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Rebel Designs and My Italian Friend

4 Dec

I’ve followed Rebel Designs long before I ever started selling their jewelry. I love the name: Rebel. It applies to both young and old. We can all be rebels in our own way. The Manhattan-based Rebel Designs is headed by Gina Riley, who takes her inspiration from the contrasts of rough and refined found throughout the New York City mileau.

Rebel Designs really covers the spectrum of style. The rustic authenticity of leather and crystal can meet the desires of any age group and be so tastefully dressed up or down.

As I went through Sweet Bling’s inventory of Rebel Designs pieces in preparation for this post, I knew I needed a model. I immediately thought of my friend, Antonella, who is originally from Milan, Italy. She is one of the chicest women I know — and adds a bit of flair to everything she touches. Lucky me! I texted Antonella and she agreed to model some Rebel Designs pieces for Sweet Bling.

We decided to do the photo shoot at Dolce, a restaurant in San Diego, that fit our vibe. Antonella wore a white blouse that was something out of a Tuscan chick flick; so simple, yet so elegant. So perfect for my Italian friend. The draping flattered her shoulders and reached just mid forearm in an edgy tunic style.




I first wanted to style her blouse with a cuff bracelet…and the Rebel Designs Vintage Leather Cuff with Crystal Grid was the just the look I needed!





I  also loved her blouse with the Vintage Leather Cuff With Black Diamond Swarovski Crystal Disk. It brought such a rustic flare to her look, complimented by a lovely glass of prosecco, of course.






Either of these bracelets could be worn with a thin leather bracelet like the Rebel Refined Leather Bracelet with Crystal Disk. My fingers were itching to snap a million photos and style her outfit just-so. Everything was working so beautifully.



anto close upThe shot of Antonella I that I had been imagining came to life: white tunic blouse beautifully accented with the Vintage Brown Leather Cuff, as she thoughtfully ordered a glass of the best Italian white wine on the menu…it worked so well! It reminded me our adventures in the Italian countryside and the slow afternoons of vacation.

My friend pulled off this rustic elegance like it was meant to be. That’s really what I love most about Rebel Designs. It has the timeless casual for your next European adventure, or the rustic flare for a weekend dinner party. Pair it with a white blouse like my dear friend for a daytime look, or a black chiffon blouse for more of an evening feel. Oh, the possibilities!

After our photo shoot, we reminisced about our travels in Italy. I enjoyed a lovely glass of wine, lively conversation and laughter with a longtime and forever friend. What beautiful inspiration she is.


Sweet Bling

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Why Blue Makes for a Brilliant Color Palette for Travel

20 Nov

So, I am not usually the best packer for vacations. I’m trying, but I tend to over pack. Well, on my recent vacation to Croatia, I really put some effort into planning my outfits. I believe in the mantra – pick one or two colors and combine outfits. So that’s where I started. I picked blue and black. We all know why we should pick black. So why blue?

  • Blue is the color of denim: It’s so easy to wear denim. Denim jeans, denim shorts, denim dresses.
  • Many hues of blue: Powder blue, navy blue, royal blue.  These variations give you maximum flexibility with clothes and jewelry.
  • Navy blue is great for evening: A navy jumpsuit or patterned navy maxi dress is easy to find.
  • A crisp white blouse pairs well with blue denim. This is always a good classic look.
  • Blue does go with black: Since black is such an easy color to wear, picking these two colors for your color palette will give you a versatile wardrobe for your travels.
  • Blue jewelry is plentiful: Whether it is turquoise, navy or powder blue, there are so mnay options.

I was so looking forward to the warm weather that Croatia usually boasts about in September. But ten days before my trip, my stomach dropped when I saw that rain was forecast for much of the time I was going to be in seaside towns in Croatia. After dwelling on this issue of rain and wishing  for sun, I finally gave in and decided to pick up some long sleeved options and a rain jacket.

One of the best investments I made was a Rails flannel shirt and my Joseph Siebel sneakers. I wore the Rails shirt the day we drove from our lovely Rovinj hotel, the Monte Mulina, to Pula and then to the Meneghetti winery. OMG! It was so perfect! Stylish, pretty and oh so soft. But, I have to say, the jewelry I wore really, really made my whole outfit come together.



The jewelry in the photo:

The jewelry is all from Sweet Bling. These particular pieces are handmade from Nakamol. Click on the photos to shop the pieces.


Other jewelry for my blue palette:

CBX5458 225  WNXD45 225

RR 5129 Blue 225  turquoise drops 225

The clothes:

Rails 225       verdugo sm  joseph shoes 225

The locations:

The Hotel Monte Mulini in Rovinj Croatia.

Meneghetti Wine Hotel



Sweet Bling


Creer, tener confianza: To believe, to have confidence

27 Mar

My beautiful friend in these photos is from Madrid, Spain.  I’ve only been to Madrid once—when I was 10 years old—but I remember the classic elegance of the city, the strength of the sun in the mid-August heat, and the warmth of its people. Lorea embodies all of these things in these gorgeous photos: beauty, elegance, fire and warmth.

When I asked Lorea if she would model some jewelry for me, she readily agreed.  We chatted about her style and she said she prefers a simple, classic approach to beachy chic. With the breathtaking backdrop and the beautiful Sweet Bling pieces I had to work with, I couldn’t have imagined a better style for my model.

On an unseasonably warm March day, I took Lorea down to the end of my street with intentions of snapping some photos down on the beach.  But as we started playing around, snapping photos on our way down, the views from up on the cliffs in Del Mar were too spectacular to pass up. These 85-degree, early spring days can be such a fashion challenge at times.  It seems too early to be pulling out the bright floral prints of late spring and summer, but certainly too warm for sweaters and dark colors.

I love the simple look Lorea came up with.  Distressed jean shorts from Top Shop and a simple sheer tank from Zara.  Her sunglasses are Fendi—they’re amazing and now I want some.  Sigh.  And what to do about shoes?  Lorea and I had just returned from the mall where she’d purchased a new pair of mint green Nike’s.  I love the playful nature of the spring-colored Nike’s complementing the casual elegance of her top, finished off with the beautiful Sweet Bling jewelry with various shades of blues and greens.  The combination was a match made in heaven.

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In the first photo, Lorea is wearing the Green Leather and Crystal Wrap Bracelet . In the second photo, she has layered the wrap bracelet with Nyla Convertible Necklace and Bracelet.

My favorite photo of the day was captured by accident.  As I was trying to get a good shot of the Sweet Bling wrap bracelet, Lorea reached up to adjust her sunglasses.   Snap, snap.  I glanced down at the viewing window on my camera.  I had caught this perfect moment where you could see Lorea’s tattoo through a space between her arms—the ocean a breathtaking backdrop—Green Leather and Crystal Wrap Bracelet   so perfectly displayed.

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“Believe”.  I wondered how you say that in Spanish so I asked Lorea.  Creer, tener confianza.  To believe, to have confidence.  It rolled off her tongue like poetry. We snapped a few more.  I love how happy she looks.  Even though she’s half way across the world from home, I could tell the warmth of the day and the beauty of the ocean made her feel at home.

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As the sun caught her hair, we captured the Blue Jasper Pendant —displayed so effortlessly with her classic look.


I could’ve snapped photos all day, the ocean offering this backdrop that glistened like a freshly finished oil painting.

What a day.  What a day, indeed.