The Most Difficult Story I Have Ever Told.



Update- Monday April 27, 2015.

I was hoping I would get a few more years before I would have to write this, alas God had other plans.

I had the distinct priviledge of witnessing my brother take his final breath on Thursday, April 23rd, at 11:45 pm.

After our family trip to Gatlinburg, he seemed to be feeling worse. I made the decision to come and stay with my family and visit with him on April 17th. When I arrived  it was obvious he wasn’t well, but I still felt hope.

As the days went by, the difference day to day was astounding, and soul crushing.  He hadn’t eaten in in two weeks because of a neck tumor blocking his esophagus. Drinking was difficult for the same reason. He would take sips, which would result in very painful coughing fits that would sometimes last several minutes.

He was always thirsty, always in pain. He didn’t feel hungry, that urge had left him weeks ago.

Many family members and friends came, and showered him with love. My sisters laid by his side, rubbing his feet and legs. Helping him drink, wiping his face. We spent hours watching “Dirty Jobs,” because that what he wanted. ( I really didn’t mind, since I have a bit of a crush on Mike Rowe.)

Except to bathe and eat, my mom rarely left his side. The entire week, I can count the number of times she left him on one hand. She was his constant companion. She was his giver of pain relief in the form of medicine, the giver of love in the form of leg massages and quiet words. When she wept, she wept quietly so he couldn’t hear. I have never seen so much capacity to love.

On that night, she was completely spent. I was asked to stay with my Aunt, who was also giving her precious time and love to help my mom. The plan was to let my mom sleep in an adjoining room, and my Aunt and I would stay in the room with Justin. My brother was very attached to my mom, there were many times he called out for her, and she wanted to be close in case he needed her.

I arrived to Justin’s house around 10:30. I had spent a few hours with my Dad. We watched “Hot Fuzz” and laughed and laughed. The previous afternoon had been very stressful, so I took a break. I think it prepared me for what was to come.

My Dad dropped me off and went back home. We began getting settled in for bed. My Aunt Joy gave him a dose of his medicine, but he was still restless. I was laying on the bed next to him, thinking to myself…

My Brother isn’t going to be with us when I wake up in the morning…

Aunt Joy got down on her knees at the foot of the bed, and prayed, for what seemed like a very long time. I felt no comfort in this. I wish I did, but I just didn’t.

Aunt Joy laid on the floor next to the bed. We had started out sharing the bed, but she told me she wanted me to sleep next to “your baby brother.”

I laid next to him for a few more minutes. Watching him grimace in pain. I asked him if he needed anything.

He said he was thirsty.

I asked him what he wanted.

He said it didn’t matter.

I was dreading giving him that drink, because everytime he drank, he coughed, and it hurt him. I hated watching him cough and choke. I hated watching him in pain, but there was no hesitation. I got out of bed, and I grabbed a bottle of 7-up that was sitting on the shelf.

I went over to him, and gave him a towel, that he put down on his chest. This was his routine, because he would dribble whatever he was drinking due to his Bells Palsy.

I opened his drink, and handed it to him. He hesitated for a second, so he could get his strength to lift the bottle.

He took a drink of the 7-Up, and handed the bottle back to me.

He didn’t choke. He didn’t cough.

He laid back, relaxed and I watched his eyes open wide. He was looking at something. Intently.

Then I realized.

He was gone.

It was almost instant. It was almost as if he was waiting for that last drink.

My brother, who had been talking to me, moving around, and put his own towel down on this chest only seconds before, was gone.

The next few minutes were a blur. I grabbed my Aunt, I grabbed my Mom, I grabbed my sister in-law who was asleep on the couch.

I made a phone call to my sobbing sister. I called my husband and I couldn’t even speak.

At one point I collapsed onto the floor, because my legs wouldn’t hold me.

Family came. Friends came. Everyone he loved was with him until the funeral home came and took him.

I am crushed. My heart feels a void that can never be filled. I feel immense guilt for being the one who was with him when he passed. I feel such priviledge for being the one who was with him when he passed. I feel like I robbed my parents of a moment that should have been theirs.

The thing I feel the most?

I wasn’t ready.hands





Beauty Blog Coalition Roundup!


Breast Cancer Awareness Month & Chloe and Isabel- Our Mission to Help.

I recently started working with Chloe and Isabel, a fashion jewelry company. I haven’t said much about it, because I wasn’t sure it if was appropriate, or if you guys would be interested, but I felt now was the perfect time.

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to share what Chloe and Isabel is doing  help with this dreaded disease.

Chloe and Isabel has chosen a selection of pieces, that upon being sold, 10% of the proceeds go to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

“SPARKLE FOR A CAUSE: To promote Breast Cancer Awareness this October, 10% of proceeds from the sale of this style will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing help + inspiring hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, + support services.”


Here are the pieces we are featuring for the month:

(click photos to enlarge)

Gardenia Convertible Pendant Necklace – $48

Meet your new daily dose of sparkle: this two-in-one convertible can be worn as individual pendants or layered perfectly together! Everything is rosy with a soft, shimmering blend of golden + light peach crystal paired with worn 12k gold plating + rose gold accents. Centered by ultra-chic semi-precious pale pink jade, this oh-so-versatile style offers a breath of fresh air for Spring (+ beyond!).N314

  • antique gold, worn 12k gold + worn rose gold-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 16″ + 18″ approx. lengths + 2″ extender
  • lobster clasp
  • semi-precious pale pink jade, golden shadow Swarovski crystal, light peach crystal.

Gardenia Stud Duo Earrings $34

Amp up your stud routine this season with a set of two pretty pairs. Blooming with c+i style, this perfectly matched dynamic duo features a shimmering array of golden + light peach crystal, antique + of-the-moment rose gold plating, + an ultra-chic touch of semi-precious pale pink jade.E272



  • antique gold + worn rose gold-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 0.65″ + 0.5″ approx. widths
  • stainless steel post
  • semi-precious pale pink jade, golden shadow glass, light peach crystal
  • set of 2 earring pairs

Gardenia Collar Necklace- $52

  • It’s love at first blush! Unique, abstract florals blossom with sparkling golden + light peach crystals in this captivating collar necklace. Centered by an oh-so-chic touch of semi-precious pale pink jade, a luxe mix of worn 12k gold + of-the-moment rose gold plating perfectly plays up any look for those casual-to-cocktail days.N312

    • antique gold, worn 12k gold + worn rose gold-plated
    • nickel-free plating
    • 16″ approx. length + 2″ extender
    • lobster clasp
    • semi-precious pale pink jade, golden shadow Swarovski crystal, light peach crystal

Gardenia Toggle Bracelet $48

A must-have for your wrist-list, this eye-catching toggle bracelet features an alluring array of semi-precious pale pink jade + sparkling golden + light peach crystal. A lush floral motif combined with modern geometric stones offers a feminine-meets-edgy vibe. Style Tip: Perfectly play up a neutral color palette with this blushing beauty!B256-1

  • antique gold-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 6.75″ – 7.75″ approx. length
  • toggle closure
  • semi-precious pale pink jade, golden shadow glass, light peach crystal.

Gardenia Statement Necklace $138

  • In this blushing beauty, a soft palette of semi-precious pale pink jade meets lush abstract florals that blossom with sparkling golden + light peach crystals. A head-turning statement-maker like none other, a light-catching mix of antique gold + worn 12k gold plating adds a coveted look-of-luxe to any look – from the laid-back to the beaming bridal! A perfect desk-to-dinner companion, this convertible lets you style it your way by swapping out the handmade chain for an ivory silk cord.N313

    • antique gold + worn 12k gold-plated
    • nickel-free plating
    • 18″ approx. length with rope back option, 16″ approx. length with chain back option, 2″ extender
    • lobster clasp
    • semi-precious pale pink jade, golden shadow glass, light peach crystal, ivory silk cord

Gardenia Drop Earrings $32

In these fresh + floral drops, a luxe layering of romantic rose gold + antique gold plating opens to a sparkling gilded center. With an easy-to-wear lever back, these blossoming beauties lend an air of elegant romance, just what you need for Spring + beyond!

  • antique gold + worn rose gold-platedE273
  • nickel-free plating
  • 0.75″ approx. width
  • lever back
  • golden shadow Swarovski crystal

Bead and Wrap Multi-Chain Bracelet– $45

Everything is just rosy with this twist on our favorite multi-wrap, now featuring semi-precious pale pink jade. Rose + ivory threading, paired with shimmering sand opal + light topaz glass beads, make this just the bracelet to wrap up any look. Button closure + a trio of thread loops allow for an adjustable fit.B079PH

  • antique gold + worn rose gold-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 27.5″ – 29″ adjustable length
  • button closure
  • semi-precious pale pink jade, sand opal + light topaz glass, rose + ivory thread

Retro Glam Square Cut Crystal Earrings $28

Making their debut in of-the-moment blush, these recolors of our bestselling crystal stunners are remarkably versatile, pairing perfectly with both your work + weekend wardrobes! Don’t be afraid to go Retro Glam in these classic blush drops, made-to-match with our perfectly-pink Cushion-Cut Cocktail Ring, Retro Glam Square-Cut Crystal Bracelet, + Retro Glam Square-Cut Crystal Necklace.E182PI

  • antique brass-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 1″ approx. drop length
  • french wire
  • blush glass

Retro Glam Square Cut Crystal Bracelet $48

Making its debut in of-the-moment blush, this recolor of our bestselling crystal bracelet is remarkably versatile, pairing perfectly with both your work + weekend wardrobes! Don’t be afraid to go Retro Glam in this blush crystal classic, made-to-match with our perfectly-pink Cushion-Cut Cocktail Ring, Retro Glam Square-Cut Crystal Earrings, + Retro Glam Square-Cut Crystal Necklace.B179CL

  • antique brass-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 6.75″ – 7.75″ approx. length
  • toggle closure
  • blush glass

Retro Glam Square Cut Crystal Necklace $58

A blush pink essential that’s divinely sophisticated. Wear this short and sweet necklace every day for a peek of subtle color in a classic design. Glass cushion cut stones lay against the neck in antique brass-plated settings and sleek cable chain.N010PI_KO_color_revised_to_blush

  • antique brass-plated
  • nickel-free
  • 18″ approx. length
  • lobster clasp with 2″ extender and c+i bird logo tag
  • blush pink glass

Cushion Cut Cocktail Ring $42

This striking cushion-cut oversized ring makes a colorful statement in blush glass and antique brass-plating. Available in size 6, 7, + 8.R047P


  • antique brass-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • sizes 6, 7 + 8
  • blush glass

Multi- Strand Signature Torsade Necklace $188

This showstopper torsade is a fresh take on a c + i classic. A chic mix of twisted antique brass-plated vintage chains woven through strands of rosary-linked glass pearls, oval and cushion cut glass stones, and white opal glass beads make for a retro-glam-slam.N011PI

  • antique brass-plated
  • nickel-free
  • 16″ approx. length + 3″ extender
  • lobster clasp
  • white opal + glass pearl, faded rose + black diamond crystal

Minaret Light Rose Earrings $34

Everything is rosy with these dazzling drops, featuring a light rose center that’s faceted for extra sparkle + shine. Complete with luxe worn 12k gold plating, this pretty pair adds the perfect touch of effortless elegance to both casual days + glamorous evenings!E224SQ

  • worn 12k gold-plated
  • nickel-free plating
  • 1.5″ approx. drop length
  • french wire
  • light rose glass

Jardins De Midi Eau De Parfum $58

Discover Jardins du Midi, a fragrance inspired by a midday, sunlit walk through the lush orchards of the South of France.

Notes: Peach Nectar, Bergamot, Jasmine Sambac, White Violet, Vanilla Absolute.

Style: Playful, bright, fresh, feminine, floral.F001

  • 3.4 FL. OZ. 100 ml
  • Eau de Parfum

I am so excited and proud of what Chloe and Isabel are doing to help! There are pieces at price points for everyone, and the quality of their products are second to none. They offer free shipping on orders $100 or over, have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, (if you don’t like a piece, send it back!) OR they have a LIFETIME guarantee against breakage. Their customer service is amazing too!


If you are interested in any of these “Sparkle For The Cause” items, you can click on this link:

(look for the breast cancer ribbon on the photo of the item)

*disclaimer* This link goes directly to my boutique, and I do get credit for any purchases that are made.


What do you think about these pieces? Has anyone in your life been affected by this disease? Sound off below.



Tombox- Review

You may have seen my review of Tombox last month. It’s a fun monthly service geared towards making your “time of the month” more pleasant.


“Each period cycle we send you necessary supplies as well as jewelry and makeup. Choose from name brand tampons and pads, tell us your skin type and fashion type and we will customize your jewelry and makeup to your wants.

Each month our personal shoppers find the best jewelry pieces and name brand makeup to match your needs, those items along with your tampons or pads of choice are then expertly packaged and shipped via USPS to your front door.

We also offer options to add to your box. Choose Venus razor blade refill cartridges and/or double the jewelry and makeup each month.

Start customizing your TOM box now. Click here to subscribe was started in May 2013 so women can feel beautiful. Our flagship product is the tombox which stands for Time of the Month Box.  Our tombox arrives every 28 days and is packed with essentials for that time of the month plus makeup, beauty and jewelry items and a sweet treat.”




This month I got a pack of my favorite sanitary napkins, makeup and a couple cute pieces of jewelry. Lets check it out!11830187_444942672351932_1246302076_nYou can see I received a gorgeous pink blush, pink frosty gloss and a darker pink nail polish. The swatched beautifully and are so pretty!11798375_444942639018602_382455144_nI also received a sample of a skin serum and a perfume. The perfume wasn’t exactly my style, but I know I can pass it on to someone who will love it!11830341_444942682351931_1335130847_nI received a pack of my favorite pads, makeup remover wipes and a makeup brush.

11749581_444942652351934_1466463269_nI also got these cute little starfish earrings! I passed them along to a friends daughter who is obsessed with the little mermaid. She LOVED them!


Overall I thought this box was just as good as last months. I love getting lots of makeup. I won’t lie though, I would LOVE to get some chocolate!


Interested in joining?

What’s Your Las Vegas Style?


There are a few cities I haven’t visited yet, that are definitely on my bucket list. Las Vegas Nevada is one of them.  When I think of Las Vegas,  I think of Glitz and Glam. I think of bright lights, movie stars, cool ocean breezes and the sound of the roulette wheel as it spins… I can almost hear the shouts of excitement over wins, and the groans of loss at the casinos.

When I think of Las Vegas Fashion, so many things come to mind. I am not a terribly flashy dresser, I like to be comfortable and still look cute. I think the looks that I am sharing accomplish that!

I checked out the Vegas Resorts and chose a few restaurants, resorts and nightclubs, and this is what I see myself sporting around town!


(Click on the links for more information on the establishments. You can also click to enlarge the photos.)

The California

This outfit SCREAMS California casual to me. A cozy sweater layered over an oxford shirt, jeans, a clutch and booties. Casual, cute and dressed up by the accessories!




Buffalo Bill’s

This resort looks like a BLAST! The outfit and accessories are just perfect to me. The cute flouncy dress, the cowboy boots, and the gorgeous gems to go with it. A look that is comfortable, yet very cute. This makes me want to invest in some boots!



The Roof

So how about an outfit for a night on the town? Jewel toned cami and olive green cardigan. The brown boots add a touch of country flair. The accessories bring everything together and dress the whole thing up! So much beautiful bling!



Le Fleur at Mandalay Bay

When you’re winding up your stay, what better thing to do than go and have brunch? This outfit SCREAMS brunch casual but also looks polished. The chambray shirt and the white cami really pop against the dark jeans, and check out those shoes! I love leopard/cheetah print everything, and these shoes are nothing less than fabulous. The jewelry adds the right touch to the whole outfit. The bracelet adds a rough edge while the other pieces add extra sparkle, and hints of color. Just beautiful!


11995634_458327247680141_753009912_nWhat do you think of the ensembles I have shown you? Would you wear these? I would love to hear your comments!


P.S. You can find all this jewelry, and more on my Chloe and Isabel website.

Monthly Sub Monday- Your Bijoux Box

*I recieved this in exchange for review. My opinion is my own.*

My Bijoux Box has been so much fun for me to recieve over the past few months. I have recieved some beautiful pieces, some simple, some ornate, and all beautiful.


This month’s box was a little different. All of the pieces are fair trade, and a a matching set. They are really quite pretty.11349104_459022650943934_439270203_n



“This September we are channeling red autumn leaves with our first coordinating fair trade trio. These handmade luxe pieces are 18k gold overlay with Czech crystals that subtly chnge hue when touched by light. Wear them as a coordinating trio, a pair or individually- depending on your personal style.


At the office-pair with a navy shift dress and chic nude heels. For a night on the town- stack the bangle and create a statement making arm party. Weekend errands- wear one or two pieces with distressed denim and sporty sneakers.”11349104_459022650943934_439270203_n
This bracelet is super lightweight and I love the style. You could totally stack several of these and they wouldn’t weigh your wrist down at all. The red crystals have a nice subtle irridesense. Very pretty.11823804_459022154277317_612366475_nThe earrings are very cute too. Super lightweight, and remind me of a leaf with a red dew drop dripping off of it. The gold piece is slightly textured. Comfortable to wear and dangle perfectly.

11994487_459022057610660_94951913_nThe necklace is super cool! The crystal is bigger, and the gold component is smaller and a bit more textured. The chain is around 20 inches long, so it will show over most shirts. It is delicate, yet makes a statement with the irridescent red. Just beautiful, and very organic looking.


I really enjoyed this box! I felt like it was totally different from past ones, and offered us a nice example of what fair trade jewelry can look like. I really hope we get to see some more of this!


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