Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Black Lives Matter

As my children grow older and their needs change, I'm constantly reevaluating my entrepreneurial endeavors. I rarely find time to blog.

When COVID-19 happened, the children's needs multiplied. My husband's last day of work was March 13th. Day by day I've found it harder and harder to maintain an online presence. Sales have crashed. The price of materials have gone up considerably. Etsy is now charging advertising fees. 

Oh how I wish that was the last thing I had to complain about. Just when I thought things couldn't get much worse, the murder of George Floyd happened. It was heartbreaking to discuss it with my boys. My teenage daughter was up until all hours of the night for days, enraged. She returned from protests even more distraught.

Normally I wouldn't take my blog to such a deep, dark place but I simply cannot remain silent. I've been listening, praying, asking God for healing and forgiveness, learning, and in many ways trying to unlearn.

For starters, I'll be donating 100% from the sale of this dress to the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. Additionally, I'll donate 10% of all sales from instagram and my vintage Etsy shop now through Juneteenth (June 19th).

To purchase the dress please comment on my Instagram post or send a direct message.

 There's so much more I need to do, to make the most of the time God has given me, but I must start somewhere. Won't you join me? Thank you for your support and taking the time to read.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

100 Engravable Ideas That'll Make Her Cry

Nothing says I love you like a thoughtfully chosen, engraved keepsake. Stumped on just what to say? I've compiled a list of unique engravable pet names, phrases, quotes, dates and more to help you find the right words to say. Share what you chose in the comments! 

Click on the pictures to purchase the engravables shown from my online Stella & Dot boutique!


1. Unusual name only you call your loved one, like Mimi or Auntie
2. Term of endearment - Sweetie, Honey, Pooky, Babe, Muffin
3. Number in birth order
4. Mama Bear, saurus, shark
5. Mother of Dragons
6. Chaos Coordinator

Matching Necklaces

7. Peanut Butter, Jelly
8. Peas, Carrots
9. Chips, Salsa
10. Milk, Cookies
11. Big Sister, Little Sister

Mark an Occasion or Date

12. Wedding anniversary
13. A date of remembrance
14. Graduation year
15. Year they were born
16. Coordinates of birthplace, where of where you met, your wedding
17. Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor/Flower Girl
18. I Still Do
19. Oh Happy Day
20. Gotcha day

Hobby Inspired

21. Ride or Die
22. Baller
23. Cat Mom
24. Fur Mama
25. Plant Lady
26. Outdoorsy, Indoorsy
27. Pokemon username or social media handle
28. Cereal Killer
29. 26.2
30. Army Wife
31. I'd rather be golfing
32. I Need More Space
33. Stargazer
34. Sports # or team name

Movie, Play & TV Quotes

35. MFEO
36. Just Keep Swimming
37. Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
38. There's No Place Like Home
39. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship
40. To Infinity, and Beyond!
41. Go ahead, make my day!
42. Take that, you filthy animal!
43. Thank You for Being a Friend
44. Nailed It
45. No Day But Today
46. Passionately Smashin' Every Expectation
47. Character from their favorite show that they most embody

Book Quotes

48. Oh the Places You'll Go!
49. I'll Eat You Up, I Love You So
50. You are Your Best Thing
51. So It Goes
52. I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship
53. Team Slytherin


54. I Love You a Bushel & a Peck
55. Living on a prayer
56. You are my sunshine
57. Just Breathe
58. It is Well with My Soul
59. Just a Small Town Girl
60. Don't Dream It, Be It!
61. Can't Touch This

Faith Inspired

62. Favorite Bible verse
63. Be Still
64. Love Never Fails
65. Blessed
66. Chosen
67. Child of the King
68. Forgiven
69. Saved by Grace
70. For This Child I Prayed
71. Thankful
72. Faith Over Fear

Words of Encouragement

73. Fighter, Survivor
74. I Think I Can
75. One Day at a Time
76. Believe
77. Brave

Empowering Words

78. Legend
79. Boss
80. Fearless
81. Redeemed


82. Be Kind
83. Choose Love
84. Loved
85. Dream
86. Be the Change
87. Carpe Diem
88. I love you to the moon & back


89. Not Today Satan
90. Not a Hugger
91. My Circus, My Monkeys
92. Stay Salty
93. Happy Little Accident
94. Bless Your Heart
95. Feed me tacos and tell me I'm pretty
96. Bees Knees
97. Fries Before Guys
98. Go Ask Your Dad
99. Hot Mess
100. *You're

Don't forget to pick up an engravable for yourself!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

My Latest Obsession: Stella & Dot

The cat's out of the bag, I'm officially an independent Stella & Dot stylist!

In case you missed my last blog post, Chloe + Isabel announced the closing of it's doors. It took me a little time to move on and jump in to the next thing, but one day of friend of mine said, "Melanie, you've just got to do it, what are you waiting for?" That same day I started proudly talking about my new love and I'm now 100% fully immersed in Stella & Dot. I'm not gonna lie, I am completely obsessed! Come see why:

The Jewelry

I mean I'm a jewelry girl, are you a jewelry girl? I come from a long line of jewelry loving people. Even my Daddy wore jewelry. I love how eclectic Stella & Dot jewelry is. They've got all my moods covered from casual chic Monday to ride or die Saturday. My first head over heels piece so far is this rose gold necklace called "Fleur", gasp! I can't get over the $59 price tag, what a steal!

Apparel, Accessories, Handbags + More

I'd be happy with just the jewelry. But when you find a company with the style you're going for and then realize they've got your whole look covered, your heart skips a beat. Scroll back through my blog and you'll see this collaboration was meant to be.

9 out of 10 people I tell I'm moving to Stella & Dot say, "I love their handbags!" Naturally, I had to see for myself. I picked up the gorgeous "Crisscross Hobo" from the sale section. It's so perfect! Flat bottom, comfortable strap, pocket inside, pocket outside, neutral. You need this!

PS The glasses are S&D, too! Very lightweight, comfortable and stylish.


Disclaimer: Almost 40 year old me is still somewhat stuck in the 90s. Remember when gas was 99 cents a gallon? Sometimes I still think I can run to JcPenny and find the perfect pair of earrings for my mom for $10. Those were the days, but let's get real! We were all shrouded in polyester and our jewelry looked like Barbies. My point is times have changed, thankfully! 2019 me wants ethically sourced, timeless jewelry that is not mass produced, and you get what you pay for. I think the value at Stella & Dot is exceptional given our in house, unique designs.

Speaking of value, our engravables are top notch and very reasonably priced. Hurry up and get this "Signature Engravable Hexagon Necklace" before it sells out like it's rose gold counterpart. It's super luxe. I was pleasantly surprised it was engraved and shipped the next day!

Value Added

There's so much more to it than a great product. To get back the "why" I do this, ultimately I value my time with family above all else. It's incredibly refreshing to find a company that empowers me to support my family by providing all that I need to successfully run a business from home. I realize a lot of women reading this are thinking about branching out into the world of entrepreneurship, but it's really quite scary. Why not let Stella & Dot assume some of that risk for you?

What will that mean for those of you coming along as customers? You can support my small business, but have all the benefits of shopping a stable, reputable, successful brand. I know you'll enjoy the fast and furious shipping and ease of returns and replacements. Did I mention killer host rewards and Style Club offers? We are going to have so much fun.


And it IS fun! Is there anything better than shopping with friends? In my 3 years with Chloe + Isabel I learned that what keeps you going, gives meaning to what you do is not what you do but who you do it with. I am so happy I've found a new home in Stella & Dot.

Won't you come along with me? It just wouldn't be the same without you! Come check out my new Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Melanies-Style-Lounge-106340404041143/

Please use it as a jumping off point to shop, find my VIP community, reach out to me and learn more about Stella & Dot.

See you there!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Goodbye C+I - The End of an Era

On July 1, 2019 executive chairwoman Connie Tang announced the closure of Chloe + Isabel July 31, 2019 to it's community of merchandisers. The news came as a shock to our community. While the company put forth great effort towards growth and development, this nearly 8 year old jewelry empire simply could not achieve the trajectory necessary to withstand these hard economic times.

To say I will miss Chloe + Isabel is an understatement. When I began in May of 2016 I could not have imagined how far this journey would take me. I traveled to Montreal, Paris! But the real joy has been in the everyday conversations, sharing of ideas and inspiration with like minded women, and making of lifelong friends. I will treasure these jewels for a lifetime!

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Be sure to shop your C+I wishlist before it's too late! Whether you've had your eye on the most recent Riviera Maya collection or have a mile long list you've created over the years, take advantage of the markdowns.

And please know that every purchase, every word of encouragement, every time you volunteered to host, to help, all of the shared pictures, every gesture big or small means more to me than words can say. This might be goodbye to C+I but I hope you'll follow me to the next adventure! It just wouldn't be the same without you.

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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Summer Sandal Trends 2019

It's officially bare foot, I mean sandal season here in sunny Southern California. Summer is arguably everyone's favorite season: long days, vacation, sunshine, fireworks, beaches, floats, berries, barbecues, what's not to love?

Summer shoes are no exception. I love all the things! Move over booties, our toes are ready to see some sun! Let's check out the latest shoe trends for summer.

But first, let me let you in on a little secret: summer shoes trends really don't change. Still, it wouldn't be any fun to ignore the latest trends in color, textiles, and embellishments. So I've put together a mix of both of haute must-haves and timeless classics, keeping in mind made to last brands. Click on any picture to shop my affiliate links.

Flip Flops

Talk about timeless, nothing says summer like a pair of Rainbow flip flops. Grab these in classic tan (yellow) bamboo, lavender or pink. If you haven't tried this famous footwear founded in Laguna Beach, take this California girl's advice and try some!



On to flip flop's fashionable friend, the t-strap. When you must have something between your toes, reach for the brand know for high quality craftsmanship, Havaianas. 


Perhaps your toes prefer more freedom, enter slides.

I'm going to ignore those throwback slides you're seeing everywhere because honestly, I can't wait to see them leave. If you don't know what I'm talking about it rhymes with Lirkenstocks and the 90s can keep them.



Speaking of throwbacks, I should warn you, Crocs and Teva are returning. I'm speechless. Moving on.

Strappy Sandals

Are your feet not so sure they are ready for summer? Get a little more coverage (and flair) with these festival ready flats. These are more or less gladiator sandals, timeless!


Festival season might be over, but peep toe woven huarache season is not. I vote for white, probably the hottest shoe color this summer. Aren't these perfect to go with your button down linen dresses and jumpers?

If you are looking for something a little more 2019, check these out.


You'll also need something sophisticated to pair with your new favorite paper bag styles.


Soludos really knows how to espadrille. How cute is this stripe?! 


SO excited for this trend because 1. Height and 2. Comfort. This version is like espadrilles more serious older sister.

Big straps are haute and I'm pretty okay with that.

Stacked Heels

Admittedly this post has been a little monotone til now, but purposefully. That's the trend! But I was also saving the most fun for last.

This really is the perfect category for branching out and trying trends. Check out the chunk on this heel! And the color, swoon!

I can't ignore pink either (bossy pink as Pantone calls it), or the cutouts on this pair. If you need something a little fancier to wear with your LBD, please wear these so I can live vicariously through you.

Finally, some pom poms, because why not. Seize the long summer days!

Which is headed for your shopping cart? Comment below, shopping is always more fun with friends!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Handbags Trends to Match Your Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2019

The last week before school got out I took advantage of some time alone and some shopping. I found some really cute clothes! I had less luck finding a fun summer bag. I guess you could say after 16 straight years of carrying around a bag full of "just in case" for the kids, I'm ready for something...impractical! Trusty internet, you never fail me.

I am really loving this year's trend in all things straw! The textures, shapes, and adornments give me that throw-back, vintage vibe. What that translates to is timeless, and that's the kind of wardrobe staple I'm looking for.

To me, straw sounds perfect for everything from a casual dinner out (tacos!) to a bike ride/stroll on the beach. It's the perfect neutral whether you a capsule gal or a colorful, eclectic style maven. I think you know what I'm tacoin' about, hehe.

Circus by Sam Edelman Margarite Taco Clutch, Natural/Rainbow

Now on to shopping! Click on any picture and follow my affiliate links to get shop along. There's so much to pick from! I can't wait to see what catches your eye. Leave a comment with your favorite!

How cute are these small crossbody bags?

Image result for madetera Straw Rattan Crossbody Bag for Women | Bali Ata Woven Wicker Purse for Summer Beach

The tassels, eek!

And these embroidered clutches definitely make me smile.

I saw something like this next one in the store and it's probably why I can't get straw out of my mind. I'm glad I have the option to buy it online, I know it won't be there if I go back (Marshalls). The size is nice, the tassels are bright, and it zips!

Straw if fun but I'm not set on it. I'm digging this boho, macrame/crocheted nylon option.

So...the price is so good I ordered one in the process of writing this post. It comes in white, too, which is really haute this summer.

I'm all about a clutch but if you need a handle, I love this option.

I mean, I'm not opposed to cotton, either. If the idea of straw makes you itchy check out this 100% cotton option from Grace & Lace.

I mean clearly I've gone down a rabbit hole at this point but I simply could not leave out the fun acrylic styles I came across because, well look at them!

Click here to find Green, Multicolor, Tortoise, Pearl, Blue, Pink, Glitter, Silver or Marigold.

And with that little detour I fell hard for and carted this bamboo purse from Vince Camuto. 

I know it's not practical but I'm not taking it to work. I like that it sits flat. And if it doesn't work out, Amazon Prime has such easy returns.

Last, check out this kind of a hybrid of all the above. I'm dying over the patterns on the inserts!

You can choose from hummingbird, tropical or lemon. You can even buy the inserts separately and use them with the acrylic style! (Just be sure the sizes match).

So what do you think? Are you sold on "straw"? Which is your favorite?

Happy Amazon shopping!