Aromas from the kitchen, scent from the boudoir, flowers from the garden: fragrances everywhere....As a baker girl/chef, it is no surprise that I am seduced by scent. In addition to working with fragrance and flavors in the bakery and kitchen, I also dabble in candle making, personal and custom perfumes, and hand milled soaps as well as home fashioned incense and potpourri. I am happy to share what I also sleuth out in the way of the best in special and unique scents (in toiletries, perfumes, aromatherapy oils, soaps, cosmetics, and incense) for my BetterBaking.com visitors. Sometimes, I stray to related niceties, such as books on the subject, or chimes, and other softer-side-of-lifestyle products. Here is where you will my reviews and special discoveries on scent, perfumes, soaps, candles, home fragrance, cosmetics, even men's scents, and sometimes a recipe or two for potpourri, homemade cologne, vanilla or lavender sleep pillows. Scent of a Baker is an oasis for your senses. You can also check out more of my fragrance reviews at http://www.mistressofscents.com/
I am not a jewelry gal per se but I do love hearts anytime, especially around February when Valentine's Day reminds me about hearts and pretty things such as classic gold Cupid's stuff. Who wouldn’t? Ordering jewelry online is convenient but a few rounds of Ebay taught me it is best to stay with jewelers who were jewelers before the Internet came around, offer return and exchange policies, great pricing, superb quality products, customer service, honesty, and a broad range of heart and otherwise sentimental gold and silver jewelry for Valentine’s Day. I interviewed many retailers online and on the phone and saw (and returned!) a lot of product and narrowed things down to two companies profiled below.
Gold is still in, as always, white gold is a new trend. White gold, while not inexpensive, offers a beautiful silver finish that doesn’t tarnish, although most silver is treated in such a way that it does not tarnish either. Silver generally just needs a bit of buffing). Speaking of which, silver is becoming more popular in the last year, offering a modest look in hearts, especially, Hearts should be easy to find but most of us have a definite idea of exactly what we want (to give or receive or indulge in for ourselves). Here are two companies I researched (among tons of others that don’t return, or respond, or exchange, have non competitive prices – i.e. these are the two that I can personally recommend and endorse). I have seen (and reluctantly returned!) their products and found them 1000% nicer than they look in online photos and also felt reassured by the prompt attention by experienced vendors and jewelers (i.e they are accustomed to being in retail businesses and know their field). There is also a great, little but new and neat company Oella Jewelry that offers custom silver (see more below).Aside from hearts, in silver and gold, the other big trend is classic oval pendants and lockets and silver dog-tag heart chain necklaces (a la Tiffany’s style – Heartsmith offers them at the best price for best quality).
http://heartsmith.com/ http://heartsmith.com/ Lauren Bradford of www.Heartsmith.com comes from generations of family jewelers that just ‘knows’ hearts like no one else online. Heartsmith is a collection of some of the nicest pieces at best prices, also displayed in the most accurate, wonderfully viewable way online. Nothing is more frustrating that not being able to see the details of jewelry online and Heartsmith has about the best site, in terms of design and product resolution for this. Coincidentally, and happily, they also offer just about the most aesthetic collection of hearts, pendants in designs both classic and contemporary you are likely to find. We recommend a few items from Heartsmith that we viewed in the last month. Having seen some product from other dealers, the difference in quality in Heartsmith (and accuracy between photo online and actual product) is incomparable. Prices are extremely competitive too and for a limited time, shipping, for BetterBaking.com customers, is free. Take a look at the BB front page to see the Darla Heart pendant it its full glory.
Their classic Darla 4-photo heart locket is gorgeous and would suit almost anyone, or you can opt for the Amelia, Doris, or Riley. (Many of the gold hearts are also available in silver, if you prefer). The Charles Green line of luxury lockets are another level of heirloom pieces and the line of vintage or Victorian period lockets and hearts, including gorgeous pieces such as Diana, Juliet, Celeste, and Elizabeth (just stunning). The Matilda, oval, silver locket is for the young at heart or when you want a classic silver, oval locket. If you are going all out and want pure, classic indulgence in a classic gold, oval locket, then look no further than the Julia.
Heartsmith also offers two other hot trends – a pink glass Murano Heart Pendant called Juliana, and the Valentine’s Day 2007 hot ticket also includes the Tiffany-inspired silver dog tag necklace, both viewable on http://www.heartsmith.com/pd_pendants.html.
Most of Heartsmith pieces come on a chain (no need to purchase anything else; pieces are complete) and a special jewelry dusting cloth. If you need help deciding, their customer service is more than attentive. www.heartsmith.com.