Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Silhouette Cameo 3 Review and Recommendation

In the market for a new cutting machine and wondering which to choose? Or decided on Silhouette but not sure which model is best? While I don't have a Cricut or alternate brand to compare it to, after working with different versions the Silhouette Cameo over the last 3 years I feel confident recommending it and here's why.

The Pros

1. Value
Chances are if you are considering a Silhouette you are either looking for something to replace long, laborous tasks you were doing by hand, a newer tool that works better than what you currently have, or you want to try something new. The Silhouette Cameo has become an affordable option for all.

Let's say in the past you were cutting paper shapes or vinyl stickers with hand tools, tools costing $10 to $20 each. They needed replacing frequently due to dulling? For the same amount of money you once spent on 10-20 paper punches or cutting mats and blades, the Silhouette Cameo 3 has the technology to cut an infinite variety of shapes in any size up to 12 x 12 inches.

Still not convinced? When these machines first came out they were well over $300. With competition raging and so many variations out there, the cost has dropped drastically. They often come with extra tools or add-ons (bundles) like a heat transfer kit, vinyl starter kit or sketch pens, too.

If you don't need all the extras, I recommend this basic bundle on Amazon. Admittedly, I couldn't resist spending a little more to get the heat transfer kit.

Now I know, the earlier versions are cheaper, but you'll see in the next section why paying extra for the latest version is worth it.

2. Upgrades
I've spent countless hours working with early models of the Silhouette Cameo including the first version with button controls and the Silhouette 2 with the touch screen. While I didn't see much difference between the 2, #3 has some pretty significant upgrades:

  • Fully enclosed with cover down
  • Digital touch screen (also present in model 2)
  • Dual cutting tool cartridge 
  • Autoblade
  • Bluetooth capability
  • Compatibility with the latest software updates (glitches with earlier models)

I am in no way knowledgeable about software or technologically savvy, but I have had conversations (in tears) with support over the limitations and problems I've had with the earlier versions of the Silhouette. There's really no way for me to know if those problems were because the earlier machines and the latest software weren't compatible, or there were flaws in the early machinery that they've corrected. All I can say is that I don't have nearly as many problems with registration marks with the latest version. For this reason alone I will pay a little bit more for the most recent model.

Here's just one of many pictures I sent my poor husband when I had trouble with the Silhouette Cameo 2. Shortly after I took this, customer service informed me that registration marks this close to the edge of the page are not read easily by Silhouette Cameo 2. This was about the time I caved and bought the 3.

Regarding the other upgrades, truthfully, I hate the new autoblade. It takes forever to "adjust" before each cut.  I've reverted to using my regular old cutting blade which works perfectly fine with the new machine. I've also never used the bluetooth function or the dual cartridge features. I can see the advantages of having these features though and hope to test them in the near future.


For me there is just one.

The original Silhouette Cameo did a much better job of "searching" for the registration marks, to the point I could move the paper significantly and they'd still get found. This gave much more life to my mats and allowed me to be lazier with paper placement. This disappeared with the Silhouette 2 and did not return with the Silhouette 3.

You can see in this picture, I've done my best to perfectly align the corner of my page with the corner of the cutting area on the mat.

You can read more on mats here. (as well as some money saving tips).

No matter which machine you choose, you're sure to find some flaws. However, I doubt you'll find a better cutting tool out there. All 3 of mine have endured a good beating from 3 little boys, the shoving of small toys into every crevice, and hours of daily use for my Etsy shop.

Seriously, if you are still cutting paper shapes using squeeze or lever punches, don't wait another minute to make the switch. My hands were numb for months before my husband surprised me with this amazing paper crafting tool for Christmas.

Good luck with your new handy helper, you won't regret it!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I only blog about things I love.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Chloe + Isabel Friends & Family Semi-Annual Sale & Coupon Code + Spring Collection Reveal

I love it when a Chloe + Isabel sale coincides with a catalog release. Add to the fun, perfect timing for Mother's Day gift shopping (for me)!

If you see something that you can't live without, be sure and use the code FFSPRING17 for 25% off your entire purchase! This offer ends May 1st, don't wait.

I'm not going to waste much time talking. Here's are the lovelies from the new spring line. Click on the pictures to add them to your wish list. First, the apple of my eye, the new Art Deco.

This vintage inspired, eye-catching line was intended to grace the necklines of 2017 brides and bridesmaids. But, like many of our previous wedding minded styles, it's clear this collection will last far beyond that special day.

I'm skipping the wedding part and going straight for happily ever after in this dainty, silver necklace and all the things to match it.

I don't have the full collection, yet. But I simply couldn't resist this unique brooch. It converts into shoe clips!

My Yosi Samra flats (thanks Stitch Fix for the idea!) couldn't be happier.

By the way, these flats come in a ton of colors. Follow this Amazon Affiliate link if you "need" some (size up if between sizes).

These clips stay in place, don't ruin your shoes, and don't hurt your feet. I don't know how they accomplished this but I'm sold.

I love the more comfy ballet flat version, even with a little "something blue" for brides and bridesmaids, but I know most brides will be wearing heels.

How cute are they on the back of these pumps?

I'm delighted to see so many new silver options. The Juliet collection caught my eye immediately. 

While Art Deco satisfies my longing to dress the part of Down Town Abbey or The Great Gatsby, this collection charms my feminine, romantic side.

The Juliet Petite Collar Necklace pairs perfectly with this lacy, cerulean, Mystree top I snagged from Tag Boutique. In the light it gives of slight blush and baby blue hues.

Deeply regretting not picking something from the Rosette collection right now. Next time! Here's a taste.

Chloe + Isabel has so much more than jewelry, as many of you know. I had to splurge on some new Jen Atkin hair accessories. No matter which style I'm wearing around my neck, these stylist clips are a must to keep this hair tame.

This set comes in a gold/rose gold option and silver/hematite.

Clearly I'm going to need this color way, too.

I suppose I do have enough to tide me over, like the Wishbone Pin Set.

And my feather bun cuff, but we all know I'm wearing that everyday as a bracelet cuff.

By the way, last chance on all of those Rebel pieces. Adios Fall 2016 catalog.

Saldy, Summer 2016 is fading fast as well. If you need this wide brimmed straw hat, jump on it. It's limited stock! All these bright, happy Positano inspired pieces are limited, as well.

I wish I'd snapped a picture of my sister wearing this necklace with a mint greenish, light turquoisey tee on Saturday. We almost wore the exact same outfit to my son's soccer game!

All this talk of summer reminded me of this:

"I don't mean to brag but I can still fit in the jewelry I wore last summer."

I don't mind so much that my clothes from last summer don't fit quite the same. This means I get to buy more goodies, like the other Mystree top I grabbed from Tag. Look at how perfectly it goes with my new (though not new to our brand) Lunette Long Pendant Necklace.

There are SO many things I'd love to show you, but the absolute best way to catch the latest styles is in my Facebook VIP group. Don't be shy, we aren't some huge group of force added, faceless people. Just a funny, kind group of women who like to spend our lunch breaks looking at pretty things.

See you there!

This post contains affiliate links. I love Chloe + Isabel so much I became a merchandiser AND blog about it. Feel free to email me with questions about either at Read more on the opportunity here.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Bloggin Ain't Easy

Let's talk about blogging for just a minute, shall we? I know, you came here for the pretty things, and I promise there will be plenty of that.

But can I just stop for a minute and tell you how difficult it is to find the time to blog? Thanks for following, though the posts be far and few between.

The good news is, faithful followers, that I only blog when I have something really good to share, like the amazing new collection from Chloe + Isabel for Spring!

Pastel Wrap Bracelet

The colors, the shapes, the stones, the versatility. It's all the things I hoped for.

Sunset Vista Convertible Necklace

Every piece I put on is my new favorite piece.

Braided Bracelet

An unexpected favorite, Turkish Delight.

Turkish Delight

I might be just a little obsessed with styling my Chloe + Isabel pieces with my new Fossil Watch.

Fossil Watch

I can't wait to play with this one, headed for my mailbox now!
Multiple lengths = my cup of tea

Parisian Belle

I also had to have the new open ring, because adjustable means so many ways to style!

Sunset Vista Wrap Ring

View the entire collection here:

Are you interested in learning more about our brand and the opportunity?

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stitch Fix Brands for Less

As I sit here writing this post about finding Stitch Fix Brands for Less I am thinking about my Stitch Fix journey. From discovering subscription box services to becoming a Stitch Fix addict (to the point of working as a Stitch Fix Stylist) to giving up Stitch Fix altogether (at least, I tell myself I have).

When I sit down to write, I do it with you, the reader in mind. So, I'm not going to sit here and tell you Stitch Fix is everything to everyone.

That doesn't mean I'm no longer recommending it. On the contrary, I owe much of my success as a jewelry stylist to Stitch Fix. And, in my humble opinion, it's still the best subscription box out there for finding modern styles to update your wardrobe. If you want to get out of a styling rut, try new things and get happy mail, this is the box for you. If you haven't tried it, you really should. In short, they send you 5 pieces of clothing and/or accessories (you fill out a profile with your sizes and preferences) tailored to you and keep what you like. Return what you don't, all for a low styling fee of $20. If you keep anything, the styling fees goes toward the price. I kept all 5 pieces in my first box and enjoyed an additional 25% off. If you decide to give it a go I hope you'll use my affiliate link.

I'm guessing, though, if you're reading this blog post it's because you've already tried Stitch Fix. Maybe, like me, you're looking for a place to buy more pieces from the brands you came to know and love through Stitch Fix. If this is the case, you're in luck! I've found a ton of places to shop Stitch Fix Brands online. 

I'm guessing this isn't news to you pros, but those that are new to this will appreciate the ability to find pieces by brand name, enjoy free shipping and returns for prime members, and the widest selection of anyone by far. You'll find Kut from the Kloth, Level 99, Liverpool, and Urban Expressions, to name just a few (follow my affiliate links to actual items I've seen from Stitch Fix).

The ever popular Diana jeans from Kut from the Kloth can be found on Amazon for a steal. I have a few pairs of the corduroy in this style, a rare 98% cotton 2% spandex blend. It can be a little tricky finding the exact styles you receive from Stitch Fix. For instance, Stitch Fix calls the corduroy "Jonathan" but to KFTK they are just another pair of Diana. Just try looking at the labels inside your favorite pieces for easy search.


If you've ever shopped T.J.Maxx or Marshall's in person you may have come across the occasional top or pair of jeans from your favorite Stitch Fix brands, but it's so much easier to shop online. Unlike Amazon, you can't search by brand. They keep their prices at rock bottom by avoiding search by brand, and it's well worth the effort. I purchased a pair of Yosi Samra ballet flats from this site for $30 (link below to an exact pair Stitch Fix carries).
I see Adrianna Papell, Leota and Maggy London dresses Stitch Fix carries on this site all the time. Shipping is inexpensive (free over a certain amount) and returns can be made at local stores.


This one gets a little trickier, but the reward is great. Whenever possible, I try to support small business. My favorites that carry Stitch Fix brands are:


Brands: Mystree, RD Style, Liverpool, Gilli
Perks: Free Shipping, returns with store credit, and an incredible Facebook community. If you love the mystery of Stitch Fix, you'll also occasionally see mystery boxes sold on this website. I bought a Mystree Mystery Box recently and received 3 amazing tops/sweaters for just $85 shipped. This is the only boutique of my 3 favorites that has a website you can shop outside of Facebook. I prefer the FB group, though, because you can see the pieces on real people and ask sizing questions.

This isn't from a Stitch Fix brand (it's 12pm by Mon Ami), but it reminds me so much of Pins I saw over and over as a stylist. And it's only $25! I also appreciate a larger variety of casual/knits from Tag than I ever received from Stitch Fix.

Off the Hanger 

Brands: Kut from the Kloth, Daniel Rainn, Renee C, Collective Concepts
Perks: Exact pieces Stitch Fix carries, accessories & shoes, too. $5 flat rate for shipping up to $75, free after. This is my favorite place to look for additional pairs of jeans in a fit I know and love, or look for Stitch Fix pieces I sent back because I couldn't afford them at the time. Sometimes Stitch Fix can't accommodate size exchanges, this is another reason I shop OTH.

I just bought a pleather jacket from Off the Hanger by RD Style. I got so many compliments the first time I wore it, including one from my 14 year old. I think you need one of these.


I'm wearing the Chloe + Isabel Souviens Collar Necklace with it, a match made in heaven.

The Style Palette

Brands: Skies are Blue, Gilli, Le Lis, THML
Perks: Free shipping and returns. Look-a-like pieces for a fraction of the price. Great place to buy cardigans. If you do Golden Tote, there are a ton of brands you see in their mystery totes, too.

If you are looking outside of Stitch Fix for variety, boutiques are a great way to find new brands, too. I just got this top by Kori America from The Style Palette and it's thick and soft. Great quality and for $32 shipped!

You'll see a good variety of boho, edgy, classic, romantic, athleisure, and glam options on all of these sites. They might lean a little toward boho, but you know I don't mind.

Perhaps you've found some alternative shopping sites yourself, I'd love it if you shared a link in the comments below. I'm almost certain I found these favorites by suggestion. Shopping is always better with friends!

Happy Shopping!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I love Amazon Prime and think you will, too!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Like Christmas Morning: Stitch Fix Unboxing Video Review

You may have seen a recent post I wrote with last minute gift ideas for Christmas. Of course, I couldn't leave Stitch Fix out, it's like Christmas morning for adults! What better time to give the gift of good taste than Christmas?! Other than that, I haven't written about Stitch Fix in quite some time because I've put my subscription on hold. Despite my neglect, the affiliate blogging team sent me a Christmas gift, a blanket scarf to wrap myself in all winter long! I'd been eye-balling these scarves since working as a Stitch Fix stylist but never treated myself to one. I wore it to church last Sunday, I love it!

They also offered to waive my next styling fee, who can resist a free box? I mean, $20 is peanuts compared to time wasted shopping with 4 kids who hate shopping, but still. I scheduled my Fix right away and updated my style profile.

I kept my requests simple, and as usual, they gave me exactly what I asked for! I guess you might say they gave me the VIP seriously, I'm a VIP. Check out this video and see for yourself!

This is my first ever unboxing video, with the help of my teenage daughter. Be kind, it was very impromptu and late at night. I thought it might be nice for those of you who haven't given it a whirl yet to see what's in the box. Of course, no 2 boxes are ever the same, but you'll get the idea.

In the end, I'll likely keep just the jeans. It's so incredibly hard to find a good fitting pair and I love these! The tops and I didn't get along, but this didn't surprise me. I'm pretty hard to please since finding tag boutique, Style Palette, Off the HangerSkivvy and Lularoe (message me if you want to be added to the Facebook groups I'm in).

I realize though that not everyone has as much time as I do to shop around. I love that Stitch Fix is tailored to my fit, style & lifestyle and gives me the opportunity to try new things from the comfort of my home.

If you are thinking about trying it or want to give someone the gift of style, I hope you'll use my affiliate link!

Thanks for stopping by to watch my video. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Last Minute Gift Ideas - Holiday 2016

Inevitably, every Christmas I forget someone on my holiday gift list. I shop early for nieces and nephews, my kids remind me daily to shop for them, and I pretty much remember anyone related to me. But when it comes to teachers, neighbors, and miscellaneous other friends, I always manage to have a blindspot until a week before Christmas. Then I start entertaining unrealistic ideas of baking or crafting. This year, not only am I checking my list twice, I'm buying back up gifts and have several other ideas I know I can get last minute without it looking like I did.

I thought I'd share a list of last minute gift ideas with my bloggers too, as a gift to you!

A Stitch Fix Gift Card

At first glance gift cards can come across as generic and last minute, but a Stitch Fix gift card is to a woman like Chuck E. Cheese tokens are to kids (there's another last minute gift idea, too!) When I think about gift buying, I consider my favorite things. Many people when talking about Stitch Fix describe it like "Christmas morning". It's Santa, for adults!

When you give the Stitch Fix experience to someone, you're really gifting a personal stylist. For anyone who hasn't already tried it, the concept is fun and exciting, and if they've tried it already then they are likely already obsessed.

Since the gift card is just a code, you can buy it last minute and tuck a printout in a pretty little box, or even an old Stitch Fix box if you have 1 or 7 laying around.

If you buy a gift card or decide to treat yourself, I'd love it if you used my affiliate link: click here

Subscription Boxes for a year

This sounds redundant, and Stitch Fix IS somewhat of a subscription box (you can schedule regular fixes). But this idea is like giving a magazine subscription to someone, only it's a box full of something they are interested in. Here are a few of my favorites:

For the cook: Mary's Secret Ingredients
This is a curated culinary box full of foodie goodness like ready to eat treats, seasonings, kitchen tools and recipe ideas.

For the geek: Loot Crate
This is ideal for those hard to shop for guys, but not exclusively. They have different categories to pick from like Marvel, Gaming, Sanrio and J.K Rowling's Wizard World. If you have a fan in your life, this is perfection.

For the naturalist: Etsy Subscription Boxes
This is for the friend who always smells like candles or the cousin who loves to make things. There's a subscription box for just about anything you can imagine on Etsy, from soap of the month club to sew-alongs. You can even subscribe to pie of the month!

Shop Local

I'm not talking about running to Walgreens at the last minute (been there, done that). Rather, I was thinking about those hard working small business owners in direct sales and makers who, like me, are all stocked up on merchandise and ready to help you put together a personalized gift.

I've got you covered for a pair of earrings or wrap bracelet for your sister-in-law, or a nail polish set for your child's Kindergarten teacher. I'll even wrap them for you. 

If you are in Orange County, California I have several contacts who would be happy to put together a makeup gift set (, an ornament filled with nail wraps ( or unique planter filled with succulents (

Even if your direct sales friends are out of stock or live far away, most online businesses have fairly reasonable ship dates for receiving items in time for Christmas. I just visited a friends Scentsy website ( and right there on the front page it says you have until Dec. 19th to order!

Make a Donation to Charity

For the philanthropist, the do-gooder in your life. Chances are if you're friends on Facebook with someone you know what causes matter to them. Perhaps they just ran a marathon for awareness. Maybe they volunteer at a shelter. Donate in their name, this is a truly special gift.

Along these same lines, I'm buying ornaments for several teachers on my list this year, the proceeds benefit a friend who is in the process of adoption.

I know it'll warm their heart to hear this story:

Give the Gift of Time

I don't want to get all sappy, but the older I get the more I appreciate time spent with the people I care about. Even if you decide to buy a few books for your child's playmate/family (Usborne Books) or fill a stocking with Perfectly Posh (, when you give a gift to someone tuck a card inside with a coupon for a lunch date or make plans to have coffee over the Christmas break. Invite them to your church and share a pew this Christmas. Invite them over to watch a Christmas movie together.

In case I forget to write again before the year's end (boy is life busy these days) I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

As a small token of my appreciation please enjoy this coupon code for 25% off my entire Chloe + Isabel boutique good through the 8th! Coupon Code: FFHOL16

Monday, August 29, 2016

Everything's Coming Up Rose Gold

Sorry if I just planted the sound of Ethel Merman's voice in your head indefinitely, I just think of that song for some reason everytime I hear rose gold! It really does feel like rose gold is popping up everywhere this season. I've been craving rose gold jewelry ever since Chloe + Isabel released the Jen Atkin hair accessory collection.

Finally, not only has it arrived in catalog and in my boutique, I now have it in my possession! I have so many new goodies to show you in a variety of metals, just in time for holiday shopping.

First thing to hit my shopping cart was this gorgeous Petits Bijoux Hexagon Pendant Necklace. It's so delicate and lightweight. If you are shopping for a friend, sister or secret Santa for stocking stuffers or an easy to travel with gift, this one is just perfect. I feel like rose gold is a good choice for someone who always wears silver, or always wears gold. It's neither here nor there, something to add variety and modernize their wardrobe without pushing them too far out of their comfort zone.


 The matching earrings are nothing short of amazing, too. I completely forgot they were convertible until I saw a friend wearing them without the hexagon "jacket", for lack of a better term. Convertible earrings are one of my favorite conversation starters when I'm talking about my small business. You can wear the earrings 2 ways, more bang for your buck.

I picked another pair of convertibles from the new collection, the La Vie en Rose Convertible Ear Climbers. The silver version of these is constantly on back order (a rarity) due to overwhelming demand. This would make a great gift for the modern maven in your life, a stylish friend who's always on point.

The "Isabel" in me (classic, timeless style) couldn't resist this next elegant piece. And truly, my ring collection was lacking. The Petits Bijoux Stackable Rings were an obvious choice. They had me at "vintage inspired setting". And the rose gold, when it captures the light, is so stunning.

I've taken a few pictures here of the rose gold next to the shiny gold for comparison. These are also available in shiny rhodium (silver).

I've jealously been watching the other merchies with all 3 sets mixing and matching them altogether. What do you think? Who needs silver, right?

I can't stay jealous long, I have so many other pretty things to wear. I'm particularly excited about my Petit Bijoux Leaf Pendant Necklace. It's 12k gold plated, dainty and going to get a lot of wear.

I'm all about transparency. Honestly I picked the leaf necklace to have on hand to show brides looking for fall wedding gifts and accessories. I pictured it on flower girls or mother of the bride, or hanging on "Will You Be My Bridesmaid" greeting cards (we have gorgeous, downloadable templates). But when I put it on to take pictures, I forgot to take it off and it caught my eye walking by a mirror. There's something just perfect about it. It's so easy to wear and versatile. It's official, I'm sold!

Of course, I got the matching earrings to go with it. If you are looking for a new pair of gold studs for the change of seasons, you need these delicate leaf earrings.

Last, I received the Petits Bijoux Daisy Stud Earrings and La Vie en Rose Collar Necklace as merchandiser incentives for July.

All the ladies are styling their daisy studs with the leaf earrings, and again this is another piece I can see modern brides loving for their special day. This collection is the perfect accompaniment to rose quartz (blush), the pantone color of the year for 2016.

I truly saved the best for last this time around! 

The collar necklace, be still my heart! It's so sparkly and elegant! I just had a brilliant thought, I want to try it with a bold, red, fit and flare dress I acquired from my growing-too-fast daughter. I have some many pretty fall sweaters and tops in mind, too. 

I love this necklace so much, I ordered the matching bracelet to complete the look.

I love how the light hits it. I know what I'm wearing Sunday! I'll smell yummy, too, wearing my new C+I parfum (Jardins du Midi).

My friends are really going to think they are looking at everything through rose colored glasses!

As always, the jewelry is all hypoallergenic, nickel free and back by our lifetime guarantee. I'd love it if you visited my shop. You can do so by clicking on any of the links or pictures above, or visiting

If you're interested in becoming a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser (free jewelry + big discounts!) please follow my affiliate link here or check out this blog post I wrote about the starter kit:

The best way to know if it's a right fit for you is to chat with a merchandiser. Email me at for more information.

Thanks for checking out my personal collection. See something you like? Be sure and get your orders in by August 31st so you can get those Candi Cash coupon codes for September. There just might be something new and exciting coming next month you'll be glad you have a coupon for!