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The only Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the country is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and it’s a must-visit!

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win a beautiful black pearl necklace from avalon pearls!

Avalon PearlsDon’t you love this single black pearl pendant?

When Avalon Pearls invited me to choose a piece from their amazing selection to review and give away, I asked my mom which one she liked best. Always one to think outside the box, she chose the black pearl.

So, happy birthday, Mom! And happy day for one of you! [Read more…]

i want every bracelet from kate&karen unique beaded jewelry!

I discovered kate&karen unique beaded jewelry through one of my Facebook friends, and quickly befriended Kate Willinger Manfredi who creates the stunning pieces with her sister, Karen Willinger Leigh. What I love about their jewelry is that these pieces work as well with jeans as they do with a little black dress. Check them out and start making your wish list. Remember that Mother’s Day is coming up!

I can’t wait to meet Kate — who is warm, smart and hilarious — in person but, meanwhile, here’s a little of our online conversation.

Kate, your jewelry is gorgeous and I’ve been drooling over every piece. It seems like you must have been doing this your whole life – but you haven’t! What made you decide to finally take the leap?

My sister and partner, Karen, and I used to make the most fabulous beaded necklaces many, many years ago. Karen has been creative her whole life – starting with metalsmithing silver jewelry as a teen-ager and then going on to study at the New York School of Interior Design and become an Interior Designer with her own business. I’ve spent my life from age 17 until two years ago as a professional actress and singer, which gave me access to all kinds of creativity. I had been making beaded necklaces a few years ago, and then got into scrapbooking, so I was always creating something. [Read more…]