...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Jessica who isn’t a jewelry girl, per se, but loves the skylight disc pendant!

Do you display your jewelry at home?

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I have a porcelain egg crate on my nightstand. I use it to corral my favorite pieces.

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It also makes a great dumping zone for my everyday studs, wedding band and hair elastic at the end of the day when I’m crawling into bed.

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I recently added a jewelry tree to the top of the dresser. I love the simple, modern design. (It was an etsy find.) I had been stashing the majority of my jewelry in plastic sandwich bags in a drawer and, as a result, it wasn’t getting much wear time. I’m hoping that by displaying everything in plain sight maybe I’ll be more inclined to wear pieces I haven’t worn in years.

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The top tier is perfect for watches, bracelets and dangly earrings. The bottom tier holds necklaces galore. I was a little worried about the display looking too busy (I tend to like things uncluttered) but I think it looks so pretty!

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A trio of wood dot hooks is another fun way to display jewelry. I hung these in Mabrey’s room just this week. At two years old, she’s a little young for jewelry yet, but maybe she’ll use these to display her baubles some day. (For now, I hang her towel, sleep sack and favorite tutu from the hooks.)

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My jewelry is a mix of high and low. The red triangle choker was a flea market find. It’s very Wilma Flintstone, no? In general, I’m drawn to beaded necklaces and bracelets with a few special pieces thrown in.

 

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Speaking of special pieces…Gemvara sent me this skylight disc gem pendant to share. A small black diamond eclipses the gold disc and it’s just about the cutest thing ever. This is going to sound far-fetched and cliché but the pendant makes me think that no matter how big our problems (the black diamond) might seem, in the grand scheme of things (the gold disc) they’re just a blip. I like that this necklace can be dressed up or down. It’s perfect for day or night.

gemvara skylight disc

For years, I swore off gold jewelry but I’m having a big love affair with it at the moment. If black diamonds and gold metal aren’t your thing, no worries. Gemvara jewelry is customizable in over 20 different natural gemstones and 9 precious metals. (You just click on your preferred gemstone and metal then the site generates an image of your selections so you know exactly what to expect.) There’s no inventory. Each piece is handcrafted in the U.S.A. and shipping is always free. If something doesn’t fit (or she says no – AH!), you have 101 days to return all items – even engraved pieces.

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Does all this talk about jewelry have you itching to get your bling on? Yes? Then keep reading because Gemvara is giving away a $1,000 credit to their site! See more dazzling pieces and find the giveaway entry details below.

 

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gemstones by the yard stud earrings // zoe band // roxanne band // cecelia ring // emerald isle ring // gemstones by the yard solitaire necklace // gem wire earrings

PRIZE: one $1,000 credit to Gemvara

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Click here, sign up for email, then link to your favorite Gemvara piece in the comments section below.

DEADLINE: Enter before Thursday, August 7th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be announced Saturday, August 9th.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Score 15% off your Gemvara purchase over the next 72 hours by clicking here. (The discount will automatically apply. No promo code is necessary. Easy!)

Good luck! I hope you win something special.

*This post is sponsored in part by Gemvara. All content and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Carrie who is eyeing some ballet flats!

Post title runner-up: The One Where I Have a Midlife Shoe Crisis in Front of My Elderly Garage Door (I thought it was too wordy.)

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I don’t know why but I’ve had the urge to dress a bit edgier recently. It’s not so much about following a trend but has everything to do with the desire to try something different. It all started with a new pair of black jeggings. Once I discovered how comfortable and versatile they are, I’ve been wanting to wear them every day. (Luckily, our summer has been relatively mild. I’m one of those people who chills easily at the slightest breeze and in air-conditioned spaces so wearing jeans midsummer is completely reasonable to me.)

My only problem was that I didn’t own a pair of shoes that looked right with black jeans. I have mostly nude and saddle leather sandals for summer. I’m short and one trick I’ve learned to appear taller is to match my shoes to my bare legs / pants. That way my feet, ankles and legs are one continuous line of color which gives the illusion of longer legs. I needed black kicks!

That’s where ShoeMint comes in. The free, members-only website stays on top of what’s hot in the shoe arena so busy moms like me don’t have to. Inventory is updated monthly based on current trends. Whether you’re in need of something classic or runway-esque, you’re guaranteed to find high-end, high quality options. Refined materials – such as leather and suede – abound and shipping & returns are always free.

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I found the perfect black ankle boot for summer. It’s the Dahlia and it’s part of the exclusive collection designed by ShoeMint’s co-founders, Rachel Bilson & Nicole Chavez. The perforated suede allows for plenty of ventilation and gives the boot a sexy peekaboo vibe. Gold buckles round out the edgy look. A modest 2″ heel is enough to give my (lack of) height a boost but easily walkable. I have never in my life owned such provocative shoes. They are surprisingly comfortable and I genuinely LOVE them. Who knew switching up your footwear midlife could be so fun?!

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Another little trick I’ve learned to appear taller is to show some skin up top. (Not to be confused with going topless.) It doesn’t have to be a cleavage fest. Although, if you have it by all means flaunt it and I hate you. Just kidding – about the hate part not the flaunt part. For me, bare shoulders and a swooping neckline do the trick. I’m particularly fond of sleeveless tops with racerback detailing. Pulling my hair up into a high ponytail puts my shoulders front and center and keeps me cool, too.

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I also find it helpful to draw the eye up with a brightly colored / patterned top and an interesting necklace. I prefer flowy, loose-fitting tops that fall below my natural waistline. Ironically, the wood bead necklace I’m wearing here was a purchase from our current home’s estate sale.

In summary, I’m the Jon Stewart of DIY blogs. If you met me in real life, a warranted reaction would be “I thought you’d be taller.” In case you missed ‘em, my tricks for dressing taller:

*Wear shoes similar in color to your bare legs / pants. This creates the illusion of longer legs.

*Get a boost with a little heel action. An additional one or two inches can make all the difference.

*Show some skin up top. (But keep your shirt on, folks.) Bare shoulders or a low-slung neckline visually lengthen short torsos and necks.

*Draw the eye up with interesting colors, patterns and / or jewelry. Keep your bottom half mostly solid in color then add a fun top and necklace to draw attention to your upper half.

And just like that you’re 6′ tall! Haha.

 

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But enough small talk. Whether you’re 5’2″ or 6’2″, ShoeMint is graciously offering up a new pair of kicks to one lucky reader. See entry details below.

PRIZE: one pair of shoes from ShoeMint (retail value $70-$150). The choice is yours!

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address (no P.O. boxes please) within the U.S. or Canada. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Sign up for ShoeMint here. (It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to buy.) Browse the selection then leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite pair of ShoeMint shoes.

DEADLINE: Enter before Sunday, July 13th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be announced Monday, July 14th.

BUT, WAIT!, THERE’S MORE: Score $40 off your first pair of shoes by clicking here. Enjoy!

This post is sponsored in part by ShoeMint. All content, clothing, short jokes and images are my own. I do NOT earn commission on purchases made via the links above. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

I’d love to hear any tips you have for dressing taller. I’ve tried dressing in a single, solid color from top to bottom but found it yawn-inducing. On a side note, the crumbling, weed-riddled driveway is getting ripped out this week. Ahhhhh!!!!!

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, sources for my entire outfit:

*racerback tank – Juniors Eyelash, Kohl’s

*hoop earrings – vintage

*wood bead necklace – vintage

*black jeggings – SO, Kohl’s

*mesh ankle boots – ShoeMint

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

02.07.14 / Made Me Smile

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The things that made me smile this week…

*An architect’s $11,000 dream house. (The most expensive thing is the toilet!)

*Fiddle leaf fig humor. #thespot

*Instagram of the week.

*My remote should arrive any day now. No more one-armed selfies! Pictures of the whole famn damily!

*A cosmetic kitchen overhaul from the designer’s viewpoint.

*Blinded by the light.

*Lots of snow = lots of reading.

*My favorite ankle boots for the 35+ crowd.

Do something that makes you smile this weekend! I’m taking five boys (!) to see The Lego Movie. Smiles all around.

image: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Genny Ramer!

Some of you may remember this instagram post. Besides the obvious laughs, that photo also yielded many questions about my glasses. The short answer is they’re from BonLook.

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The long answer? The really REALLY long answer? I had 20/20 vision until my second year of college when I found myself squinting at the board. {That right there totally dates me. Do colleges and universities still use chalkboards nowadays?} In my early 20’s, I got my first pair of glasses. Since then, my vision has changed. A lot. Pregnancy was a huge factor. Sometimes my vision improved; sometimes it worsened.

Fact: When I was pregnant with Mabrey, I failed the vision test at the DMV when I was renewing my driver’s license.

The clerk took pity on me and said, “Hmmm…maybe it’s your hair. It looks like your hair is in your eyes. Would you like to try again?”

“Uh, yes…YES, it’s my hair,” I lied, pushing back my hair dramatically, not wanting to come back another day and wait in line two hours. I tried again and passed by the skin of my teeth. Nicest DMV clerk ever, right?

Anyway, I got lazy with my eyes. Getting new glasses every year was a hassle, not to mention, expensive. I pretty much never wore my glasses because they weren’t up to date and they had teeth marks in them from our dog who has since passed away. I went five years with no vision test, no eye exam of any kind. Oops. Then, a few months ago, I developed the most annoying twitch under my right eye. It would start as soon as I woke in the morning and last all day. This carried on for two months. TWO WHOLE MONTHS OF EYE TWITCHING. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. HH finally talked some sense into me and I went to see an optometrist.

Turns out, the vision in my right eye had changed for the worse. Not wanting to drag my kids around an eyeglass store while I chose one pair from the million on display, I thought I’d try shopping online. Our vision insurance doesn’t cover frames so I was looking for something inexpensive yet stylish and versatile. I wanted my new glasses to be appropriate for everyday and for dressing up from time to time, too. I found all that in BonLook. And, bonus!, they offer an online tool that lets you virtually “try on” glasses from the comfort of your home. Sold and sold.

After “trying on” several pair and selecting one, emailing a copy of my prescription to BonLook {some states require vision prescription verification} and calculating my pupillary distance with BonLook’s online measurement tool {super convenient since my optometrist failed to record it on my prescription} my order was ready to go in a matter of 20 minutes one evening after the kids were in bed. I found a coupon online and spent less than $80 on my new glasses. I have never spent so little on a pair of glasses! And I love them to boot.

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As luck would have it, a week into living with my new glasses, BonLook contacted me and asked if I would like to become one of their brand ambassadors. Of course! The brand is affordable, high quality and stylish and offers a quick and convenient online shopping experience. It’s a brand I stand behind.

And, and, AND!…BonLook is offering one House*Tweaking reader a FREE pair of glasses! See entry details below.

PRIZE: one pair of BonLook glasses {$99 retail value} Prescription or non-prescription. Eyeglasses or sunglasses. Shipping not included.

RULES: You must have a shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} within the WORLD. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Go here to enter to win.

DEADLINE: Enter before November 22nd. One random winner will be chosen.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: BonLook has an interview with me up on their blog today. It covers blogging and my thoughts on glasses. Check it out if you’d like!

Yes, I have a new blogging stool that I need to write about. No, I don’t normally blog in a skirt.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking