What I'm Organizing - Everyday Sparkle

I'm into fashion, but to be totally honest with you, I’m not very good at accessories.  Conventional wisdom says that accessories complete an outfit, but somehow when I try to incorporate them creatively I feel like I leap over the line into trying-too-hard territory.

I think part of the issue is that my taste in jewelry runs to the small and simple.  Not TOO small, because I am not a particularly delicately proportioned person, but I’ve just never been a fan of gaudier, bulkier styles.  For example, anything with pavé diamonds is my personal kryptonite.

So, instead of trying to keep up with the latest trends in jewelry on a daily basis, I usually wear a tightly edited set of simple, meaningful pieces.  It's only when I have more time to think things through that I bust into my small collection of inherited treasures and costume jewelry.   

I keep my jewelry in an undisclosed location, and it was becoming a serious pain  to pull out my standby pieces at the beginning and end of every day - because, of course, I am an organizer and I hate leaving things just laying around.  I started keeping them out on the bathroom counter, but that made me nervous - one false move and they'd go sliding down the sink drain, never to be heard from again.  I am, it must be said, a clumsy person.

Fortunately, the right answer arrived in the form of a stocking stuffer this past Christmas: a fun little china dish my mom found.  It's just the right size to keep my daily essentials, and looks cute out on my bathroom counter.  After a couple of months of incorporating this jewelry dish into my daily routine, I definitely think it strikes the right balance between a strategy that works and a decorative addition to my space.

Clockwise from top left: pink sapphire and diamond engagement and wedding rings, picked out by my husband; Cartier trinity bracelet, a gift from my husband; diamond solitaire necklace, a gift from my husband; Cartier trinity ring, a gift from my husband; diamond stud earrings, a gift from my parents; Omega Lady Seamaster watch, a gift from my parents

Clockwise from top left: pink sapphire and diamond engagement and wedding rings, picked out by my husband; Cartier trinity bracelet, a gift from my husband; diamond solitaire necklace, a gift from my husband; Cartier trinity ring, a gift from my husband; diamond stud earrings, a gift from my parents; Omega Lady Seamaster watch, a gift from my parents

You can see the theme here: my daily jewelry has been picked for me by the people who love me most, and so these pieces mean even more to me than their aesthetic contribution to an outfit.  When I put them on every morning, I'm reminded that I'm loved and cared for.  Of course, I do love the look of these simple, classic pieces, otherwise I wouldn't be so happy wearing them all the time!

For me, having my skin care, hair care, makeup, and jewelry routines dialed in exactly where I want them means I have more space in my brain to put together the things I have fun with varying, like clothes and shoes.  We all have those things we love doing and the things that stress us out - I recommend making a routine out of the latter so you can fully enjoy the former!


Wearable Tech That's Truly Wearable

In a city that’s constantly on the hunt for the next great technological breakthrough, I’m not an especially tech-y person.  I do like to stay current, but I’m not an early adopter, and aesthetic considerations are higher on my priority list than for many techies.  So, when wearable tech started to become A Thing a couple of years ago, I was skeptical.  Everything was clunky, intrusive, and clearly designed only to look cool on the arm of a twentysomething tech guy.

Then the Apple Watch came out, and I was intrigued.  There were stylish options (hello, Hermes leather strap!) and serious functionality.  However, once I saw Apple Watches in action, I was immediately turned off.  Instead of reducing the interaction between person and phone, the watch just creates another way to disconnect from immediate surroundings.  If you find it off putting for someone to trail off mid-conversation when their phone vibrates, it’s even weirder when they violently glance down at their watch and start tapping it!

For me, the entire point of a wearable device is to enable myself to stay present wherever I am without missing anything important.  So, I was excited to discover Ringly’s first product, the smart ring.  It seemed to have everything I wanted and nothing I didn’t.  The only thing stopping me from placing an order was the fact that I knew I wouldn’t wear a large cocktail ring daily. 

Ringly’s next product launch, on the other hand, made perfect sense for me. I already wear bangle bracelets and/or a watch almost daily, so I got on the waiting list for the smart bracelet immediately.  After a couple of setbacks – original delivery was scheduled for September 2016, but hey, even Space X has to push back new products – my bracelet arrived last month.

The package opened...

...and unboxed.

Setup was quick and easy.  You download the Ringly app, charge the bracelet in its little charging box, connect via Bluetooth, and off you go.  The organizer in me was a little annoyed that the product comes packaged with a logo reusable bag – don’t we all have a million of those at this point?  But from a branding perspective, I can see why they included this particular piece of marketing collateral!

This cute box is also the charger, with a cord that plugs into any USB port.

The bracelet works exactly as advertised: it tracks steps (one click link to your iOS Health app if you are so inclined) and buzzes and/or flashes light to notify you of something that needs your attention.  The best part is that something is entirely up to you.  I have mine set up to alert me for just three things: phone calls, texts, and calendar appointments (with a special additional light flash if it’s my husband!).  I might have been tempted to add other apps, but read online reviews that after about four different kinds of taps on your wrist it becomes difficult to keep everything straight.

Bangle bracelet and breton stripes, can't go wrong.

And seriously, don’t discount how pretty and well made this thing is.  I’ve gotten several compliments on my Ringly bracelet as a piece of jewelry, and people are stunned to discover that it’s actually a piece of wearable tech.

As you can see if you scroll through my archives, I rarely recommend products – I try to practice what I preach in terms of thoughtful consumption!  But if you’re looking for a piece of wearable tech that will give you a little extra help with style, you should check out Ringly’s line of rings and bracelets.  I’m a fan, and this is not a sponsored post!



Wardrobe Workhorses

I’ve spoken here before about the ethical implications of fast fashion and the organizational implications of having too many pieces in your wardrobe.  Both of these ideas are pretty straightforward and easy to agree with.  But what comes next?  What do you actually buy when you reject large scale consumption and look for higher quality alternatives? 

Elizabeth Cline’s article for The Atlantic, The Power of Buying Less by Buying Better, breaks down a few of the retailers focused on high quality and ethical production while keeping prices out of the stratosphere.

Photo courtesy of

I’ve talked about Cuyana, one of Cline’s examples of this new wave of retailers, in detail before as well.  I’ve now owned the pieces mentioned in that post for a year.  And I have to tell you, they are absolute workhorses in my wardrobe.  I wear my black and white silk t-shirts more than any other top I own: they dress up distressed jeans with strappy heels and a leather jacket, they tuck perfectly into a midi skirt with espadrilles, they take the seriousness out of lace tuxedo pants and major stilettos, they feel like a mini vacation with silk drawstring pants and flat sandals.  I can’t get enough of wearing them with my gold Elsa Peretti for Tiffany pendant on a long chain that my aunt gave me for my high school graduation – proof that what is old will always be new again.

Photo courtesy of

My Cuyana silk pieces also hold up better than any other silk in my wardrobe, including pieces from labels like DvF and Vince that were twice the price when purchased new.  They’ve gone to the dry cleaner at least 6 times each (I’m a sweaty person, ok??) and still look as good as new.

So yes, it is possible to be fashion forward while still practicing healthy consumption patterns and paying attention to ethical and environmental concerns. 


Weekly Peek

Spring Has Sprung

Here in San Francisco, we're enjoying a gorgeous April full of sunny weather and temps in the 70's.  The flowers in my backyard are loving it just as much as I am - would you look at those blooms?  Sadly, I can take absolutely no credit, as I have the blackest thumb you'll ever find.  Gardening is one of those things I leave to the professionals, and I thank our house's previous owners for planting some of my favorite flowers!

Philanthropic Challenges

 As I continue to go through the process of finding nonprofits where I can volunteer my time and skills, I'm wary of red flags that show the organization in question is unstable.  So many nonprofits operate on the literal brink of failure, and can go under at a moment's notice - even companies that have been around for years and are entrenched in the fabric of their communities.  This article from Inside Philanthropy makes that very real, and also points out the challenges we face here in the tech capital of the world of getting the new generation of wealth involved in philanthropy that isn't necessarily STEM related but is vital to the health of our society.

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New Bling

I've been regarding the wearable tech trend somewhat warily.  I haven't gotten on the FitBit trend since I'm happy with my workout regimen and don't feel the need to track my steps.  And terms of fashion I'm often a form over function girl (have you seen my plethora of beautiful but impractical shoes?  Remind me to show you...), and I just don't love the look of the Apple Watch.  However, I have a serious issue with remembering to keep my phone on my person with the sound on so that I can actually receive texts and emails, especially when working.  Enter Ringly: specifically, their new bracelet.  It'll do everything I need (I plan to only set up alerts for text and email, everything else can wait), and nothing I don't (forget trying to talk into the thing), and look great to boot.  I've placed my pre-order for the Moonstone bracelet and can't wait for it to arrive later this summer.

Photo courtesy of

Party for a Purpose

My husband and I attended the annual Red Cross Gala last weekend to support both the organization and my friend Lillian who chaired the whole thing.  We ran into lots of friends, made new ones, and accidentally ended up at the afterparty far too late... I call that one successful evening!  Oh, and that gorgeous dress I'm wearing, and Drew's fabulous suit?  Both custom made for us by the amazing Jake Wall and Blake Patterson of JAKE.  They are as obsessive about fit and fabric as they are about the creativity and integrity of their designs.  Plus, hanging out with them and getting fitted is always a good time!