Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Things I Love Today: Sendan-Tokusa

San Francisco's Chinatown and Japantown are two fantastic resources for inexpensive tableware. I love mixing in rice bowls and sushi plates along with my basic white dishes.

One of my favorite Japanese patterns is called Sendan-Tokusa. Hand-painted blue lines radiate out from a center point and the dishes are rimed with blue. The pattern comes in a couple different variations, but each is distinct and modern.

I recommend the 9" x 4.5" sushi plate in particular. I've used it to serve an appetizer of three prosciutto-wrapped figs and it also works really well for a slice of cake and ice cream. On my desk, I also have three Sendan-Tokysa bowls in organic "pebble" shapes filled with candy, paper clips and business cards. Oooo, and I also have this set of five noodle bowls, one in a Sendan-Tokusa pattern.

Dinner Party Recipe: Cornish Game Hens

We're having Jordan and Paul over tonight for a late dinner and LOST watching party. For the menu, I'm preparing something that has all the cozy feelings of a basic a rainy night dinner but with a twist. We'll start with a few basic crudites and follow that with cornish game hens paired with beluga lentils.

I'm going to repeat my favorite Epicurious recipe from a few years ago for the hens. All you do is make a mixture of chopped herbs, shallots and citrus zest and stuff it under the skin before roasting for about 30 minutes. The black lentils should be pretty easy too, just simmer some carrots, leeks and celery root in butter and combined with the boiled lentils. Yum!

What to Wear: Serious Layers

It seems that mother nature and father stock market teamed up yesterday to throw a giant tantrum. Thunderstorms...landslides...a 500 point drop...too much drama for me. Serious times call for serious outfits:

Dress - Chino basic shell in navy from Banana Republic.
Sweater - A little extra texture and warmth with the dress.
Jacket - This gray trench is so "French spy" and a pretty good deal for $129.
Necklace - Adds a vintage 1970's flair.
Boots - So very cold outside. These would be great with socks and tights.
Hat - I really need to buy more hats.
Gloves - A must have for those cold walks to work in the morning.
Purse - Another great Michael Kors bag, this time with a mod touch.
Paper - The Financial Times: full of important stock market data and pink!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Inspiration: Flowers & Photos

Last week's Sunday New York Times included their fabulous T: Style Magazine! The whole issue was chock-full of inspiring images. The "Spring Fever" section with photos by Stephen Gill was my favorite.

For this spread, Mr. Gill superimposed flowers on top of traditional fashion pictures. "The resulting image looks digitized but is actually done by hand." How clever! You can view the whole series online here.

Book Report: Picks for a Week on the Outer Banks

From the looks of the weather reports, we're in for a chilly visit to North Carolina's Outer Banks in March. Rob and I might trade the wet, 50 degree weather of San Francisco for the wet, 50 degree weather of the south. This calls for a serious reading list!

After a very productive 15 minute trip to Aardvark Books, this is what I have so far:
Mosquitos, William Faulkner - A book about traveling in the south, how apropo.
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby - I enjoyed his last book "How to Be Good." Intelligent and clever.
The Bedside Book of Birds, Graeme Gibson - The short vignettes and illustrations make for excellent sharing materials.
Fraud, David Rakoff - Mr. Rakoff is an alum of This American Life, which is all I needed to know before buying it.
Add to this three New Yorkers, two New York Times Sunday Magazines, five of Rob's books, one unfinished copy of The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, an unfinished John Hodgeman iPod-book and some crossword puzzles and I think I'm set! Now if I can just manage to keep my hands off the new books before we actually leave on vacation :)

Revamping the Bathroom

Our tiny apartment bathroom has a new look for spring! Since the room is so small - 6x6 exactly including a sizable porcelain tub - there's not much to do but replace the shower curtain.

The Merimekko Kaiku design from Anthropologie is a perfect match with our green towels and the white honeycomb tile floors. And my bunch of daisies picked at archery are lovely in a tiny Moroccan vase next to the sink.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inspiration: Indigo

Indigo blue isn't really the best name for my recent color obsession. It's more of "navy, but waay better." Wikipedia pegs it between "Persian Indigo" and "Prussian Blue," both suitably exotic names. It's the color of a wall in my office, irises at the flower market and Reese Witherspoon's Oscar's one of my favorites for spring:

Shoes - From Nine West in suede and satin.
Dress - Everything about this is lovely.
Top - Anthropologie calls it navy, but it's more than that. I love the neckline.
Shadow - I've been using dark purply-blue shadow for eyeliner, matched with a lighter grey shadow.
Notebook - From a fun journal and note card set on Etsy.
Ring - A dark purple sapphire cabochon.

Now if only I could find a couch or upholstered chair in this color. I'd be in heaven!

Things I Love Today: Delicate Nightgowns

Call me a traditionalist but in my book pajamas fit into two distinct categories: classic in satin or soft in pink. This Anthropologie nightgown fits perfectly into the second.

Soft combed cotton with embroidery and small ruffles. And if that wasn't good enough, it's also on sale for almost half off! I'm going to wear it with a cardigan or long sleeve shirt underneath until the weather starts to warm up.

Weekend Round-up: Cooking in the Rain

(Oops, I forgot my camera at home. Pictures to come)

The weather was so awful this weekend! Bitter cold and with biting mist that stung your face. Still, despite this setback, it was great to be at home. On Friday night, Rob and I celebrated our cabin fever with a dinner roasted pork loin, champagne and a movie rental.

I made breakfast on Saturday morning, well...just coffee and fig newmans, really. Feeling fully refreshed by the sleep-in, Rob and I drove out to the Legion of Honor to see the Masterpieces of French Jewelry exhibit. The Belle Epoque jewelry was my favorite but in the end I fell for the drawings of Georges Barbier in the next gallery over instead.

Still raining as Rob and I drove over the bridge to look at some property in Forestville. We've been playing with the idea of buying some land and building a prefab weekend house. The lot was far too steep (in topography and price) so we drove on to the coast to see if there were better options in Bodega Bay. The coast was incredibly dramatic in all that mist with daffodils blooming every where.

We didn't find the perfect lot but we did get to explore some new areas. And we made it home in time for a light dinner and our first time watching Out of Africa. I've read this book at least 20 times but had never seen the film. So, so good! I absolutely loved Meryl Streep...and the costumes...and the sets! The whole thing is just perfect.

Rob ran out to get me the Sunday paper the next morning and I made us waffles. At 11:00, there was a brief break in the weather and time for archery. I don't know if it was the hearty breakfast or watching Meryl hunting in Africa, but it felt so nice to be outside shooting.

Once my arms were sore and my bouquet of picked daisies finished, we headed home for lunch. I made chili out of the pork loin leftovers and kidney beans. Rob and I went shopping downtown all afternoon (I'll post later about some of the best scores) and then came home for another quiet dinner. For this sixth and final home-cooked meal, I made orecchiette pasta with mushrooms, cauliflower and lots of garlic. Yum!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Urban Girl Alamanac: Home Sweet Home

Although it is deceptively sunny outside now, we're in the middle of a big winter storm here in the city. It hailed last night and is supposed to stay cold and wet all weekend. Our reader Jennifer from Canada probably should bring her puffy jacket after all! Along with the importance of a good umbrella, here's what I've learned this week:
  • Blood orange sorbet is delicious.
  • I really, really, really want a DVF Justin dress.
  • I always keep four things in the kitchen for a last minute dinner: corn tortillas, cheese, organic lettuce and these refried beans. Oh, and limes and salsa fresca too. I guess that is my SoCal side!
  • I think my health insurance company deliberately brainstorms ways to torture me.
  • Good interior designer does not equal good dresser.
  • Time to spruce up your make-up for spring? E.L.F. has free shipping today.
  • Mmmm....tabasco cheez-its and cadbury mini eggs.
  • I'm so excited to stay home this weekend. Lots of museums and shopping!
  • I have a massive girl crush on Tina Fey. All the girl professionals out there should watch last night's episode. I daydreamed all day about making my foes do the worm and finding the perfect context to say "Yeah, suck it, I do read the paper."
I'm off early for another MRI. No needles this time, so it will just be boring not scary. Have a great weekend! Don't forget to glam it up on Sunday for the Oscars.

Update: You haven't lived until you've experienced an earthquake while inside an MRI machine! Talk about stressful conditions.

Must Have: Yellow Shoe

Yellow patent leather shoes are a must have for spring. But there is no way you're getting me into the four inch heel, platform, eighties version that is most prominent so far.

Instead, I'll take this adorable pair of flats from Seychelles (I love Seychelles) for $64.95. Perfect for spring garden parties when paired with a colorful print skirt or with jeans and a white sweater for those rainy days.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Things I Love today: Blue Leather Piggy Bank

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Did you remember that the Chinese new year started last weekend ? (I didn't) Luckily, the big parade in Chinatown isn't until March 3. I still have time to celebrate the year of the pig!

This a adorable blue leather piggy bank would be a great way to ring in the new year! Isn't he cute? The bank is part of MoMA's Argentinian designer spotlight. I think he'd work quite well as a laundry money carrier!

Inspiration: West Elm Colors

After watching the Top Design marathon last night, I felt like my eyes would explode if I saw one more blend of any of the two following colors: plum, mustard, chartreuse and orange. (BTW - What the fudge is Kelly Wearstler thinking with those get-ups?)

Anyway...West Elm's spring color palate is a breath of fresh air. It's all cool sea glass greens and cactus blues. I'll take some of these pillows please, some matching vases, definitely these metal butterflies and one of these cotton shams. Uh oh, I feel a bout of redecorate fever coming on!

What to Wear: Visiting San Francisco

Jennifer, a reader from Toronto, wrote in yesterday to ask about outfit suggestions for visiting San Francisco this weekend. I love reader questions!

It's going to be a little drizzly; so comfort and warmth are key. I started with a basic outfit that she can accessorize as she explores the city:
  • Coat - A short pea coat or blazer is a must have layering piece.
  • Sweater - I love the modern cut of this cream sweater from FCUK. It's formal enough with jeans for a restaurant or bar.
  • Jeans - If you're okay with skinny jeans, rock them in SF. If not, wear a nice dark bootcut pair.
  • Flats - Comfortable skimmers for hiking all over the city without killing your feet.
  • Purse - Pick up something bold in an African print from MoAD. Get one big enough to hold a camera, umbrella, map and goodies.
  • Bangles - Buy a matching pair in jade while exploring Chinatown.
  • Sunglasses - For the sunny moments.
  • Scarf - A must have for the cold moments.
  • Headband - For the moments where fog and wind lead to a massive hair freak-out.
I'll be wearing something similar for my own exploration of the city this weekend. The Legion of Honor fine jewelry show (finally) and the Asian Art Museum are on my itinerary.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Things I Love Today: Cadbury Mini Eggs

Mmmm....Easter is still a solid six weeks away but the Cadbury mini eggs are already here. I have a big bowl of them out on my desk at work. So good!

What to Wear: $2,463 Worth

Real, boring life can be so expensive. Just this morning I dropped $2,463.68 in the mailbox for boring bills. Taxes, new tires, DMV renewal, cable bill, etc. I wish I could have spent that money on something fun instead! Something like this spring outfit:
  • Dress - DVF classic wrap dress in a vintage red and white pattern for $325.
  • Trench - This Prada trench doesn't seem so unreasonable at $710 after you've just sent the same amount to the state capitol.
  • Shoes - Gucci metallic leather wedges with a peep toe and a cork heel for $495.
  • Clutch - I love how well this Kenneth Cole clutch for $158 goes with the shoes and earrings.
  • Earrings - From Anthropologie for $178.
  • Flowers - All tea roses, tulips and peonies from Church Street flowers for about $100.
Add a good spray tan ($50), some fresh new make-up ($100), a box of chocolates ($20) and a blow-out ($50) that's the right way to spend $2,400!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Recipe: Blood Orange Sorbet

When life hands you a ten pound bag of blood oranges...make sorbet! Blood oranges are so messy to eat, that it makes sense to use them for their juice in this way. The recipe couldn't be simpler or more delicious.

Blood Orange Sorbet

Juice and pulp from 6-10 blood oranges (remove the seeds)
Half cup of sugar (to taste)
Tablespoon of fresh ginger in large pieces

Combine the ingredients and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. You may want to give the mixture a quick turn on the stove to blend the sugar and bring out the ginger flavor. Remove the ginger pieces and pour into an ice cream maker. After about 30 minutes, the sorbet is firm enough to serve. This was enough for five smaller bowls.

The bright pink color of this sorbet is so festive and the ginger gives it a nice kick. My worries that it would taste like orange juice concentrate were totally unfounded. This would be perfect as a "dessert" after a big brunch.

Weekend Round-Up: Goat Husbandry

If you thought last weekend's truck-drivin', skeet-shootin' time in Weaverville was odd for a so called "urban girl"...brace yourself! Rob and I headed out to the heartland again this weekend. We went to Fresno to celebrate Rob's Mom's birthday.

We arrived Saturday morning on a sunny, warm day. Rob's mom, Ellen, is a large animal vet and the family has a mini farm with a pond, about 30 goats and some horses. One of the goats had had triplets just a few minutes before we arrived and we helped to clean them off a bit. They were adorably wobbly but a little slimy. There were about 11 kids under a week old in the "nursery." After just a few hours of being in the world, the babies are already so cute, fluffy and playful.

At 5:00, we all spruced up and drove out to the "Tower District" in Fresno for dinner and a show. The play was pretty well done considering how small the theater was and they had free cake during intermission. If you are ever in Fresno, this is the cool neighborhood to visit :)

The next day, we had a big breakfast at home in the morning. The weather had turned much colder. Rob and his Dad did a little archery in the yard while Ellen and I read inside. Just when we were about to leave, we noticed that another goat had given birth just a few minutes before. We all dashed over to grab the babies, clean them up and move them to a private shed. Rob helped make a nest for them out of dried grass. That little tan guy was the one I carried :)

Once the new family was settled in, we left for our drive on the blossom trail in the rain. It was remarkable to see all the ruined citrus crops from the big frost a few weeks ago. A lot of the farmers had picked the bad oranges and just left them on the ground to rot. The peach, plum and almond blossoms were very pretty though. At one fruit stand I bought a ten pound bag of blood oranges for only $5!

We had pizza for lunch in Reedly, visited Granny's farm briefly for some birthday cake and had a quiet night back at the house relaxing. The next morning, we all had breakfast together and helped with chores before heading back to San Francisco.

Our friends Jackie and Scott had stayed in the apartment over the weekend with their visiting friend, Rajive. I had time to wash and put up all the fresh lettuce and greens from Fresno and to start a blood orange sorbet (I'll post the recipe later) before they made it back home. I used the sorbet to bribe them into staying for dinner. We walked up to Alamo Square, of Full House fame, before eating Ethiopian on Haight. After the guests left, I had a very restorative "spa night" with a long bath, nail painting and face scrubbing.

Whew! Another fun country weekend full of new experiences. It was so neat to help with the kids but I've had my fill of goat placenta for a long while. It is very good to be home!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sale Alert: The Ribbonerie

The Ribbonerie is having a big sale today to celebrate their 10 year anniversary. If you live anywhere near San Francisco, take some time to head over to the shop on 15th and Potrero. Free champagne while you shop (in crystal flutes no less), free cookies, 20% off and a free tape measure with your purchase.

The women who run this store are so nice! And the store has the greatest stuff. Rob and I just went and bought a couple kinds of wire ribbon and an antique silver and pearl brooch. (Photo from Oh Happy Day)

Recipe: Fondue for Two

One of my favorite easy dinners to make is fondue and salad. You can find pre-made fondue at the grocery store or Trader Joe's for about $4. It's not as good as making it from scratch, but a whole lot easier.

Last night, we used our new fondue set for the first time and paired the fondue with a great loaf of whole wheat sourdough and a salad with balsamic dressing. Green apples are also good for dipping. Rob had fun tinkering with the alcohol stove part and I had fun eating a massive amount of cheese, it's a win/win!

Of course, washing the fondue pot isn't so fun. But you can always try the Matterhorn on Van Ness instead. The "highlander" cheese fondue is delish and there are no dishes after.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Shopping Challenge: Dressy Brown Flats

Haley, my sister's friend and a fan of the blog, wrote in with a shopping challenge this week:

Being the fashion goddess that you are, I'm writing for your help. I'm looking for a semi-dressy pair of brown flats. I've been looking for something kind of mary-jane-ish, but I'm really having trouble finding anything. Most of the shoes I've found are a little to, shall we say...mature for my taste.

This is a tough one. Dressy flats are hard enough to find...and in brown, yikes! Let's forget the mary jane part already; a strap on a flat usually means instant "cankle." What are some of Haley's options?

Peep-toe flats - These could be a bit matronly, I advise spicing them up with bright coral painted toenails. The tiny heel makes them work with skirts or pants. From J.Crew for $148.

Candy wedge - The micro-wedge is really the greatest shoe height! So comfortable. This shoe is basically the same concept as above but in burgundy patent leather for only $39.

Stella flat - These come in eight fun colors and leopard, I want one of each. They are even better in person. More versatile than dressy, though. $69 from Nordstrom.

Gain flat - Faux crocodile or snake skin with a fun buckle. This would be great with a mod little dress. $79 from Macy's.

Fey flat - An orange bow and stitching really boosts these basic brown flats. On clearance for only $36, so who cares if the orange might not go with everything.

Any of these shoes would be a great addition to a shoe collection. They all work with pants, skirts and jeans. If you Haley wants something a little dressier, I say go for gold instead of brown! This is a great example, as is this and this.

Coveted: Artus Bird Sculpture

When I first saw this statue for sale at The Met store, I thought it was lovely but unnecessary. Besides, isn't the whole bird-mania of 2006 coming to a close? After a few months, my admiration has turned into a minor obsession.

Something about it just says "buy me, put me next to your computer, and I will be your muse." I must be channeling Farley or Poe on this one! Sure, it is $250 and eight inches tall...but I need it!

Things I Love Today: Chocolate Heart

Rob gave me this chocolate heart from Joseph Schmidt for Valentine's Day last night (their store is down the street from our apartment). It is filled with six truffles and the "shell" is made from really good dark chocolate. I ate half of one of the sides before going to dinner and almost left the house with chocolate all over my face!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Romance is in the air! Let's start celebrating with a photo of my parent's wedding that I recently found. They were married in a small shingled church on Union Street in San Francisco. Doesn't my mom look kind of like Cate Blanchett? Don't I look just like my dad?

A couple of the stylish ladies in the club have displays of family wedding photos going back a few generations in their apartments. Such a cute idea!

Rob Appreciation Day

This is one of my favorite photos from a trip to Mendocino with Rob last summer. The giant driftwood that litters the beach there is used to build small shelters. Rob and I sat in the cool shade of this one and he carved our initials in one of the logs.

Rob and I have been together for 6 years and each day has been a new adventure. He's great at making me laugh and pushing me to try new things. Rob is basically the opposite of me: he's a manly-man, outdoorsy, good at math and mellow. Being opposites makes us a perfect balance! Happy Valentine's Day, boss-man!

PS: Check out the "unfortunate valentines" on this site!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Things I Love Always: Molasses Chips

I've got to run to a doctor's appointment today. It's time for another chapter in the endless hip/butt injury saga. Because this is in the city and at the teaching hospital, my appointment is expected to take no less than 2 and 1/2 hours. Good thing I have a New Yorker in my purse today.

In the meantime, here is my best suggestion for everyone and everything Valentine's Day: Dark Chocolate Molasses Chips. Quite possibly the manliest box of chocolates available on the market. The dark chocolate makes them a little more sophisticated than your average candy. And they are just incredibly good all around.

Think Pink!

Say what you will about hot pink, but the color is universally flattering. It makes pale people tan and tan people have a natural blush. I don't advise building a wardrobe out of hot pink alone, however it is perfect in small amounts and classic styles. Diane von Furstenberg spotlighted the perfect hot pink in her spring collection.

Tank - Adorable layered with greys and denim.
Bikini - If there ever was a time that necessitated wearing a skin flattering color, bikini season would be it.
Lip Gloss - Brighten up your make-up for spring.
Make-up Bag - From J. Crew.
iPod - It just might be time to upgrade my old gold mini from a few years ago.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What to Wear: Rainy Days

When it is cold and rainy, it doesn't work to wear your best skirt or pair of light trousers. Rain demands something a little more durable. This casual outfit works for the office on a rainy day and has some elements of spring:
  • Ruffled Blouse - I love this polka dot ruffle blouse from American Eagle for when it starts to warm up.
  • Cardigan - Zipper cardigans are my favorite "comfort" clothes.
  • Jeans - Trouser jeans are a great compromise for work. Although my pair from Penguin does turn my hands blue.
  • Trench - Cheap and bright from Target, ideal for icky weather.
  • Sneakers - Green and white ballet style pumas are perfect for walking about.
Stay dry out there today!

Weekend Round-Up: Emily in Trees

Oh my, my! This was a wild weekend; I hope you won't mind a long post. Rob and I packed up the Miata on Friday and drove a long 6 hours north to Weaverville in the rain.

We were visiting our newlywed friends. Molly is an ag teacher and grew up on a cattle ranch in the area. Rich is Rob's best friend; an interesting character who comes from a fancy LA family and has completely transformed himself into a real country man. Lilly, their dog, is half wild boar and half muppet. Their new life in Weaverville couldn't be much more different than ours in San Francisco. This is the view of the family that I had for most of the weekend:

Anyway, we arrived Friday night around 10 and woke up late the next morning. Molly had a cold and it was still pouring rain outside. Rich gave us a walking tour of Weaverville which has two bars, a handful of antique stores and a lot of county offices. Rob tried, unsuccessfully to get me to wear this poncho:

Rob bought a mug at the Olson Ceramic shop and we had a greasy breakfast at The Nugget dinner. We then packed up the truck and drove an hour south to Molly's family ranch in Hayfork. Both of Molly's brothers live nearby and help the family manage the ranch. For our visit, one of the brothers drove us all out to a pasture for some skeet shooting in the rain.

Molly taught me how to crochet while the boys played. Look, I made a lopsided hamster scarf:

Oops...I guess parking in the mud wasn't a good idea. The truck got stuck and we had to walk back to the house. Molly's mom threw some extra wood on the stove that they use to heat the house and made us snacks while we warmed up.

We got back to Weaverville around 7:30 and had a quiet dinner. The next morning, Rich made us a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, grapefruit and home-raised bacon. Before we left, they drove us out to the high school to see where they work and gave us a tour of Weaverville.

What a fun visit! Many thanks to Rich and Molly for hosting us and teaching us all about country life.

Rob and I hit the road at 12:30 and made it back to the city by 5:30. We had just enough time to change and unpack before leaving for the Scissors for Lefty performance at the San Francisco Grammy party. Rob and I took the subway to the ferry building. When there was no F-train in sight, we hired a pedicab to bike us up to the Hard Rock Cafe. It was a perfect crisp San Francisco night for an open air ride! I wish I had taken my camera.

We met up with Jill at the party and snuck into the VIP section where they had free food and drinks. The band had a great show and it was fun to watch the award show with a bunch of fancy-pantsy music professionals. At 9:30, we walked to the parking garage to get a ride home with Jill and Peter. From the raised bridge, we had a gorgeous view of Coit tower and the city buildings surrounded by fog and stars. It was very good to be home!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Urban Girl Almanac: Sweet Tarts

It has been a rainy and busy week! Largely, my evenings were consumed with the epic task of baking a lemon creme tart. Don't laugh, it was really tricky! Let's see what I learned this week:
  • Rolling out pastry crust is something that needs to be done very quickly and without flipping over the dough.
  • LOST, I'm hooked again.
  • They have nice porcelain baking pans at the Ace Hardware on Market and Church.
  • 3 days of cooking, about $100 in supplies and half a bottle of champagne adds up to this lovely treat.
  • The tenants upstairs are moving out. I have my fingers crossed for a new neighbor who doesn't stomp about in high heels all day long.
  • Goco Printers are magical appliances.
  • Jewelry Week was fun! Don't forget to go to the opening of the Masterpieces of French Jewelry exhibit at the Legion of Honor this weekend.
  • Unfortunately, I won't be there because Rob and I are driving to Weaverville instead to visit with friends.
  • But you can catch me back in the city on Sunday watching Scissors for Lefty play the Grammy Party at the Hard Rock Cafe. Check out the SFL tour schedule, they're going to be all over the country over the next weeks.
Have a great weekend! See you next week for all sorts of non-jewelry related posts.

More of Favorite Jewelry Picks

It's time for a few more photos of your favorite and fantasy pieces to round out our Jewelry Week coverage:

Engagement Ring - A clever and stylish alternative to a big diamond solitaire. Jordan says "It is a 'pave' style ring and I still love it." She is currently lusting after this aquamarine ring to go with it.

Pearl Ring - This is one of my greatest finds! I bought the ring for $5 in an Argentinian antique shop. I think the (fake) pearl is only glued on in the middle. But it has a lot of character and that is something priceless.

Pin - Jordan also sent a picture of this favorite brooch. "The pin is just a costume jewelry piece I found at an antique store in college. I really love it even thought it is cheap."

Last call for suggestions, photos and favorites!