Thursday, January 1, 2009

January Birthstone Feature: Garnet

The birthstone for January is the Garnet, and can also be Rose Quartz. The traditional color for the January birthstone is that lovely deep classic Red Garnet. However, Garnets come in an amazing range of hues. I love Garnets, and here is some information from my website, K. A. Mace Jewelry, regarding Garnets:

Garnets have a wonderful history of being a much-desired and sought-after gemstone. Garnets were once carried by travelers to keep them safe when they were far from home. Garnets were used in Asia and in the American Southwest as bullets, as it was believed that the deep, rich red color would cause more deadly wounds. Noah used a garnet lantern to steer the Ark at night.

Today, Garnets are much more than the red stone that most of us are familiar with from antique jewelry. Indeed, the Garnet is found in almost every hue but blue! Here are the Garnets found in this Collection:

Green Garnets:

(image from, photo by K. A. Mace)

Green Garnets, or Grossularite (Grossular Garnets), range from yellow to green to brown. Most of the Green Garnets in this collection fall in this range--the olive greens to dark, bright greens. Some Green Garnets are also knows as Tsavorite, and these Garnets are an emerald-green. This Garnet is found only as small accents in this collection.

Mandarin Garnets:

(image from, photo by K. A. Mace)

Mandarin Garnets, or Spessartine Garnets, are bright, vivid orange stones. These Garnets are stunning in the way that they catch the light and truly glow! This color is stunning for any season!

"Grape" Garnets:

(image from, photo by K. A. Mace)

Grape Garnets are a purplish-red to violet colored Garnet. These garnets are a vivid, unusual color and are stunning when paired with the other Garnet colors.

"Raspberry" Garnets:

(image from, photo by K. A. Mace)

"Raspberry" Garnets are a raspberry red--a wonderfully vibrant dark pink color. This color is referred to as "dark pink" throughout this collection.

Red Garnets:

(image from, photo by K. A. Mace)

Red Garnets are found in different varieties, each with different tones. Pyrope, is a fiery red. The Pyrope Garnets found in Arizona are called "Anthill Garnet" as they are actually mined by ants creating their anthills! Almandine Garnets are a deep red to reddish-brown. The Red Garnets in this collection are a beautiful, rich brick red.

Try one color...or try them all!

Find your perfect January Birthstone jewelry at K. A. Mace Jewelry! Happy January Birthday!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from K. A. Mace Jewelry! Thank you for your continued support in 2008,and I look forward to bringing some new designs to the K. A. Mace Jewelry website as well as my blog in 2009!

On a personal note, I wanted to share one of my New Year's Resolutions. I have pledged to do a better job of documenting my life and my many joys. My kids are growing up just too quickly and I want to capture all of the many precious moments. I also feel that each year just flies by more and more rapidly, and I have many joys to be proud of and to savor.

I recently got a Flip Video, and urge you to look into getting this amazing video recorder. I carry it with me everywhere I go and have been able to document some amazing moments! It is small, it is convenient, it is so easy to use. I have no video editing skills yet have made very cool videos with music that I can easily share with family and friends.

Click on the image below for more information or to buy one today! This is truly a gadget that will impact your life in such positive ways, and you will find for a very small investment you will enjoy such huge payoffs in documenting the many joys in your life as well!

theFlip MINO

Sunday, December 28, 2008

How to "Winterize" Your Skin Care Regime

Winter weather can be a real challenge to keeping skin hydrated and looking healthy. The harsh outdoor elements take their toll, along with indoor heat and other factors. Skin can easily become chapped, dry, and stripped of its natural beauty and luster. Here are five simple tips to keeping your skin looking fantastic despite the weather outside! And the real beauty of these beauty insider tips? They won't break your beauty bank!

(image from

1. Drink lots of water. At this time of the year, especially in colder climates, we often look to our beverages to bring us some warmth. Thus, we are less likely to drink water and more likely to drink hot tea, coffee or cocoa. Do not forget to drink water, and plenty of it during cold weather! In door heating and the elements can dehydrate us, keeping hydrated will not only keep you healthier, but keep your skin looking great.

Winterizing Tip: Furthermore, with more holiday events and parties, we may be more likely to indulge in drinks containing alcohol. This, too, can dehydrate us and our skin, so a great tip is to drink one glass of water for every cocktail you savor at your holiday bashes!

2. Exfoliate. During the winter months and cold weather our skin can begin to look a bit dull. Many of us do not think of exfoliating as we do during the warm weather months as we may (and should!) be using safe self-tanning products that require exfoliation and shaving more often during that time of the year. It is important to still exfoliate, from head to toe to keep skin looking clean, clear and energized.

Winterizing Tip: When it comes to exfoliation (especially with salt scrubs!) make sure that you do that prior to shaving. Not only do you avoid any stinging sensation from the salt on newly shaved skin, you also avoid any irritation from the scrubbing and exfoliation elements on freshly shaved areas. Best of all, you get a better shave when you exfoliate first!

3. Moisturize. The winter months can be tough on skin, and sometimes we need to look at our moisturizer to ensure that it is up to cold weather duty. Most moisturizers do the job year around, but for some of us, our skin requires more moisture, especially when our heaters are running day and night! Many dermatologists recommend applying your moisturizer while your skin is still a bit moist.

Winterizing Tip: A great way to keeping skin moist is to use a humidifier during the months that you are running your heat in your home, especially in your room while you sleep at night.

4. Avoid hot water. I am the first to want to warm up the Jacuzzi or take long, hot showers and baths to "thaw out" at this time of the year. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to hot water is not good for your skin. That hot water can strip your skin of necessary and natural oils and rob your skin of its natural ability to keep your skin moisturized. While it feels great to soak in a tub with oils and other soothing ingredients added, most of that is simply drained away when you drain your tub. It is better to shower in lukewarm water and avoid excessive exposure to spas and hot tubs that are excessively hot.

Winterizing Tip: A great rule of thumb here is that if you skin turns red in a jacuzzi or shower, it is truly too hot. Cool it down a bit to help maintain the natural and necessary oils your body produces to protect your skin .

5. Still use your sunscreen! You may think that when you see less sun in the winter months, you do not need to apply sunscreen everyday as you do during warm weather months. You are still being exposed to the sun and its potentially damaging rays in the winter. Apply sunscreen to your face and other exposed areas (for some of us, not much else in exposed in this cold weather!) and ensure that you stay on a routine to keep your skin healthy year around.

Winterizing tip: A great product is to find a multi-tasking product that provides sunscreen and powder or foundation style coverage for your skin. This makes applying sunscreen on a daily basis a "no-brainer" and a simple routine!

How do I know all of these amazing tips? I am a retail industry insider with over 15years of retail management experience. My background includes extensive experience in health and beauty products, including managing large volume health and beauty departments and staffing and training beauty consultants. I have been awarded both regional and company-wide awards driving beauty counter sales with one national retailer.

Furthermore, I am an admitted beauty product junkie. I have worked with at least one major beauty company to test products prior to market launch. If you would like me to test your products, or you would like me to blog about your beauty products, please feel free to contact me! I love to try new things and help give exposure to new products and new product companies.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How to Create an Actionable and Successful New Years Resolution

This is an article that I wrote which was recently published! Feel free to visit the article here as well:

It is again that time to evaluate the year that is coming to a close and to dream of what could be in the New Year that is upon us. Some of us will develop New Year's Resolutions and dream big. Some of us will look with a cynical eye at that process and let another year go by without fulfilling a dream. Unfortunately, the latter approach stems from how so many of us have created those New Years resolutions only to find that we are not successful within months, if not weeks into the New Year.

Here are some basic tips and examples of how to create a New Year's Resolution that you can truly incorporate into your every day life. Go ahead and dream big, you can be successful with a New Year's Resolution! Make 2009 your year to accomplish greatness and use these tips to help loved ones accomplish their desires along with you!

The first step is to decide what is a realistic desire or dream is and to write it down at the top of a piece of paper. You have to define what your goal is. Furthermore it has to be something that you can realistically accomplish. "World Peace" is amazing, and I admire that sentiment. But that is bigger than me, and I need something that I can work on every day that I own and can directly impact.

Then, on this same piece of paper draw a line down the middle of that paper and one half of the page should be titled Qualitative and the other have should be titled Quantitative. The Qualitative side describes the qualities of your dream or desire. How will it feel, how will it change your life, how will it impact those that you know and love? The Quantitative side is how it will be documented, weighed, supported and measured. Once you have brainstormed this on our own, I strongly suggest sharing these ideas with a loved one. You can get their input and ideas, and even more importantly, their "buy-in" to help support your goals! Putting all of this together on your sheet of paper is the foundation to creating an actionable game plan to accomplish this resolution.

Here are three of examples to assist you in understanding how easy this process is, what it could look like and provide some ideas for your New Year's Resolution!

Example 1:
I want to create a budget to save money.

Qualitative factors:
I will have to prepare myself to go without something that may be special to me.
I will sacrifice to save that money.
I will feel better if I have some extra money in the bank, for an emergency or for something fun.
I love my daily mocha at work, but that would be something that I could sacrifice that would save me a lot of money.

Quantitative factors:
That beloved mocha costs $3.95 each day that I work.
I work roughly 260 days of the year.
If I do not buy that mocha each day, I will save $1027.00 with this resolution.
To ensure that I save that money, I am going to set up a bank account into which I will transfer $3.95 for each day that I go without my mocha.
By the end of the year I should have $1027.00 in that account (without any adjustments for interest, of course!).

Example 2:
I want to lose weight this year.

Qualitative factors:
I know that I will feel better.
I will be able to fit back into my skinny jeans.
I will extend my life expectancy and enjoy my family longer!

Quantitative factors:
It is realistic to lose on the average 1 pound per week, so my first goal is to lose 20 pounds this year. I will strive for that first 20, and continue forward once I have hit that goal.
To lose approximately 1 pound per week, I need to cut about 300-500 calories per day.
A daily mocha is about 330-400 calories, depending upon the milk I ask for (nonfat slightly less than whole milk, of course)
If I no longer drink a daily mocha, I will save at least 330 calories per day.
I will track my daily caloric intake in a weight loss journal and add up the calories each day. I will not add anything to my diet that would take the place of those 330 calories!
I will weigh in every Monday and ensure that I am losing my 1 pound each week.
I will enter that weight each week into my weight loss journal and ensure that I am on track to lose my one pound per week.
I will also increase my exercise by using that time that I typically got the mocha and sat to drink it to walk instead; walking each day, 5 days a week for approximately 30 minutes.
I will note that walking each day in my weight loss journal to stay on track with my overall weight loss goal.

Example 3:
I want to focus on family this year.

Qualitative factors:
I know that it will bring my family closer together.
I know that we will have fun together and create family memories to last a lifetime.
I may save even more money by not going out.

Quantitative factors:
As we are a busy family, we will post a family calendar.
We will set each Friday night aside as a family night and put that on the calendar.
Everyone can plan their week around that evening.
We will create a rotation of who gets to select what we do that evening to keep that evening interesting, fun and spontaneous.
That rotation will be noted on the calendar by calling each Friday night by the family member's name and chosen activity, like Kelly's Cooking Night in which we all cook a meal together.
We will also document each evening by taking pictures or video and create a yearlong digital diary of our evenings together.

As you can see, New Year's Resolutions can be fun and can help you create true change in your life. By discovering both the Qualitative or subjective and emotional roots in your resolution AND the Quantitative or objective and measurable aspects in your resolution, you will be far more successful in accomplishing your resolution all year long. You can dream big and still be successful! With just these few statements on either side of my Resolution page, I can craft a game plan that will work, that is actionable, that is measurable and that will help me save money, lose weight and/or improve my family life.

From here, I suggest typing up your New Year's Resolution and laminating a couple of copies. One posted by your mirror so you are reminded of it every morning is a great way to start your day in the right direction. Put one copy by something that is a constant reminder of your Resolution. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, post it on your pantry door. That way you can think about your Resolution before opening that door for a snack! Of course, you will also need to prepare and have your tools handy and in a place that you touch every day. For example, for weight loss, you may need to get a pedometer and a journal in which you can track your calories, weigh-ins and your exercise routine. Keep that on your desk if you check email each day, or in your purse or briefcase so you can track your progress throughout the day.

Finally, don't forget to celebrate the wins. If you lose your first 20 pounds, treat yourself to something special. Maybe a new pair of jeans you have had your eyes on, or a makeup makeover! If you save your budgeted savings, pay off some debt and celebrate your steps toward financial freedom or retirement! If you find that you enjoy those amazing family nights together, create a digital scrapbook as a gift to your loved ones next Holiday season. Make a calendar that spotlights 12 of your favorite pictures together, or create a journal of your favorite pictures for your kids.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #25

This is going to be my favorite tip of all. I have offered a wide range of holiday shopping tips, 24 so far, that stem mostly from my retail management experience. Some from my own experience as a consumer. All of them, however, lead to this very last tip.


Enjoy spending time with family and loved one this holiday season. Your presence is the very best present you can give to someone you love!

I hope that you have a wonderful and restful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shopping Tips for the 25 Days of Christmas: Tip #24

When it comes to giving for friends and family, it becomes very complicated when you are on a budget and yet still want to give presents or tips this holiday season. Many of us are also dealing with gifting for teachers, for co-workers, giving tips to service providers. It becomes overwhelming and incredibly expensive to try to accomodate everyone!

However, it does pay to have open, honest conversations with friends and family. While it may feel very uncomfortable to start that conversation, you will most likely find a very open and relieved recipient to that dialogue!


Set realistic expectation for gift-giving with friends and family members!

There are countless other options to spending money on gift after gift after gift. Discuss expectations with friends and family, and while setting gift-giving rules may seem to take away from the holiday spirit, it will certainly help everyone with their holiday budgets...which in the long term makes the holidays much less stressful for everyone!

* Set a budget for kids gifts. Really, kids receive so many presents, they will still love and appreciate smaller gifts as well!

* Make handmade presents and "swap" talents. I can knit, you make soap. I will gladly create a scarf for you, if you are willing to create some luscious soaps for me! I know of many handmade "trading" circles, suggest one for your circle of friends. Most everyone has a unique craft talent!

* Draw names for adult gifts in a family. Instead of large families buying gifts for everyone, it is fun to draw names and get one special gift for that recipient.

* Create fun coupons in which you will offer your unique and special services. A friend of mine has a sister who is a masseuse, and she gives coupons for a free massage. Sounds wonderful to me! She really does not have to spend a lot of money on those gifts, and she gives her friends and family a wonderful gift...her time and talent!

* Get together and simply plan a nice holiday event in which you savor each other's company. Instead of everyone spending so much on gifts, each person could create a special holiday food dish that represents their holiday tradition or heritage and simply enjoy everyone's company. A fun potluck-type get-together creates many more lasting memories!

The reality is that many of us do not have the holiday budget that we have had in the past. It is not realistic to run up debt or overspend to try to please everyone we know and love. Many of them, too, are trying to cut back. It makes much more sense to strive to enjoy handmade gifts, share out talents, and ultimately share our time and love together this holiday season.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh, to be 13 again!

Last night was my daughter's Winter Formal Dance. My daughter and three of her girlfriends got ready here at the house and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing them laughing, giggling, helping each other with their hair and makeup. They were simply stunning when they came out...

(my daughter is second from the right)

While I took these pictures, I thought about what it felt to be thirteen. These are young women who have so much potential, they are smart young ladies and each has a wonderful unique style that they embrace and do not allow to be diluted with peer pressure. So...for the sake of some nostalgia, I remember that when I was thirteen the world was such a different place!

When I was thirteen...

The Kent State shooting occurred.
Chile elected a Marxist, Salvador Allende.
The First Earth Day was celebrated.
Monday Night Football was launched.
California became the first no-fault divorce state
First New York City Marathon.
The Beatles released their last studio album, Let It Be.
Black Sabbath released what is considered by many to be the first "Heavy Metal" album, "Black Sabbath".
The floppy disc was invented.
Charles Manson was convicted of killing Sharon Tate.
18 year olds were given the right to vote in federal elections.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect, after ratification by 43 nations.
Bar codes were introduced for retail use in England.
The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.
The U.S. invades Cambodia to hunt out the Viet Cong; massive antiwar protests occur in the U.S.
Jimi Hendrix dies of barbiturate overdose in London.
Janis Joplin dies in a cheap motel from a heroin overdose.
Midnight Cowboy wins the Best Picture Oscar, the first and only time an X-rated movie received the honor.
A United States postage stamp cost 6 cents, a gallon of Gas cost 36 cents, average income in the U.S. was $9,400.00 per year, average cost of new house in the U.S. was $23,450.00, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 838 at year end close.

What a different world these young ladies live in today. They are attached to their laptops, cell phones, ipods and other technology that they simply somehow cannot "live without". They are so much more savvy and wordly than I ever was at that age, they have been exposed to so much more via the media and cable television.

Yet somethings never quite seem to change. They, too, have concern for the war that we are waging in Iraq and Afghanistan. They understand the economic pressures we currently face, and what they will inherit when they complete college and get into the workforce. They will face a world with possible global change issues that will shape how they live, where they live and what they do for a living.

I am proud and honored to be a part of helping one of these young ladies find their way to adulthood and beyond.

What was the world like when you were thirteen? What have and will your thirteen year old children face?