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Out of the Closet

4 Must-Follow Sites for Scoring Brag-Worthy Bling

By Charlotte on August 21, 2015 6:18 AM

Torquoise necklace - 600.jpgThe right bling can give any girl an edge. Finishing a simple outfit with a stylish necklace, sassy earrings, bangles galore or, better yet, all three can add ooh-la-la personality.

That's why I adore these jewelry-centric sites. Pure heaven for those of us obsessed with trendy trinkets, they offer oodles of brag-worthy gems, elegant packaging and special offers you'll be tempted to share. You can also turn to them for chic styling tips, help making smart selections and more - some even delight in surprising you.

Keep It Real

You can find a wealth of genuine sterling silver and natural gemstone jewelry at CarolynPollack.com. The site features about 500 new styles per year (wow!) so there's always something different around the corner.

Designer Carolyn Pollack's beautiful creations aim to help you feel fabulous now and in the future. As a bonus, her timeless pieces are made in America.

I'm wild about the dainty pendant station necklace and eye-catching drop earrings from her spirited American West collection. Besides speaking to the Texan in me, these cool companions get a playful pop of color from Sleeping Beauty turquoise stones that look great with everything from denim to dresses. 

Torquoise necklace - 600.jpgNecklace ($259) - You can wear this gorgeous necklace alone or layer it with other beads and chains, depending on your mood. At 20 inches, the chain falls a few inches below my collar bone. Airy links make it easy to shorten and you can purchase an extender if you'd like a bit more length.

Known for their clear blue hue, these Arizona-mined Sleeping Beauty stones are said to be some of the finest quality turquoise in the world.

Earrings ($75) - Pretty and practical, these scrolling sterling silver earrings feature delicate Sleeping Beauty turquoise drops. I love that these flattering face framers don't get lost behind my shoulder-length hair and are so light I actually forget I'm wearing them. They're a must for girls like my sister Pam whose ears rebel at thought of going near anything other than sterling silver.

Earring - 450.jpg

I could live in these gorgeous, scrolled earrings because they're practically weightless and go with just about everything.

Like all Carolyn Pollack designs, both these winners arrive in attractive green boxes and each comes with a storage container great for everyday use as well as travel. To make a loved one feel extra special, you can opt for a striking turquoise gift box with a silver foil-stamped logo, bow and card for only $3.99.

Want more ideas? Every product on CarolynPollack.com includes an inspiration tab showing complementary items. Also, join the mailing list for 15 percent off your first purchase and check out the site's WOW Look Now! feature. Every week, it highlights a new look and offers a 20 percent discount on three or more of the included pieces.

In addition, you can follow Carolyn Pollack jewelry on Facebook for styling tips and personal stories from other women who love to share how they wear their jewelry, and more importantly, how it makes them feel. There you'll be treated to special offers, limited editions, discounts and exclusives. Plus, you'll be invited to Carolyn Pollack events throughout the year and around the country.

To see Carolyn's designs in person, visit her beautiful jewelry gallery at the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas (practically in my backyard!) or the outlet store at the Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe. Her American West Collection also is available at qvc.com, where there is a small charge for shipping. Shipping is free with $100 orders at CarolynPollack.com.

Begin a Charming Collection

Sure to speak to your inner fashionista, the trendy bracelets, necklaces and charms at EndlessJewelry.us make it easy to create designs that are uniquely you. Here you'll find a cool assortment of colorful leather and sterling silver bracelets, delightful leather necklaces and around 700 collectible charms, which can be mixed and matched with the bracelets and necklaces to show off your personal style. What a kick!

The leather wrap bracelets come in single, double or triple band sizes and in varying lengths so you can get a custom fit (a huge plus when you have smaller wrists like me!). You can opt for one of the 20 colors in the standard Endless line or take things up a notch with a reptile- or metallic-influenced hue from Jennifer Lopez. You can even choose the type of magnetic clasp (steel, gold plated or rose gold plated) you'd prefer and connect individual wraps together to extend the length.

Then it's time to pile on as many baubles and beads as your heart desires, selecting from rhodium-plated sterling silver, gold-plated and rose gold-plated as well as regular Endless and JLo styles. As the name says, the possibilities are truly endless and we haven't even talked about the silver bracelets or necklaces. Remarkable!

I tried a single band bracelet in go-with-everything nude leather ($60) with three, sterling silver- and sky blue-hued charms ($50 each). Now here's something I'll wear again and again. And I can collect and add more charms anytime.

The leather makes this bracelet soft and flexible so there's no clanging on my keyboard. Although I often struggle finding bangles that work, the 7.48-inch band size fits me like a dream. I can easily open and close the magnetic clasp with one hand. The cute charms add subtle color and pair perfectly with my Carolyn Pollack necklace and earrings. And the Endless set arrived in a handy, sheer black storage bag.

This fashion-forward, single-band leather wrap bracelet looks great alone or stacked with my watch and other silver trinkets.
Bracelet - 600.jpg

For a head start on all the fun, follow Endless Jewelry on social media where you'll find styling inspirations, sneak peeks at new designs and exciting giveaways. Or visit an Endless Jewelry retailer to purchase a wrap bracelet starter kit including a double leather band in the color of your choice and one silver charm for a special introductory price. Visit EndlessJewelry.us for locations.

Get the Star Treatment

Ever dream of having your very own stylist? Joining the VIP program at CateandChloe.com could be the next best thing.

When you subscribe to this addictive time- and money-saving option, the fashion experts at Cate & Chloe select several stylish baubles and ship them to your door once a month. The selections are based on preference so you're guaranteed to get pieces you love.

To help them understand your tastes, you can specify the type of jewelry (poised and polished, work/weekend or über trendy) and metal (all gold, all silver or anything goes) you prefer. You can also take a style quiz or email them your likes, dislikes and any special requests. Then you choose how long you want to commit to the program. You can go month to month and cancel anytime ($39.99/monthly). Or, for more of a discount, sign up for a prepaid, long-term plan. Then sit back, relax and get ready for some serious star treatment.

Once a month, you'll receive a small-but-impressive box of goodies including at least two fabulous jewels with a combined value exceeding the cost of your VIP subscription, a neat surprise or two, and tips for how to wear them. Styles include earrings, bracelets, bangles, necklaces and more to keep you up to date on the latest trends.

The Cate & Chloe VIP box I received contained stunners valued at more than $138. That's quite a deal when a subscription costs under $40/month.

Pink packaging - 600.jpgMy box included these pretty pieces:

Brianna "Strong" Layered Necklace ($79) - Although one necklace, this enchanting number looks like you're wearing two tasteful chains: one with a dainty ball and the other with a horizontal bar. Besides adoring the look of these delicate layers, I love that you can adjust this gold-plated prize so the longer chain falls anywhere from 20 to 23 inches depending on your neckline and any companion pieces you plan to add. Wear it alone to lend a touch of elegance to everything from t-shirts to little black dresses. Pair it with other pendants and beads to up the fun factor. Although I just had to keep this one for myself, it comes in an attractive black-and-white box with a ribbon closure perfect for gift giving.

Two necklaces in one, the Brianna "Strong" necklace takes all the work out of getting that lovely layered look.

Necklaces - 600.jpgBracelet Necklace - 425.jpgBridget "Tenacious" Wrap Bracelet ($59) - This of-the-moment, brown leather charmer has a laid back vibe perfect for the weekend. I'm mad about the double wrap style as well as the gleaming, gold-plated accents that give this casual go-to a little drama.

The cute and functional buckle closure makes it easy to adjust the band for smaller wrists like mine and the included black velvet protective pouch says it's a classy choice.

Adorned with dazzling gold hardware, this brown leather, double wrap bracelet is especially flattering worn with the Brianna layered necklace.

Sally Hanson Diamond Strength Nail Color - My VIP treasure chest also included a satiny black drawstring bag containing an unexpected extra: glittering Daimond-colored nail polish for a high-shine, natural-but-better look that pairs perfectly with my bling. Nice dividend!

What's more, having a VIP membership means you'll often receive exclusive pieces not offered otherwise and get the scoop on newbies before they're released to everyone else. In addition, you can expect a 20 percent discount on any other gems purchased (including sale items), free shipping on all orders, special customer support, free exchanges on anything you don't absolutely love and access to special promotions.

Even better, you can get 25 percent off the first month of a Cate & Chloe VIP subscription with this code: BOOMERBRIEF25. For more news about the brand and other special offers, follow Cate & Chloe on social media.

Surprise Me

If you're into designer accessories, you'll want to bookmark PaulaandChlo.com. This fascinating site carries to-die-for jewelry, handbags, scarfs, beauty products and more from top designers like Zac Posen, Rebecca Minkoff, and Elizabeth and James as well as hip boutique brands such as Chan Luu and up-and-comers like Joanna Maxham.Texas necklace - 400.jpg

Girls of every age will find plenty of gotta have 'ems here as everything is selected by owner Paula Slof herself, prices start at $25 and purchases of $50 or more ship free within the continental U.S.. Besides offering picks from her fav designers, Paula makes choosing one of her splurge-worthy treasures a special experience. Items arrive in a luxe gift bag with a handwritten note and an alluring assortment of surprise beauty samples from cult favorites like Ebb & Flow NYC.

I'll enjoy wearing this cute and meaningful Texas keepsake from Dogeared now and for years to come. Here I've layered it with one of my own charm necklaces.

Since I'm from the lone star state, I was thrilled to try a Texas Necklace ($58) from Dogeared, the originator of "word" jewelry. Handmade in California, it features a tiny, gold-dipped state of Texas dangling from a delicate, gold-filled chain. This versatile, 18-inch treat is sweet worn alone as well as a natural for layering with other chains, beads, even statement necklaces.

When this little gem reached my door, I was astonished that such a small necklace would come in a big package. Opening it, I found an elegant black gift bag filled with lilac tissue paper. The little box containing my jewelry was wrapped in matching tissue paper and accompanied by a goody bag including candies, a sample of Tokyomilk Bon Bon Shea Butter Lotion and a full-size Stila Lip Glaze in Strawberry Cream. Amazing and it wasn't even a holiday! You can bet I'll be adding this site to my wish list. It could really simplify life for Bob!

My sweet Texas necklace arrived in a classy black bag ready for gifting. The Dogeared box was also wrapped in pretty tissue paper. Unfortunately, I tore into it before thinking about taking a picture. A goody bag of surprise beauty samples (including a full-size Stila Lip Glaze) added to the pleasure.

Black packaging - 600.jpgTo keep up with what's trending on the fashion scene, follow Paula & Chlo on social media and join the email list. You'll get styling advice, discounts (10 percent off your purchase for first time email subscribers), advance notice of sales and alerts about new arrivals. Also, check out the Paula & Chlo blog for help accessorizing your outfits for work and play.


I'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to Bob for being a patient photographer and to the brands in this post for providing free samples for review and testing.

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If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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