art · luxury

A Jewel Lover’s Paradise

I am SWOONING over the pieces in Bonhams’ upcoming jewelry auction. So many gorgeous pieces and a little something for everyone: what more could you want?

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This stunning diamond necklace could fetch up to $7,900

Bonhams Auctions will be selling over 300 jewelry items on July 11 at their London, Knightsbridge location. This sale boasts pieces by luxury brands such as Bulgari, Boucheron, Cartier and Tiffany. Also, there are a lot of colorful gemstone pieces in this sale, which is a special treat: from what I’ve seen, many jewelry auctions feature diamond pieces (almost) exclusively, with only a few colored gemstones represented.

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Gorgeous sapphire and diamond ring

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My birthstone, a flawless peridot solitaire

This collection has a wonderful range, from very affordable to truly luxurious. There is a little something for everyone with this auction, and that excites me tremendously. Some of my favorite pieces were expected to sell for less than $1000, though I saw some other pieces expected to fetch over $25,000 once the bidding starts.

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One of my favorite pieces, a diamond clip brooch

You all know how much I love jewelry, and I was in heaven looking at the incredible pieces offered by Bonhams. I registered for an account, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up getting my dream item after all.

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Tiffany Seagull brooch set

The information for the auction is below. If you’re able, you should check out the pieces in the days prior to, and the day of, the sale.

Bonhams, Jewelry Auction, July 11, 2018

London, Knightsbridge location

Montpelier Street
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1HH
Viewing dates and times (BST):
July 8, 11:00 – 15:00
July 9, 09:30 – 16:30
July 10, 09:30 – 16:30
July 11, 09:00 – 10:00

 

 

fitness

Days 1 – 7 of My Fitness Challenge

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Can I get a do-over?

Seriously though, this first week of my fitness challenge has been eye-opening. I think it’s important to remain flexible while challenging ourselves. A constant “push” energy isn’t good when accomplishing a goal, especially if we aren’t enjoying the “push”.

So I worked out just once this week. I was supposed to work out 5 times over the past 7 days (let’s all sigh together). However, it’s been an unusually busy week and the stress was much higher than normal. I was also supposed to eat fewer calories, and after two days, I was back to eating what I wanted. So both the diet and exercise portions of this week were failures (so to speak).

What happened during the past week was worth noting, and I made some mental notes. I believe in adjusting my routine to correct any issues that I’m seeing. Here are some of the things I noticed during the week.

  • I need more rest in order to undertake any physical challenge. My sleep is too sporadic for me to be effective at a fitness routine. I also notice that my eating habits are poorer when I’m tired.
  • I have no problem eating balanced breakfasts during the week, but things go downhill during the day, especially during the period between lunch and dinner. I need better snack options to satisfy my cravings but not sabotage my healthy eating goals.
  • I could stand to drink more water. I’m already “good” at it but I’d like to improve.
  • I need more accountability when it comes to working out. I’ve made an agreement with one of my friends, who will help “keep me honest” when it comes to working out.

Those are my week 1 observations. I’ll adjust, regroup, and start anew. Here’s hoping that week 2 will have more “wins” that I can report to you all!

art · international

Portuguese Contemporary Art in Richmond, VA

Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite museums, Virginia Museum of Fine Art (VMFA) to view the exhibit, Contemporary Art from Portugal. As you all know, I’m currently studying the Portuguese language so this exhibit was an obvious choice. Also, last month (June) signified Portugal’s 900th anniversary of being a sovereign nation (Go Portugal!)  so there are nationwide events commemorating this incredible event. This exhibit was one of many of the commemorative events happening all over the country, and I’m delighted that my hometown participated in the festivities.

I’m beginning to really love contemporary art: this is REAL progress, as I’m a huge fan of Impressionism and Neoclassicism. I’m opening my horizons and making an effort to embrace newness and innovation, and I was very pleased with the exhibit. I’m  happy that I got to learn a little about some of the artists representing Portugal. These artists are tremendously talented and are a great representation of what this wonderful country has to offer.

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Info card from the exhibit

The exhibit featured work from Helena Almeida, Fernando Calhou, Ruy Leitão, and several other notable artists. The exhibit was small but impactful: I was fascinated by the the drawings and paintings enough to start doing my own research on Portuguese artists. As with pretty much all research that I do, I learned of a rich cultural heritage among Portuguese contemporary artists. I am fascinated by what I’ve learned and I’m eager to learn more as time goes on.

In the meantime, here are a few of the works that I viewed. If you are interested in checking out the exhibit for yourself, it will be at VMFA until July 22, 2018, so you still have time. However, if a trip to Richmond, VA is out of the question, you should check out your local museum to see if there are any Portuguese art or cultural exhibits on display. Just go to Facebook’s Month of Portugal page for details

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beauty · luxury

Fragrance Review: Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire

Recently, I ordered a few things from Sephora, and I got a goodie bag chock full of some cool items that I am eager to try and review for you all. I received several fragrance samples in my box, but I was immediately drawn to the pretty pink sample card that stood out from the rest.

As it turns out, this sample was the Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire eau de toilette. This is a new fragrance from Bulgari, as in, it was just released earlier this year. As a certified scent addict (you all remember when I did 30 Scents in 30 Days on Instagram, right?), I was all too ready to try this out and see how I liked it.

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(photo courtesy Fragrantica)

As always, I get my information on the scent profile from Fragrantica. I’m pretty good about identifying at least two or three (sometimes more) notes, but I like to guess what’s in it before I double check my guesses against the Fragrantica website. I like testing myself to see if my nose is catching the subtleties. Anyways, I sniffed it and immediately picked up on the citrus and some floral notes, but I couldn’t identify much more than that, until it dried down and I smelled some musk.

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The package that caught my eye

According to Fragrantica, the notes includes pomelo, pink grapefruit, frangipani, tiare, pink pepper, musk, vanilla, and woody notes. It’s starts off bright and heady: it’s flirty and attention-grabbing at first spritz. Then it dries down to a lovely powdery essence that is sweet but keeps those musk notes in the forefront.

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Inside of the Omnia Pink Sapphire sample

Overall, I enjoyed the fragrance, with a few “cons” that I will mention here. I found that the fragrance didn’t last a very long time on my skin (a little under 6 hours) but it’s an eau de toilette, so that is normal. I loved the fruity-floral top notes but found myself disenchanted with the base notes. It felt a bit too sweet, and not the balance of sweet and earthy that I prefer as my fragrance dries down. I asked some “neutral noses” to sniff the perfume, and they approved, so, while the fragrance isn’t cloying, I’m still not completely sold on it yet. At this point, I’m chalking up my distaste for the dried-down fragrance to a persistent sinus headache that has made me dislike a lot of things over the past few days. . . I’ll try it again and if I have a different verdict, I’ll make a follow up post.

 

culture · international · life curation

My Cultures and Identities Course is Completed!

I finished my Cultures and Identities in Europe course a few days ago, and I’m excited to share what I learned with you all. I’ll discuss what I enjoyed about the platform, FutureLearn, then I’ll dive into the course specific details and my take on what was offered in this class.

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For starters, I’d never completed a course through FutureLearn before. I was familiar with the website but never did any of the classes, so this was a first for me. I was really impressed with the structure and content of the course that I completed. This was well-suited to online learners: an appropriate mix of video and written content that thoroughly cover the subject matter while keeping the students engaged. I also loved how easy it was to access the course and complete the modules according to my schedule.

The course, as outlined, takes about 3 weeks to complete. However, additional time is allowed, so if you miss a few days of study, you can easily go back and make up those sessions. The program has transcripts and closed captioning for impaired students. I was impressed with the amount of care that went into producing this free resource. However, if students are interested in access this course indefinitely, or obtaining a certificate of achievement, FutureLearn charges a fee (currently $59) for lifetime access.

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Now that the general information is out of the way, let’s talk about the class. The class is broken down into 3 general sections: European Identities, European Memory and Heritage, and European Creativity. Each section delves into the history of the topic, the current state of the topic, as well as the politics that have influenced each of these areas.

The course defines Europe, European identity as well as European culture, then it explores all of the factors that have previously and currently have defined these concepts. I really loved learning about how Europe has created policy to embrace diversity as well as how Europe intends to approach cultural and creative programs outside of the economic perspective.

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I really enjoyed this course and, while I don’t plan to purchase lifetime access, I can easily see myself signing up for this again in the future, just as a refresher. There was a lot of good information in this course – I’m glad I signed up and completed it!

 

life curation

My Top 5 LOA Podcasts

Happy Tuesday friends! As we move through this holiday week, I wanted to share some of the “mental food” that I’ll be enjoying on the holiday.

Yes, tomorrow is the Fourth of July and I will be off from work and relaxing a bit. During my “down” time, I enjoy listening to podcasts that amp up my belief in all of the possibilities that life has to offer. I love learning more about the law of attraction (LOA) and how I can use these tools to create the life of my dreams. With that being said, I want to share the podcasts that I have enjoyed most as I have traveled on this consciousness journey.

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Headphones on, in my own world

I have talked about this podcast before, and I’ll say it again: Jeannette’s podcast is simply one of the best. Funny, honest, practical and effective – it’s always my go-to when I want a boost. Jeannette has great examples of manifesting success as well as lots of practicable tips and advice that even a novice “manifestor” can use with ease.

Cassie Parks (I reviewed her book a few months back – I love her work!) and Ginny Gane have this weekly show that explores all sorts of topics related to LOA. They are a charming, enjoyable duo that does a great job of explaining different LOA principles and give solid advice on how to leverage LOA for creating a fantastic life.

I started listening to Unity Radio years ago, and one of the hosts that I’ve really enjoyed as of late is Rae Zander’s Everyday Attraction. Her podcast discusses Abraham-Hicks teachings in depth, using snippets of different Abraham workshops to launch the conversations. I love hearing her take on Abraham’s thoughts.

Jewels is the CEO of the Law of Attraction radio station. Her vision brought us countless new thought leaders and a multitude of perspectives regarding this era of consciousness. Jewels interviews a variety of metaphysical experts and attempts to reconcile the spiritual with scientific research. Her guests are great at providing insight and advice on leading a well-lived life. Jewels herself is a joy to listen to, and I love hearing her excitement over the topics that she discusses.

Constance’s podcast is one of the shows featured on Law of Attraction radio station. Her show focuses on blending metaphysical principles, consciousness, and spirituality. Her gentle voice and sweet demeanor are part of her signature style of kind-but-firm advice. Her show is a great alternative for those that want a clearly-Christian perspective on metaphysical and consciousness principles.

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Do you all have any LOA podcasts that you enjoy? Please let me know all about them in the comments below!