• Introducing: Heidi.

     

    We think the world of our Aunt Heidi (mama Deb's sister) and LOVE that she pulled through a very busy week to be part of our Holiday Collection photo shoot this summer...she is endlessly thoughtful and never fails to help others have a great day...and she makes a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies, too.  Quite a lady!  We asked her a few questions about life and family and celebrating this time of year, and she was kind enough to answer amidst the flurry of activity at her house.  

    Emily:  As the mother of three boys (who are wonderful young men, by the way) what do you do to add your feminine touch to daily life?  

    Heidi:  Since I am in a household with all men, I do enjoy going to lunch with girl friends once in awhile.   I also like to have fresh flowers around the house--that is a treat to myself--and I like to bake cookies...somehow that is therapy for me.

    E:  You're the youngest of three...did big sis Deb have any lasting words of wisdom that made an impact on you--then or now?

    H:  Growing up I was the pesky little sister that was always getting in the way, but she has always been a good example of doing for others. Deb has a gift for doing so many things so well, and I admire her for that.  I am proud of her and glad we are sisters. Hopefully I am not pesky anymore.

    E:  Did you have a favorite holiday tradition growing up in Kentucky?

    H:  I guess I always liked Christmas because Mom made it so special.  I liked waking up Christmas morning and smelling the turkey cooking in the oven.  Since my birthday is around the holidays, Mom [Nana of June Collection fame!] always took me to see the Nutcracker Suite every year.  I enjoyed going and loved the music, costumes, and dancing, but don't think I really understood it till I was older.

    E:  When you started your own family, did you start any new traditions of your own that you continue today?

    H:  I can't say that we really started any new traditions, but did carry on the ones I grew up with as a child. The boys still put their stockings out on Christmas Eve and leave them on a chair.  We have a big Christmas breakfast with scrambled eggs, grits, fried apples, bacon and coffee cake. Dad and Mom used to come when the boys were small to eat with us, and Dad would always make the eggs.  We miss that now, as I can't seem to get them quite the way he made them. Christmas was always a fun family time and still is today.

    E:  What is your favorite holiday treat? 

    H:  I have so many!  I love the sugar cookies we always make. We make them on special occasions during the year using different cookie cutters, but they always look and taste better at Christmas. Frank [Heidi's husband, our Uncle!] cooks a pork tenderloin on the grill every Christmas that tastes so good.  We marinate it overnight in bourbon.  Our Christmas Eve dinner of pork tenderloin, cheese grits, green beans, salad and rolls has become a tradition in our home, and since Christmas Eve is also Frank's birthday we have a delicious birthday cake! (That I usually get at the bakery!)



    E:  We love your classic, easy style--which of our Holiday Collection earrings would you wear as an everyday go-to?

    H:  I like all your designs, Emily, but I'm drawn to the red ones, since red is my favorite color. You make beautiful jewelry and you are talented just like your mother.  I am proud of you and so glad we are related. [What an Aunt, right?]




    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • Introducing: Whitney.

     

    Her face may be familiar to some of you...dear friend Whitney Frazier Watt has graced the pages of our blog before in our very first Friends & Family feature when we shared her fantastic entertaining expertise and eye for Elva.  (She is, as you can see, a beautiful model for our jewels!)  This time around, we had just a few more questions about her consummate hostessing skills and a bit of what she loves about this time of year.  (Her home is magical during the holidays!)

    Emily:  What is your favorite holiday tradition in your family? 

    Whitney:  My favorite tradition is when my husband and I put up our tree.  We always get a Frasier Fir because Frazier is my maiden name.  Many of our ornaments are souvenirs from our travels and experiences together so it is always a chance to revisit great memories.


    E:  Do you have a holiday decorating tip or go-to item that makes a home more festive this time of year?

    W:  I love putting a red berry wreath on our green door and putting candles in our windows.  These simple additions signal that Christmas is almost here!    


    {image from Taste of Home}

    E:  You make a killer party punch...care to share the recipe?  

    W: My favorite is a version of the celebrated Golden Fruit Punch from Taste of Home.  It is easy to make -- but tastes great (especially if you use it to make a mimosa!)


    E:  Okay...wrapping it up with jewels.  Which earrings from the Holiday Collection are your top pick for any occasion--holiday and beyond? 

    W:  I LOVE the faceted vintage brass oval earrings -- they have just the perfect amount of shine for holiday -- but are also so versatile after January 1.  

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • Introducing: Rebecca.



    Though we call her our cousin, the term is not technically correct.  If we must be official, we'll state for the record that she's married to our cousin...but--regardless of technicalities--we love calling Rebecca family, so cousin it is!   More importantly, jewelry-desiging cousin! (How fun to have TWO jewelry connections in the family...we are hot commodities this time of year!)  

    Rebecca founded Rebecca Hook Jewelry in 2008 and has quickly gained following in boutiques nationwide with her delicately detailed designs in sterling and gold vermeil.  (They are beautiful!)  We snagged a few moments of her time after taking part in our photo shoot to hear more about her jewels and her take on holiday traditions.




    {all images courtesy Rebecca Hook Jewelry}

    Emily:  What is your favorite thing about being a designer?

    Rebecca: I love that there are endless possibilities when designing a piece of jewelry.  I gather inspiration from a variety of places and the ability to translate those things into wearable art is incredible.  I was exposed to the jewelry industry from a young age working with my parents' company in Orlando, Florida.  This is exactly what I have always pictured doing.  

    E:  How do you balance work, family, and friends...especially as a new mama?

    R:  As a business owner you must learn to multi-task.  There are always so many things to get done and not enough time.  I don’t get too stressed out when things pile up.  

    E:  What is your favorite holiday tradition--in your family or ours?

    R:  During Thanksgiving Dinner, I asked every person at the table explain what they are thankful for.  It was great to see an emotional side of the Hook family.  Also, for the last several years my family in Florida has opted out of a gift exchange.  It is now a tradition to write a letter to someone in the family and read it aloud on Christmas Eve.  Last year all the adults wrote letters to their spouses and the kids wrote letters to their siblings.  It is always a special night (that my husband likes to call a cry fest.)

    E: What do you love about the holidays in Kentucky after warmer ones in Florida and Charleston?  

    R: Although I do miss running around in my flip flops, I still get so excited when it snows.  I think this Christmas in particular will be very special because I have a little one to enjoy it with.


    Becky with baby Harlin at our Holiday photo shoot!

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • Getting to Know...our Holiday Gals! Introducing: Elizabeth.


    We're thrilled you're loving our lovely ladies featured in the Holiday Collection photo shoot...friends and family are beautiful people inside and out...and since so many of you were curious about who these wonderful women are, we thought we'd give you a glimpse of what makes them so special.  (Just a peek, though!)


    First up is dear childhood friend Elizabeth Liebschutz-Roettger...among many other things (we won't elaborate) we call her "Beth" and since we've known one another since middle school, we'll spare you the forever-long stories and cut right to her charmed but very busy life today.  Enjoy!  (And, Beth, thank you dear friend for taking part!)

    Emily:  Not only do you have the most interesting last name of my friends, I think you'll have the most initials following it as well (soon!)...tell me a bit more about what you're studying, writing, researching these days?

    Beth:  Hopefully I will eventually get those letters--at the moment it seems a bit daunting!  I am working on my PhD in Education Policy with a focus in Higher Education.  My dissertation topic will eventually be on study abroad and student persistence.  Basically, we know that when a student studies abroad in college they are more likely to persist to graduation, and what I want to learn more about is why.  Students who study abroad show greater maturity and focus on their academics upon their return, so as a field, we want to learn more about the positive effects it has on the student as a whole.

    E:  And in the midst of volunteering countless hours, being a wife, a new mother, AND having a successful career...what's your secret?

    B:  Pretzel M&Ms and rock n' roll!  Seriously though, I am a person who is totally re-energized by others.  I love my family and friends and I have a great career.  My husband and adventurous 18-month-old son keep me on my toes and are so supportive, as is the rest of my family.  I am also fortunate to have so many amazing and talented friends that inspire me.  Although, I will admit, I do love to take walk with my ipod (and I might be prone to rocking out a little) and a good book.

    E:  You have such a fantastic heritage with a Catholic mother and Jewish father...what are some of your favorite holiday traditions from growing up with both Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations?

    B:  I have lots of special memories observing Jewish holidays with my brother, sister and dad.  A few years ago I was home and my brother called so my dad could recite the Hanukkah prayers for my niece over the phone.  I want to share those same memories with my own son.  I hope that he cherishes the different traditions as much as I do.  My Mom does a great job of making the holidays special (although she leaves Hanukkah up to my Dad.) I find Christmas and Hanukkah so much more fun now as I share it with my son, niece and nephews.

    E:  Have you started any new traditions with your own family?

    B:  Want to see my husband act like a school kid?  Stockings!  He loves them.  It cracks me up.  We still run back and forth between Lexington and Danville [Kentucky] visiting our families while everyone is town over the holidays.  However, the night before we leave, our little family spends the evening together and we go through our stockings.


    {image from Crate and Barrel}


    E:  What's tops on your list this year (besides a PhD?)

    B:  Well, if I've been good, then I have my eyes on a pair of Frye boots.  And what woman wouldn't want a little more jewelry (and Elva is always so nice!)?  However, I would say my real Christmas and Hanukkah gifts are coming in the form of an already ordered Terravida table and Lowe chairs from Crate and Barrel for the dining room in our new house.



    E:  Ok, you're headed to work...but a party right after...which Elva Fields Holiday Collection earrings do you wear?

    B: The pearlized briolette clusters are so classy.  And I love that they are super feminine.  They are sophisticated for work and will dazzle at parties.

    Posted by Emily Maynard
  • Gift of Style and Substance

     

    For a gift that gives wholeheartedly, we'd love for you to consider our vintage glitter lucite drops this holiday.  These limited-edition lovelies have the honor of offering $10 of their $30 purchase price to Backpack Buddies of Spencer County, whose mission is to provide food and snacks to children in our rural community, many of whom depend on the local school cafeterias for most of their meals.  

    By sending these underprivileged children home with a bag of fresh fruit, cereal, or soup each Friday of the school year, Backpack Buddies is making a worthwhile, crucial difference in the lives of nearly 200 students, and for less than $3 per child per weekend, your donation is a more than a meaningful contribution--it's life-changing.

    By the way, we'll gift-wrap the glittery gems in our signature packaging and include a note about the donation...and, yes, the shipping's on us, too!   Enjoy!

    *To learn more about Elva Fields' partnership with Backpack Buddies, click here. 


    Posted by Emily Maynard