Category Archives: Inspiration

03.09.2017

Sommi Jewelry for a Minimal + Industrial Wedding

A few months ago Jordan, from Jordan Weiland Photography, asked me to collaborate on an editorial photo shoot she was putting together with a team of Florida creatives and vendors.

The photo shoot took place in St. Petersburg, FL, at Green Bench Brewing Co. last May. Although I was not able to attend the shoot I sent her a few pieces she could use to style the bride and would complement the “industrial + minimalist” feel of the shoot.

GBMinimalistShoot-26 Sommi Jewelry Rings Stationary and Sommi Jewelry Rings Sommi_Jewelry_Wedding_Inspiration_3 GBMinimalistShoot-87 GBMinimalistShoot-81 GBMinimalistShoot-17

Thank you Jordan for including me in this collaboration! Your work is beautiful! You can see more photos from the shoot on her blog and on the 100 Layer Cake blog where this shoot was also featured.

Vendors: Venue: @greenbenchbrewing | Planner: @confettieventstampa | Event Design + Furniture & Decor Rentals: @wishrents | Florals: @floristfire | Dress Designer: @rebeccaschoneveld_bridal | Dress Store: @thebridetampa | Hair + Makeup: @collective.creations | Groom’s pants + tie: @zara | Paper Goods: @elevennote | Cake: @handsonsweets | Tabletop Rentals: @set_rentals | Coffee Pop: @thehiplion | Macrame Art: Elizabeth McTague | Diamond Ring + Earrings: @albisiajewelry | Men’s band: @wilsondiamondbrokers | Ring for invitation suite styling: Susie Saltzman

xx,
Alexandra

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02.18.2015

Editorial Shoot Featured On 100 Layer Cake

Sommi Jewelry earrings and necklaces all photos via lh photograpy

Working with other creatives is one of my favorite things. Back in September Ly Sué, from LH Photography, reach out to me and asked if I would be interested in participating in an editorial wedding photo shoot she was putting together. I usually don’t think about my jewelry as bridal. But, I was really intrigued when she told me how all the angles on my pieces would be the perfect fit for the Modern + Luxe theme of the shoot. I’m so happy I said yes to the opportunity. Working with a team of such talented creatives (such as Siuleth from Eleven Note, Laura from Ashton Events, Sherri from The Pastry Studio and Asha from Bright Frame Films, just to mention a few) was truly an amazing experience.

MODERNLUXE_editorial_lhphotography©LHPHOTOGRAPHY2014-0259 MODERNLUXE_editorial_lhphotography©LHPHOTOGRAPHY2014-0140-2

After all the hard work, the photographs were published on the 100 Layer Cake blog a couple of weeks ago. How cool is that, right? We are all so excited and proud. The shoot took place at Snap! Space, a 5,000 square feet indoor-outdoor gallery/event venue in downtown Orlando. As soon as I arrived at the venue the morning of the photo shoot, I worked closely with Ly Sué and Siuleth. I gave them a hand styling my jewelry with the stationary, as well as styling a few flowers that sat along some of the amazing food prepared by Arthur’s Catering. I was so impressed by Siuleth’s stationary work and felt so happy when she told me my jewelry was the inspiration behind all the stationary work she did.

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Laura and her team, from Ashton Events, made amazing flower arrangements and styled many of the details in the shoot. I cannot say enough about their beautiful work. Those flowers were such a dream. So much so that when she asked me if I would like to take some home, I did not think twice before I said yes. You can read more about her work and the inspiration behind the photo shoot here.

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The Pastry Studio created the beautiful cake and macaroons. Every time I walked by the dessert table, I had to contain myself not to snatch one of these little guys while no one was looking. The Pastry Studio is located in Daytona and the owner, Sherri, told me I could stop anytime at their location and they would make a fresh batch of macaroons. I need to plan a field trip to her store ASAP.

Sommi Jewelry Pyramid Drops Earrings

For the jewelry, we used the Pyramid Drops Earrings as the main focal point. I love how they draw the eye to her neck and subtlety elongate it. We then layered three Bar Necklaces that complemented the geometric theme of the shoot without overpowering the earrings. For her ring finger, we choose the Angle Ring andArch Ring that when juxtaposed created the most interesting angles making them the perfect pair. Finally, we completed the whole look with the Arch Cuff. This piece is one of my favorites, with its delicate lines and unexpected diamond shape opening. I enjoyed every minute of styling and worked hard to make sure that all the jewelry was in place while Ly Sué took these stunning photos.

Hands wearing Sommi Jewelry holding invitation Sommi Jewelry Rings

If you want to see the full feature on the 100 Layer Cake blog, you can do so here.  But before you go, make sure to watch the lovely video that Asha, from Bright Frame Films, put together of the photo shoot (below).

A big thanks to all the vendors that made this day possible:

Photography & Concept: LH Photography / Videographer: Bright Frame Films / Venue: Snap! Space / Event Design, Florals & Concept: Ashton Events Planning and Design / Furniture Rentals & Concept: Wish Vintage Rentals / Hair, Makeup, & Nails: Ali Lee Artistry / Stationery, Favors & Concept: Eleven Note / Cake & Sweets: The Pastry Studio / Hor d’ oeuvres: Arthur’s Catering / Cocktails: The Courtesy Bar / Dinnerware & Drinkware: Dishie Rentals / Wedding Dress & Veil: Malindy Elene Bridal / Jewelry: Sommi Jewelry / Model: Joy Mayfield / Custom Veil: Olivia Gray

Until next time…

xx,
Alexandra

02.11.2015

Boys and Valentine’s Day

Growing up Valentine’s day was never an important day for me. Partly because I was a late bloomer in the dating world and partly because once I started dating, my relationships didn’t seem to coincide with the holiday. Now that I have been with C (Clayton, my husband) for the better part of nine years (wow, almost a decade!) we have had our fair share of Valentine’s days together. During our first few years dating, I enjoyed getting pretty blooms from him, but never gave it much thought. After all, I was not used to celebrating this day anyways.

Then it happened. Days before Valentine’s day, we were walking through a grocery store overflowing with red chocolate boxes, balloons, and soft toys, when the words came out of his mouth: “I hate Valentine’s day.” I shook my head and looked at him. It was just so unexpected. Long story short, he completely dislikes how commercialized this day is.

I give my better half two thumbs up for his honesty, but it makes me wonder if most guys feel that way and never say it out loud. Or maybe they buy this stuff at the beginning of a relationship and then slowly try to get out of participating in this tradition. And what about girls? Do we all truly love this holiday? I go back and forth.

While I think about it, I’ll leave you with some Valentine’s day ideas that caught my eye. Each idea can be purchased ready made or you can do it as a DIY. You know, just in case you are trying to avoid the “commercial” feeling of the whole thing.

IDEA #1: Balloons

Valentine's Day Balloons

Fill in a room with these pretty heart shape balloons. They have them in three different colors. If you want to go for extra credits, make sure your significant other sees you arriving home, just like this.

Valentine's Day Mini Balloons

This is an equally cute, but less expensive idea. The Flare Exchange sales these little heart balloons and have a DIY tutorial on how to customize them on their blog. You can fill up a big gift box or gift bag with these little guys instead of tissue paper to wrap your present. Or simply cover a whole area, like a small room, for a nice little surprise.

IDEA #2: Tea Bags

DIY Heart Shaped Tea Bags

I love tea, so these caught my eye as soon as I saw them. These Valentine’s Day tea bags are the sweetest DIY I have seen in a while. You can find all the instruction right here.

Valentine's Day Tea Bags

If you are short of time, these organic white tea bags come ready for gifting. They feature rose petals and chrysanthemum blossoms. Not sure how they taste, but it sure sounds lovely.

IDEA #3: Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Strawberries dipped in chocolate

One of my favorite local chocolatiers in Winter Park (FL) is teasing all of us with their Valentine’s Day ideas. I’m particularly loving these.

And if you feel like doing the ground work yourself, just pick some fresh berries, chocolate and sticks from the market and get to dipping. If this is your first time making strawberries dipped in chocolate, here is an easy recipe you can follow.

So there it is. I hope you found at least one of these ideas worth your time. As for me, I’ll keep pondering and will let you know as soon as I figure out the way I really feel about this holiday.

xx,
Alexandra

10.16.2014

Vancouver

View of Vancouver from high above image via Evan Leeson

A few weeks ago I went to Vancouver because one of my dearest friends got married. It was so nice to go celebrate this special occasion in a place where I had never been before. Now that I’m back, I understand why everyone has nothing but good things to say about this city. The big mountains, the ocean and crisp air make this city truly beautiful.

I was lucky to explore Vancouver in the company of some of my best friends while doing active stuff like hiking, biking, paddle boarding and swimming. If you have Vancouver in your travel bucket list, I will encourage you to get outside and enjoy all the outdoor activities the city has to offer (especially if you are there during the summer time). To give you an idea of the things you can do/see while in Vancouver, I’ll share some photos and tips of things I enjoyed doing during my visit.

1. GROUSE MOUNTAIN:

Vancouver view from Grouse Mountain Grouse Mountain is located just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver and it’s probably the place where you can get the best view of the city. You have two options to get to the top of the mountain: you can use the Skyride (gondola) or you can hike the “The Grouse Grind.” If you are in Vancouver during the summer time and you are somewhat in shape I recommend hiking the mountain. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it is easy, but is really doable even if you are not 100% in shape.

Grouse Mountain Gondola Cables My approach to climbing the trail was to go at a slow but constant pace. The trail is a combination of naturally made stone steps and man-made wooden steps. This mountain is commonly referred to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”! So although this is not your relaxing kind of mountain hike, what I like about this activity is having the opportunity to immerse yourself in the mountain and exercise alongside beautiful tall trees and crisp air. It took me almost 2 hours to get to the top (like I said, I was going really slow!) where we enjoyed the beautiful views of the city and had drinks from the “Altitudes Bistro” (one of the the bars/restaurants at the top).

Grouse Mountain Bears

At the top of the mountain, there are a number of activities you can do. I went to see two orphaned grizzly bears in the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, but they also have bird shows, a Lumberjack show, Helicopter Tours and Paragliding among others. Next time I’m there I would like to explore the area and do more of the Self-Guided Walks or the Guided Eco-Walks.

2. BIKING AT STANLEY PARK:

Biking Stanley Park

While we were in Vancouver, we stayed for three nights in a hotel in downtown. The location was great as we were able to walk to nearby restaurants and shops. We also had a bike rental place right around the corner where we rented bikes one afternoon and spent about 2 hours riding through some of the Stanley Park trails.

Biking in Stanley Park

We rode the whole time by the water which gave us beautiful views of the city, ocean and little beaches. There were a couple concession stands on the way to grab a quick bite and water, but we decided to stop in a restaurant called the Tea House. The food was a little pricey, but every single dish they brought to the table was delicious. If you get there, I recommend getting their carrot soup and their wild salmon.

3. CAPILANO BRIDGE:

Capilano_Bridge image via Netsnake

I think the Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most advertised attractions in Vancouver. I saw so many pretty photos on Pinterest (like the one above!) that I had to get there. The city has done a great job at creating an area where you can do more than just crossing the bridge, but I have to admit that it feels touristy. We arrived there around 10:00 am and just had a small line to buy the entrance tickets. We made the mistake of grabbing some breakfast before crossing the bridge and by the time we went to cross, there was a big line and a big crowd on the bridge. I had never been on a suspension bridge, so that was fun. But having so many people on the bridge somehow took away from the experience and made it harder to admire the scenery. Once you make it to the other side, they have a canopy walk between trees and a walkway with information about the mountain and nature surrounding you.

Capilano Canopi Walk Capilano Suspension Bridge

If you are planning to visit this attraction, I recommend getting there as early as you can to avoid the crowd and to, hopefully, get some alone time while you cross the bridge. Once you cross the suspension bridge back to the main area, don’t forget to do the cliff walk. They have some neat areas where you can enjoy some scary views down to the bottom of the forest.

If you are not a huge fan of crowds, there is another suspension bridge in Lynn Canyon Park. My friend said that it is beautiful and that all the locals go there. This park offers free admission and also has a good looking 30 foot natural pool where many people swim. Next time I will definitely visit this park, instead of the Capilano Bridge.

Overall, Vancouver is an awesome place to visit and definitely on my “going back to” list. I feel like we only scratched the surface of everything this city has to offer. But then again, doesn’t it always feel that way once a fun trip is over?

Hope these little tips help some of you on your future travel plans to Canada. : )

Cheers to many more trips to come for all of us!

xx,
–Alexandra

05.21.2014

Land of The Koalas

I haven’t had a chance to travel lately, and boy do I find myself constantly thinking about it. While I anxiously wait for my next trip in a couple months, I want to share another tip for traveling. This time I won’t tell you about Italy, but instead about a great experience I had in Australia.

Australia has many points of interest, but if you find yourself in Melbourne, a two-day trip to the 12 Apostles, in my opinion, is a must.

12 Apostoles The 12 Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks formed by erosion from waves constantly hitting against the soil in this area. The erosion never stops, meaning that eventually all the apostles (there are only seven apostles left standing) will collapse completely. At the same time, equally stunning formations are always forming along this coastline. As you can see on the photos, this place is probably one of the most beautiful and impressive in Australia.

Great Ocean Road 12 Apostoles

To get to this site from Melbourne, you will need to rent a car and be ready for a long six-hour drive through the Great Ocean Road. I won’t lie and tell you that it is an enjoyable ride the whole way, as some times it is a little monotonous. The good news is that there are nuggets of beauty scattered around the road trip that will energize you.

Great Ocean Road Koalas

One of this nuggets is a place that I like to call “Land of The Koalas.” As you head to Port Campbell (where the 12 Apostles are located) you can take a small detour to Cape Otway, where you will find one of the best sites to see koalas in the wild.

Cape Otway Australia Cape Otway Australia Koalas

Once you start driving down this road, you will begin to see how the vegetation quickly changes, from full green and lush trees to bare Eucalyptus trees. All of the sudden, you will start to see sleepy koalas taking naps in the tree tops. It may take you a few seconds to see the first koala, but after that your eyes will immediately start recognizing where the other little guys are without much effort.

Cape Otway Koalas Cape Otway Koala When you get to this area, drive slowly as koalas could be crossing the road towards other trees. We were lucky enough to see this happening, so we stopped and watched one Koala slowly cross the road and climb on a tree that was about 10 yards away from us. Being there watching Koalas in the wild was truly a magical experience.

Cape Otway Koala

Things to know:

  • The 12 Apostles is located in Port Campbell and it is six hours away from Melbourne.
  • When making the decision of whether to rent a car, keep in mind that like in the UK, Australians drive on the left hand side of the road.
  • The best way to enjoy this road trip is to break it up. At a minimum I would recommend staying one night in one of the towns along the way. We spent one night in Port Campbell and headed back to Melbourne the next day.
  • Australia offers great information centers for tourists. Make sure to take advantage of all the information, advice and resources they have to offer (that’s how we learned about the koalas on the way to Cape Otway).

–Alexandra

05.02.2014

A Night With Rifle Paper Co.

OE-Exterior photo via Oxford Exchange

As an entrepreneur, I try to stay active in my community and look for opportunities to network and learn from successful people and brands. I like to pay attention to the way they carry themselves, their design approach and the manner in which they implement their branding and marketing.

Oxford Exchange Tampa Oxford Exchange Tampa

Recently I had the opportunity to attend an event in Tampa, at Oxford Exchange, where Anna Bond, from Rifle Paper Co., shared her story and spent some time kindly answering questions from the audience. If you haven’t hear about Rifle before, they are a paper goods company located in Winter Park, Florida, that offers beautifully illustrated cards, stationary, wrapping paper among many other products.

Riffle Paper Co. Cards Riffle Paper Co. What makes their story  inspiring is that Anna and her husband, Nathan, started their business four years ago in their living room. Now, their products are carried by over 4,000 stores worldwide and they have been featured in multiple print and online publications.

Riffle Paper Co.

The talk was interesting in many ways, but a couple things stood out the most to me. On the branding side of things, Anna talked about how she worked hard to keep Rifle Paper’s branding it’s own. Meaning that no matter how much she personally liked something (be it a design element like “chevrons,” or a “funny” tone in cards) sometimes it is not a fit within a brand, and, therefore, it should not be forced into it. On the business side of things, they emphasized how important “quality” was to their brand and how they did almost the impossible to ensure every product was up to their standards in order to make sure every customer had a positive experience.

They shared many little nuggets of wisdom and I tried my best to take them all in. I’m really thankful for people like them who share their stories and the lessons they have learned without holding back. I can just hope one day I can do the same for someone else.

–Alexandra

04.11.2014

While In Tuscany

Villa Vignamaggio Entrance

One of my goals with this blog is to encourage and inspire all of us to travel more often and to embrace our adventurous spirit. Personally, I love hearing about other people’s trips and then making loose schedules for my own travels based on their experiences. So with that in mind, today I want to share one of my own stories with all of you.

A while back I traveled to Italy and one of our stops was Tuscany. All cities in this area are beautiful and charming, but if you are trying to enjoy the countryside and experience the wine you should not hesitate to rent a car and explore the breathtaking scenery that’s hidden between the little towns.

As you drive away from cities like Florence or Sienna, there will be many towns where you will find great wine and food. But there is a winery located in the corner of the Chianti countryside that I highly recommend visiting. Surrounded by elegant Italian gardens, Villa Vignamaggio is a winery with a lot of history and charm. Trust me when I say that it will captivate you as soon as you go through the entrance which is surrounded by Italian Cypress trees lined perfectly along the driveway (photo above).

Florence, Italy

View of Florence taken after we climbed hundreds of stairs in one of its church towers.

The history behind this villa is quite enchanting. Before the Gherardi family bought this villa in the 16th century, it belonged to the Gherardini family. In fact, Mona Lisa, the daughter of Anton Maria Gherardini, was born in Vignamaggion in 1479. It is said that the background in Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is almost exactly the view one can enjoy from the Villa’s terrace. Leonardo grew up just a few miles from Vignamaggio, which may explain the similarity between Vignamaggio’s landscape and the one on his masterpiece.

If you choose to do one of their guided tours and wine tastings you will get to try their most popular wines. Our tour guide was unpretentious and friendly which made the whole experience very enjoyable. They paired the wine with a selection of local cheeses, bread and cold meats that made me feel like I was in heaven. If you have time, I suggest you try their lunch or dinner. I didn’t get to taste it, but it looked incredible!

I wanted to add a few of the wine tasting’ photos I snapped with my phone, but, unfortunately, that phone is gone and with it those photos. So instead, I’ll share a few of my favorite images I found while browsing #vignamaggio on Instagram.

Villa Vignamaggio on Instagram

Instagram photos via courtperkinsfedor_sidorovitch, paolo_piccinelli and ampergram

Things to know:

  • Vignamaggio is one hour drive from Florence.
  • If you decide to rent a car, remember that, in Italy, most cars are stick shift. Only rent a vehicle that you feel comfortable driving.
  • If you are looking to spend the night in the Tuscan countryside, book your stay as early as possible to make sure you can find reasonably priced rooms. Places to stay seemed to be limited and quickly booked.

So what about you? Anybody has a great winery, restaurant or bakery that’s a must try in Tuscany? I’d love to hear!

–Alexandra