to styles, and significant this season is showing off the midriff. However, in this case, less is more. Show just a bit of skin, add a flowy skirt, and suddenly a ball gown is superfluous.

Along with many other recurring 1970s pieces comes fringe. Fringe can appear on skirts, shirts, handbags, and even sandals. This trend can appear as long pieces that extend to the ground or even as slashes cut out of a shirt or dress. Also returning are the wooden or faux wooden wedges of the past. Any natural element added will also be incredibly trendy. Brown leather straps, brass buttons, or even crocheted edges add that 1970s flair to a pair of shoes.

The military greens and colorful camouflage of the Vietnam War have also made a reappearance. Combat boots are here to stay for the season and with them come dog tags and carabiner clasp necklaces.

Whether you choose the denim of the 1980s, the bohemian look of the 1970s or the classics of the modern day professional, enjoy looking fabulous this spring!