May 29, 2020

6 Ideas for a Staycation With Your Bae — Staying Home

Around this time of year, many of us would usually be jetting off with our partners to enjoy a relaxing vacation getaway together. But, instead, most of us are spending our time at home and practicing social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the coronavirus may have taken your vacation plans off the table for the time being, it’s still so important to prioritize carving out time in your schedule to relax and connect with your partner like you would on a vacation. When life is stressful and hectic, it’s even more important to make sure that you and your significant other de-stress, connect with one another, and practice self-care. So, to help you do that while staying home during COVID-19, we’ve put together this list of ways you can make your time spent at home feel more like a staycation. Read on to see our 6 ideas for having a staycation with your bae when you’re staying at home!

Connect Over Coffee

When you’re on vacation, you probably have your morning coffee alongside your partner as you both enjoy a leisurely start to your day. So to get a bit of that calm morning vibe when you’re at home, consider setting up some dedicated time in the morning to unwind and connect over coffee. It may not always be possible to spend a long time together in the morning if you need to get to work, but you can probably carve out some time (especially if you no longer need to dedicate time to a commute). And that will be time well-spent, since starting your day by spending a bit of quality time with your love can make you both feel happier, more relaxed, and more connected.

Have a Peaceful Picnic

Make brunch, lunch, or dinner feel more fun by having a peaceful picnic at home. If you have a backyard, take advantage of your outdoor space and enjoy a picnic out in nature. Grab some picnic fare, a blanket, and maybe a board game or two, and enjoy some unwinding out in the lovely spring break season weather. If you don’t have a yard, you can still enjoy this staycation idea by making your living room into a DIY indoor picnic space. As long as you have a blanket and some picnic-ready foods, you can have a calm, relaxing picnic wherever you are.

If you like this idea and want to take it a step further, you can also consider camping at home. If you have a tent and/or some sleeping bags, you can simulate a National Park excursion and have a mini camping getaway right in your own home.

Do Yoga Together

Want to boost your mood, improve your health, and feel amazing while connecting with your significant other? Do yoga with your partner at home. Yoga can amp up your physical fitness while also improving your mental health, since it’s an excellent way to destress and practice mindfulness. And, of course, doing yoga also releases endorphins, which makes you feel happier. To make your at-home yoga session with your partner feel a bit more like it would if you were at a fancy yoga studio, consider switching up the lighting in your practice space. Softening the light in your home by dimming your lights or closing your curtains can improve the ambiance of your space, making your at-home yoga session even better.

Cocktails and Convos

You may not be able to hit the hotel bar this spring, since most bars are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, you can still enjoy some romantic cocktails and conversation with your love at home. To make an at-home cocktail date feel elevated and special, set the scene. Light some candles, put on a great playlist, put out flowers if you have them, and get dressed up like you’re getting ready for a night on the town. Then, enjoy bonding with your partner over some homemade craft cocktails.

Read and Relax

If you and your love are bibliophiles, reading and relaxing together is a lovely day-off activity. With this idea, you can hang out together while reading your own books, so you’re spending quality time together while you each get to do something you want to do.

Travel Via Cookbooks

One way to explore world culture is to try new cuisines. So if you and your partner like to cook, you can get a taste of world travel through trying new recipes. If you already have cookbooks at home, now is a great time to start working through them. And if you don’t, you can order a few online or find some new recipes on the many excellent cooking blogs across the internet. Trying out new dishes from different cultures is a great way to explore those cultures, helping you experience more of the world while you’re stuck in lockdown. Then, it’s also a great way to make your everyday routine more fun, exciting, and novel.

If you want to make this staycation idea even more immersive, consider seeing if you can pair your cuisine with a complementary virtual tour. There are many museums, landmarks, aquariums, and zoos around the world that are currently offering virtual tours and livestreams online. For example, some popular virtual destinations are the Louvre, the Great Wall of China, and the San Diego Zoo. If you, say, pair that new French dish you’re trying with a virtual stroll around the Louvre, that can make your staycation meal all the more fun and interesting. And taking a few virtual tours may help you decide where you and your love will want to travel next once the travel restrictions are lifted it’s safe to travel again.

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April 6, 2020

7 Pre-Wedding Wellness Tips to Prep You for the Big Day

It’s so important to prioritize your wellness during the wedding planning process. All too often, brides get focused on just the external details of their wedding, without considering that their wedding experience is, in the end, much more important than finding the right flowers and cake. Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one you should enjoy to its fullest, including while you plan it. So to help you stay happy, stress-free, and well while you prep for the day you say “I do,” below we’re featuring 7 pre-wedding wellness tips for every bride-to-be!

1. Give Yourself Plenty of Planning Time (And Breathing Room)

We’ll start with perhaps the most important tip on our list: give yourself plenty of time to plan your wedding. It can be incredibly stressful if you find that you still have a lot on your to-do list when you’re approaching your wedding day. Especially because extra to-do list items always seem to pop up in those two weeks before the big day. So to eliminate the possibility of stress caused by a serious time crunch, make your wedding planning schedule very early (earlier than you think you need to). Then, make sure that schedule gives you plenty of breathing room so you can fit in all the little tasks that will likely pop up right before your wedding day.

2. Get Help When You Need It

One of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re wedding planning is to delegate tasks to others. It’s your wedding, but that doesn’t mean you have to try to do everything yourself. Whenever possible, delegate tasks to your relatives, your partner, and your bridesmaids. Spreading out small tasks among your loved ones, who are likely happy to help, can greatly reduce the amount of anxiety and pressure you feel as a bride-to-be.

In addition to spreading out wedding tasks among your helpful loved ones, you can also consider getting help physically preparing yourself for your wedding if need it. Most brides want to feel and look their best on their wedding day. But if the stress of working on your skin, health, fitness goals, or weight loss goals all on your own is getting to you, consider going to a dermatologist, hiring a personal trainer, and/or hiring a nutritionist. Hiring a professional to help you with your skincare routine, fitness plan, or your wedding diet plan can take a big weight off your shoulders as you prepare for your wedding. When you hire someone to help you reach these goals, you feel more supported, confident, and accountable, which can help you feel less stressed and help you maintain your healthy habits more easily.

3. Don’t Stress Over Small Details

Your wedding day is an important day in your life. But if you start to feel stressed over every little detail, remind yourself that though your wedding day is an important day, it’s just one day. Don’t let your wedding planning experience get ruined by stressing over things that don’t really matter. If you think you may be stressing the small stuff too much, consider prioritizing your to-do list. Put the things you think are the most crucial to your wedding’s success at the top. Making a prioritized list will help you step back, look at the big picture, and stop focusing too much on low priority issues.

4. Get Plenty of Rest

It’s all-too-easy to start skimping on sleep in the months leading up to your wedding, since wedding planning can be so hectic. However, getting enough rest is incredibly important for your physical and mental well-being. It’s critical that you get enough sleep if you want to stay energized, positive, and healthy. So be sure to prioritize sleep during the planning process and in the weeks leading up to your wedding. If you need to, consider setting a bedtime alarm on your phone that will help you remember to start winding down.

5. Hydrate

This tip may seem obvious, but it’s something many people overlook when they get stressed: stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will help you stay healthy and keep your energy levels up in the months leading up to your special day. Plus, it will help your skin look its best on your big day. Drinking plenty of water is just as important for the look of your skin as your skincare routine.

If you find that you’re not drinking enough water, consider using a water-tracking app that will help you remember to drink your 8 to 9 glasses a day. Also, if you struggle to drink plenty of water, consider adding more healthy, hydrating fruits and veggies to your meals or smoothies. Fruits and veggies that are high in water content (like watermelon, strawberries, cucumbers, zucchini, and lettuce) can help you take in more water throughout the day.

6. Meditate

If you’re feeling stressed during the wedding planning process, consider trying meditation. Meditation is a time-tested, scientifically proven stress-fighting activity. Meditation can help lower your heart rate, reduce high blood pressure, and increase serotonin production. If you’re concerned about the time commitment of starting to meditate, know that it’s something you can easily fit into a busy schedule. Research shows that just 10 minutes of daily meditation can make an enormous difference in your mood. So consider setting aside just 10 minutes of time daily for a bit of meditative self-care, since it can make a huge difference in your quality of life.

7. Exercise Regularly

Our last pre-wedding wellness tip is to exercise regularly. This is something that many brides who want to tone up for their wedding are already planning on doing. But know that cardio and strength training has more than just physical benefits; it also has a host of mental benefits. Exercise reduces stress, improves your mood, lowers your risk of depression, and it even helps your mental functioning. So exercise can kill two birds with one stone: it can help you get more fit for your wedding, while also helping you sail through the planning process with reduced stress and a happier mood.

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January 23, 2020

Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her Personality

The key to giving a great Valentine’s Day gift is to think carefully about your sweetheart’s unique personality and tastes. Fine jewelry of any kind is always appreciated, but fine jewelry that perfectly suits her style is something she’ll adore. To help you find the perfect unique Valentine’s Day gift for her personality, below we’re featuring our top unique Valentine’s Day gifts in every style category!

For the Modern Woman

If your sweetheart favors streamlined, yet bold clothes and accessories, a modern-style piece of jewelry is perfect for her. When it comes to modern jewelry, you can either go ultra minimalistic or opt for something a bit more unique. If you’re looking for a more unique and bold piece of modern jewelry, we’d recommend a blue topaz ring, like the beautiful halo set blue topaz cocktail ring pictured above.

For the Classic Woman

If you’re shopping for a woman with a classic sense of style, we have the perfect gift idea for her: a pair of round diamond studs. Round diamond studs are gorgeous, timeless, and incredibly wearable; they’re simply a can’t-go-wrong Valentine’s Day gift if your partner has a traditional sense of style.

For the Hopeless Romantic

If your Valentine is a romantic at heart, embrace the over-the-top romance of the holiday and opt for a heart-shaped ring. One of our current favorite heart-shaped rings is the Alice Ring, pictured above. This charming ring features a romantic rose gold setting, a lovely twisted band, and a glamorous heart-shaped diamond halo.

For the Trendy Woman

If your partner is always on top of the latest fashion trends, go for a trending jewelry style. Our top trending jewelry recommendation for 2020 is an initial pendant necklace. Initial pendants are one of the trendiest accessories of the year. However, they also happen to be quite classic. So, initial pendants are at once trendy and classic, making them a great gift option for someone with an eye for trends. She’ll be able to enjoy wearing her initial necklace now, while it’s a hot trending item, but will also be able to keep it in rotation for years to come.

For the Unique and Bold Woman

Does your Valentine like to stand out? Does she hate blending in with the crowd? If so, go for an ultra unique piece of jewelry, like a pair of black diamond studs. Black diamond studs are elegant and beautiful, yet they’re also inherently striking and bold. A pair of black diamond studs is mysterious, eye-catching, and utterly unique, just like the unique and bold woman.

For the Trend Setter

If your partner likes to experiment with her style, go for something a bit adventurous, like a piece from our Her Collection. Our Her Collection is filled with modern, luxurious designs in a wide array of styles. There, you’ll find gorgeous gemstone and diamond pieces that range from chic and minimalistic to highly detailed and distinctive. Our Her Collection also includes many designs that blend style elements from different categories, such as the earrings pictured above. These earrings are at once modern and romantic, giving them a uniquely beautiful look.

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December 23, 2019

5 Ways to Care for Your Engagement Ring

Engagement rings are usually made of durable materials, like gold and diamonds. But though engagement rings are built to stand the test of time, they do require a bit of maintenance if you want them to look their best year after year. Wondering what you can do to take care of your engagement ring? Read on to see 5 jeweler-approved ways to care for your engagement ring!

1. Get a Professional Cleaning Twice a Year

Getting your engagement ring regularly cleaned by a professional is extremely important. At a professional cleaning, your ring will, of course, be thoroughly cleaned, which will make it look brand new. But then, additionally, the jeweler who is cleaning your ring will inspect its structural integrity. They will examine your ring’s settings under magnification to make sure they’re secure, which will help your gemstones stay firmly within your ring when you wear it.

Wondering how often you should get a professional cleaning for your engagement ring? The general rule is to get your ring cleaned twice a year.

2. Clean Your Ring At Home, Gently

In between professional cleanings, you can clean your ring at home to ensure it looks bright and brilliant. The best way to clean your ring at home is to use the simple, jeweler-approved soap and water method. To use this method, first soak your ring in a dish soap and warm water solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, gently scrub your ring with a soft toothbrush. Finally, rinse your ring and either pat it dry with a soft cloth or let it air dry. If you think your ring still looks a bit dim or dull, simply repeat this process.

We recommend using this soap and water method because it’s simple, effective, and gentle. Gentle is a key word here, since there are many harsh ways people may try to clean their rings at home, which can end up damaging their jewelry. To avoid damaging your engagement ring when you clean it, never use harsh chemicals to clean your jewelry, which can damage both precious metals and gemstones. Then, also never use anything physically abrasive, which can leave unsightly scratches on your ring. And lastly, we recommend that you do not use at-home ultra-sonic cleaners to clean your engagement ring. These machines can loosen gemstone settings, leaving you at risk of loosing a stone.

3. Don’t Wear Your Ring in Potentially Dangerous Situations

There are certain activities that put your engagement ring at a high risk or being damaged or lost. For example, going out on a boat or swimming in the ocean. Being out in the open water is freeing and fun— but if your engagement ring slips off into the ocean’s depths, you’ll almost certainly never see it again. Then, to give another example, many common activities put your ring at risk of getting extremely dirty or even damaged. Playing sports, working out at the gym, and even doing certain types of chores (such as gardening) can put your ring at risk of getting grimy or damaged.

So if you’re going to be engaging in any situation where your ring could easily get damaged, lost, or even especially dirty, what should you do? We recommend that you leave your engagement ring safely at home. If you’re ever unsure whether or not a particular situation would be risky for your ring, we also recommend erring on the side of caution and leaving your ring at home to keep your ring safe and sound.

4. Rock a Backup

So, we mentioned in our last tip that you should avoid wearing your ring in potentially dangerous situations. However, we know that some people just really want to wear an engagement ring all the time. And if you’re one of these people, we have another tip that’s perfect for you: get a backup ring.

If you want to wear an engagement ring during a potentially risky situation, you can keep your real engagement ring safe by rocking a backup. There are many department stores that sell costume jewelry rings that look very much like engagement rings. Also, if you want to wear a backup ring made that looks just like your engagement ring, a jeweler that does custom work can easily make you a faux version of your ring using non-precious materials.

By having a backup available, you can still wear an engagement ring whenever you want— but also protect the monetary and sentimental value of your real engagement ring.

5. Get Your White Gold Ring Re-Plated When Necessary

If you have a white gold engagement ring, eventually it’s going to start looking a bit yellow. This is because white gold is actually yellow gold that has been plated in an exceptionally shiny white metal called rhodium. With regular wear and a bit of time, rhodium plating will always start to wear off. And at that point, your white gold ring may start to look yellow.

But if your white gold ring is starting to get a golden glow, you can easily just have it re-plated with rhodium. Rhodium plating is a standard maintenance treatment that’s simple and fairly inexpensive (on average, it costs between $60 to $120 have a ring rhodium plated). And after your ring gets a touch up with a rhodium plating, it will look bright white, shiny, and brand new again.

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October 4, 2019

How to Find Out Her Ring Size Without Her Knowing

Many people want their proposal to have an element of surprise, so the proposal will be even more exciting! But there’s one thing that can make a surprise proposal particularly challenging: figuring out her ring size. When you go to order an engagement ring, you have to order it in a specific size. And since ring size basically never comes up in a casual conversation, most people don’t know their sweetheart’s ring size. So how do you sneakily figure out this crucial piece of information before you pop the question? Read on to learn our top tips on how you can find out her ring size without her knowing!

1. Borrow a Ring

One way to find our her ring size without her knowing is to borrow one of her rings, then get it measured by a jeweler. If you use this strategy, know that it’s very important that you know which finger she wears this ring on. All of our fingers are slightly different sizes. So if she doesn’t wear the ring you sneak away with on her left ring finger, be sure to note which finger she does wear it on. Then, tell that info to the jeweler (also be sure to tell them which hand is her dominant hand, which can affect finger size) so they can make an educated guess on her engagement ring finger size.

2. Imprint or Trace a Ring

If you’re worried she may notice if you borrow one of her rings for a while, you can also try tracing one of her rings, then taking your tracing to a jeweler for measurement. Draw an outline of one of her rings on a piece of paper or put it on your finger and mark where it sits with a pen. If you’re concerned that your tracing skills will be inaccurate, you can also try the classic strategy of making an imprint of her ring in a bar of soap.

3. Sneakily Use a Ring Sizer at Home

Another way to figure out her ring size without her knowing is to use an at home ring sizer. This printable ring sizer allows you to measure one of her rings by aligning it with a circular ring size chart. It also includes a printable paper sizer that is a bit harder to use sneakily. But to learn how you can, read on our next idea!

4. Use the Sleeping Beauty Strategy

If your sweetheart is a very heavy sleeper, you can measure her ring size when she’s sleeping. Use a paper sizer, like the printable one mentioned above, while she’s in a deep sleep. Or, alternatively, try measuring her ring finger with a piece of string or fishing line. While this strategy only works if she’s a deep sleeper, this is a great option (that’s usually highly accurate!) if she is.

5. Ask Her Friends or Family

Another way to sneakily figure out her ring size is to ask around. If you’re getting close to engagement, it’s very possible that your girlfriend has told her friends or family her ring size. Also, it’s possible that her family has bought her a ring in the past, so they might know her ring size even if she hasn’t mentioned it recently. While her friends and family may not always know her size, this strategy is always worth a shot!

If one of her friends or family doesn’t know her ring size, you can also ask them to do a bit of intel for you. If she has a close friend or family member who is a good actor (and can keep a secret), you can ask them to help you discover her size. They can pull the classic “try on my ring so I can see how it looks on you” move. Or, if she has any loved ones who are close to engagement themselves, you can ask them to go ring shopping with her (for the friend or family member) and note her size while they shop.

General Tips for Guessing Ring Size

The most accurate way to find out her ring size is to ask her directly or go get her professionally sized together. But, of course, many people don’t want to do that, since it would ruin the element of surprise. While the tips above are great ways to figure out her ring size, some of them require a bit of guessing. If you do have to guess her approximate size, we have a few tips!

First, know that the average women’s ring size is a size 6. So if you’re guessing based on no information and her fingers look average in size, size 6 isn’t a bad place to start with your guess. Then, also know that it’s generally better to go with a slightly bigger size than a size that is too small. Most engagement rings can be resized but it’s usually easier to size down rather than size up. Plus, for the proposal itself, you’ll want to make sure you can actually get her engagement ring on her finger. Finally, if you’re completely unsure about her size and really don’t want to guess, know that you can always get a temporary proposal ring. You can propose with a plain sterling silver or gold band, then order that real, spectacular engagement ring after she says yes!

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