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*This post was made in partnership with Nakturnal.  Thank you for supporting brands that I feature on the blog*
 

This post was supposed to happen in April but due to COVID-19 we had to push it back. I've been so excited to wear these pieces and show them on the blog!

I'm very happy to be featuring sustainable and ethical jewelry brand AUrate once again! Last year I featured a gorgeous pearl necklace and this time I opted for matching pearl stud earrings. I rarely wear anything but my diamond stud earrings, unless it's a special occasion, so these are a perfect addition to my jewelry collection. I can see myself wearing these pearl studs quite a bit.

Originally I wanted to style them for Easter. When picking out an Easter outfit I think floral dresses and pretty colors. You also can't go wrong with a pop of color with your sandals as well! Luckily we can easily translate florals for a more casual Spring and Summer look. I swapped out the dress for a flowy top and paired it with some green pants (you could also go with denim but I wanted a bit of a change from my usual jeans.)


What I love about AUrate is they are direct-to-consumer, meaning there won't be any retail cost markups you normally see when purchasing jewelry. As an example, there is no import tax because the pieces are made right in New York City.  Their pieces are ethically-sourced and sustainably made. You're also getting a lifetime quality guarantee with your purchase. AUrate will re-plate, polish, and repair pieces when needed.  If that's not enough, AUrate donates a book in your name for every purchase. 


These Pearl Studs are made with 4mm Akoya Pearls - sourced from the freshwater of Japan - and rose gold posts made with 14K gold. AUrate ethically sources their 18-karat and 14-karat gold. At traditional retail these pearl stud earrings could cost $390, but AUrate sells theirs for $150 a pair, a more than 50% savings.

I'm also wearing their rose gold Medium Chain Bracelet made with Gold Vermeil for only $50 (compared to $130 at traditional stores.) AUrate's vermeil is silver coated in 2.5 microns of 14K gold - traditional vermeil only requires a 1.5 micron coating with 10K gold so already you're getting a better product. This bracelet also comes in 14K gold for $200.


Another great feature I recently discovered is their Home Try-On/"Curate" program. It's similar to StichFix or Trunk Club but for jewelry! If you're having trouble picking a piece of jewelry you can do a questionnaire and a personal stylist will hand pick five pieces to send. You'll have a week to try them out, send back the ones you don't want and purchase the ones you like. There is no obligation to keep anything and the service is free! You can only take advantage of this system twice so make it count. And don't worry about anything being out of your price range because you'll include that when you order your Curate Box.  *NOTE: Home Try-On is currently unavailable due to coronavirus*

Top: Zara floral blouse, Suede Pants: Blank NYC 'Persuede' jeans (South Moon Under), Sandals: Everlane The Double-Strap Block Heel Sandal in Strawberry, Sunglasses: Gucci Aviator, Jewelry (Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet) c/o AUrate






This outfit comes with a long backstory. But it's necessary to share why I had to make this purchase.  Back in February 2012 I posted photos of Burberry's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. In that post I said:
[...] ESPECIALLY the owl print t-shirts. I don't care how much they cost but I am going to get my hands on one of those! I'm an owl obsessed freak…maybe it comes from my Harry Potter obsession but I think they are SO cute!
Spoiler alert: I ended up not getting one of the owl tees. Instead I DIYed my own version because I couldn't justify the $300+ price tag. The sweater version with the beaded owl retailed for $3000.

Even though I had my DIY version I still searched for the real version. I had alerts for "Burberry owl" set up on eBay and a couple other sites. Owl sweaters & tees came and went with me resisting purchase. A few months ago I got an eBay alert that one had been posted. I watched it knowing I probably wouldn't buy it since it had been so long.

But then quarantine happened and I got an offer from the seller to purchase it for $75. How could I resist? Luckily I was able to make the splurge because my recent Disney trip was cancelled and I had a negative balance on my credit card from the refunds.  The rest of the refund money will go back into my vacation savings account.

This isn't the exact version I had posted 8 years ago, the sweater is a little lighter and the neck isn't as high, but it is pretty darn close! You can even tell that the owl I recreated was this owl - the colors I chose were very similar. I couldn't replicate the design exactly because I couldn't find small enough beads in colors/shapes I liked.

We're getting in to warmer weather now but I really wanted to post this before it goes away until Fall. Luckily last week we had some cold days so I wore it lounging around the house.

Burberry beaded owl knit (eBay), rag & bone high rise ankle skinny jean in burgundy
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
Burberry Beaded Owl Sweater and Rag & Bone High Rise Jeans
I have had today planned since early March 2019. Christian and I were supposed to be at Disney World. More specifically, at Hollywood Studios celebrating Star Wars Day in Galaxy's Edge.  When the opening date of Galaxy's Edge was announced my friends and I planned a trip for November 2019. Christian couldn't come because of work so I decided I would buy an annual pass and we would go again within a year. We decided on early May to coincide with Star Wars Day (May the 4th) and Mother's Day so we could have his Mom come along for a few days.

At the beginning of this March I knew we wouldn't be able to go due to coronavirus. I still held on to my reservations (dining, fast passes, even our special tours) until Disney cancelled them automatically because I needed that sliver of hope to get by. We were supposed to arrive at Disney early yesterday. Instead, we woke up in our own bed.


Even though we won't be at one of my favorite places, we are still going to make the best of everything. We have our health, as do our other family members & friends, and we know Disney will reopen eventually and we can go when it is safe to do so.

Back in the day I used to watch every Star Wars movie on May 4th. Now there are far too many so I pick & choose and do my best to get through them all! Since we're both still working we decided to start yesterday with the best films - the original trilogy. I also watched Rogue One on my own when Christian tired of the marathon. I will continue watching today while working (Christian works in another room.)


What Order to Watch the Movies In

Everyone has an opinion on the best way to watch the Star Wars movies. You can watch them chronologically, release order, with TV shows included OR Machete Order which cuts out The Phantom Menace, which many deem unworthy.  If I was having a first timer watch - and they have survived without spoilers this long - I would have them do it in almost release order. (Though I do enjoy Machete order, but I put in Phantom Menace)
  1. Star Wars: A New Hope
  2. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  4. flashback to Rogue One (the fandom is divided on this film, I love it.)
  5. flashback even further to Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
  6. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
  7. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  8. flash forward to Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (ugh...)
  10. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  11. flashback to Solo: A Star Wars Story
Everything is on Disney+, except Solo is on Netflix for a few more months.

What Else to Watch

  • The Mandalorian on Disney+: Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan this series is amazing! The cinematography is breathtaking and the story is fun.
  • Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: A documentary series on the making of The Mandalorian - it's brand new as of today! I have to wait until after work to watch the first episode with Christian. After today a new episode will be released each Friday.
  • Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy: A documentary on the original Star Wars trilogy.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: An animated TV show. I haven't watched this myself yet, I know...shame on me, but lots of friends recommend it! 
For our celebrations I donned the Star Wars pajamas I bought back in 2015 and we had popcorn in old movie theater soda cups from other Star Wars movies. Wish I had more of them but my siblings and I divided them up, ha ha!

Other Fun Activities

  • Play Star Wars video games - there are plenty.
  • Do a Star Wars puzzle

Star Wars Baked Goods

If you like to bake, why not whip up a fun Star Wars treat!

Forever 21 May the Force Be With You Pajama Top, Forever 21 Trust Me I'm a Jedi Pajama Pants, Sphero BB-8 (he can watch the movies with you and react!)




    I received 2 pieces from a brand last month and was waiting to share them until this month since I was supposed to do a blog post featuring them. However, that post has now been postponed due to COVD-19. It will probably be a bit before you see them in an outfit post and I wanted to share them! AUrate is still shipping items with a very stringent policy on how to keep everything safe.


    THE (modified) RULES

    1. Be mindful of purchases 
    2. Quality over quantity
    3. Basics are best
    MY PROGRESS 

    Clothes:
    1. FARM Rio Amazonian Ombre Mini Wrap Dress c/o Shopbop ($127.50, retail $170)

    Basics:
    1. J Brand 811 Mid Rise Skinny Leg Jean in Moral ($0 after $25 credit & ad money, retail $228)
    Shoes:

    1. Ancient Greek Sandals 'Clara' Sandal c/o Shopbop ($221.25, retail $295)
    2. Sperry Rio Aqua Slip-On Sneaker ($14.83 via DSW, retail $64.99)

    Accessories:

    1. Ray Ban 'Erika' Sunglasses in Havana c/o Shopbop (retail $163)
    2. Madewell Medium Slim Saddle Bag c/o Shopbop ($118.50, retail $158)

    Gifted from Brands:
    1. *NEW!* AUrate Pearl Studs in Rose Gold (retail $150)
    2. *NEW!* AUrate Medium Chain Bracelet in Rose Gold (retail $50)

    Total spent in April: $0

    Total spent in 2020: $14.83

    Since I haven't been taking new outfit photos lately I thought I would bring back an old blog series - Favorite Things - and feature some pieces I can't imagine living without.  These Miu Miu leopard sandals were one of my first designer splurges back in 2011. They were part of the Fall 2010 collection and I was low key obsessed for a while before I purchased them.

    I first posted about them in October 2011 but had been in love since I saw them on Net-a-Porter at their full price of $795 - YIKES! Even before that blog post I had an eBay alert set up for months to find them. I finally found them in my size in November 2011 and splurged $400 (I think) on them. Still a crazy price to pay but every time I see them in my closet they bring me joy so I think it was worth it, even 9 years later.

    They are brown and black leopard print calf hair sandals with a 6 inch heel and a 2 inch platform. Basically a dream for a short girl like me. I look SO TALL in them! Especially in super skinny jeans.  I used to wear them once a week when I was working in an office but since I started working from home in 2014 they've been more of an art piece in my closet brought out for special occasions.

    Shop them:



    Here are some past outfits featuring my Miu Miu leopard sandals.

    Say Goodbye Burgundy Leather Pants
    Revisiting October 29 2013
    Revisiting May 9 2013
    Clinton Crossing Spring Fashion Preview
    Movado and Lucky Magazine Arm Candy Party
    From the Boys
    Thanksgiving Number 2
    Date Night
    Wild Thing
    Merry Little Stroll
    LuckyFABB Day 1
    The Boyfriend
    The Fool on the Hill
    KARL for Net-a-Porter Launch
    Christmas Celebrations
    Pop of Leopard

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