Milano Blog

These are all of the blog posts created to start off the Milano blog customized to their brand voice and directed toward a luxury audience. The three pages focus on style, travel and gift giving.

Gift Giving

A Gentleman's Guide to Valentine's Day

Guys, we know that dropping hints for Valentines Day gifts doesn't necessarily improve our chances of getting what we want. Your razor sharp minds are compartmentalized and focused. You don't have time for generalities and nuances. However, taping a picture of our favorite piece of jewelry to the mirror that you are sure to see during your morning grooming, steals the romance and mystery away. It means more to us if a little thought is put into it. 

Many guys want to buy their lady love a special piece of jewelry for Valentine's, but they are terrified of buying the wrong thing. Hopefully, our handy gift guide will help you out. If you know your lady's style, then you can easily find something she'll like. If she is a fashion chameleon and changes her look up daily, well, you're in luck. You can't go wrong picking from multiple styles!

Even better, many of these pieces are affordable and under $250, so you can still have enough left over to take her out somewhere fun!

Say, "I Care" with Cuff

My boyfriend once asked me if I wouldn't mind taking my phone with me when I took my dog for a walk at night. It wasn't so he could call or text at his convenience, but so that I could reach him in case of an emergency. 

Just because I'm the stubborn independent type or because I embrace feminism doesn't mean I need to be careless about my safety.

After all... 

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women in the U.S. were raped or sexually assaulted in 2006. That’s more than 600 women every day.

The most recent statistics gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics show that,

...women age 24 and under suffer from the highest rates of rape.

With these somber statistics in mind, giving the gift of smart technology, like CUFF, isn't to be looked at as a matter of one partner controlling another.

Smart jewelry, like CUFF, could save a life with its ability to notify friends and family in an emergency. The technology also allows the set up of text and call alerts from designated contacts. The jewelry would give her the freedom to enjoy activities without always worrying about keeping her phone directly on her person (because, let's be honest, not all outfits come with phone size pockets!). With alerts set, she can enjoy her time, but also be available to who she chooses at her convenience.

So, this Valentine’s Day, if you want to give a gift that truly says, "I care." give the gift of CUFF.

 

 

Do You Make These 4 Jewelry Cleaning Mistakes?

Jewelry is an investment. Even if a piece’s design becomes out of fashion, the gems and the metal will never go out of vogue.

Therefore, it is important to take good care of your jewelry.

Many probably think those little jars of “at home jewelry solution” or taking it to a professional, who will drop your jewelry into an ultrasonic cleaner, is the best course of action.

Unfortunately, an easily made mistake could ruin your jewelry forever.

The following are four of the most common mistakes made in jewelry cleaning and how you can avoid them.

1.     Using the wrong cleaning techniques for your particular piece.

It is important to know what your jewelry is made of.

Believe it or not, the way you clean jewelry with gemstones and/or diamonds is different than the way you clean pieces without.

Some metals even require different techniques.

For example…jewelry cleaning cloths are specifically designed to properly clean and restore the luster of specific metals like copper or gold.

A soft bristle toothbrush can also work wonders to pull out pieces of dirt or debris from hard to reach nooks and crannies.

2.     Using the wrong solution

Once again, this mistake falls under the problem of not knowing what your jewelry is made of, and it getting you into trouble. Gems with porous surfaces such as…

·       Pearls

·       Opals

·       Coral

·       Shell

·       Bone 

…will easily absorb harsh chemicals and detergents.

With these gems, a cleaning cloth and warm water are all that’s needed.

Non-porous gems like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, can be cleaned via the following techniques

-Drop your dulled diamond jewelry in a bowl of fizzing Alka-Seltzer water for about 5 minutes, then remove and wipe with a soft jewelry cleaning cloth.

- Soak in hot soapy water for about 10 minutes, then remove and clean with a soft bristled brush, and dry with a soft cloth

For plain gold or silver jewelry with no stones:

- Soak the piece of jewelry in 1/2cup warm water & 1/2 cup of ammonia(baking soda), for about 10 minutes. 
- Remove from the solution and gently wipe with a soft cloth
- Let it dry

3.      Using Ultrasonic Cleaning on the wrong Gems

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well, fine, I’ll just take it to the professionals and have them put it through an ultrasonic cleaner. That must be the best way, right?” Or perhaps you’ve bought a small ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for your home. While this may seem like the ultimate solution, just like the others, it may not work for every piece you own.

Emeralds are often oiled to give them a more lustrous look. The sound wave induced vibrations of the ultrasonic cleaner and the steam bath after will often strip the emeralds of their oil giving them a cloudy look. In addition, most porous gemstones will not fare well under this abrasive cleaning technique. Some silvers and coppers will likewise not benefit. Diamonds that have been treated in order to remove inclusions in the stone will also become damaged from the ultrasonic cleaner or high pressured steam clean. 

4.     Storing your jewelry improperly

Last but not least, storing your jewelry improperly can cause damage and prevent the pieces from remaining clean. Keep items in separate bags (cloth or plastic) and pearls should always be hung. Avoid exposure to harsh cleaning, hair or pool chemicals as well.

 

January Garnets

The color of January’s birthstone is reminiscent of December’s very popular Christmas holiday. However, the vivid red garnet is better suited for January, than the month prior. Why? The vivacious red gem was revered by ancient Egyptians as the “gem of life.”  It is believed to bring its wearer peace, prosperity and good health to their home.

The tantalizing red color of this gemstone symbolizes fire and power in mythology and was also seen as a source of protection for its wearer. It’s no surprise that this stone has been found in the graves of warriors from Rome to Sumeria as it was believed to protect against injury and demise.

More legends and history attribute victory, truth, purity, friendship, faith, and protection to the stone. In fact, the intense red stone has been, at times called the “Gem of Faith.” Furthermore, January’s birthstone is said to provide awareness, commitment, insight, regeneration, and counteracting black magic, negative forces and dark energies.

Seeing how January is the first month of the New Year, the protective power of the garnet is a much welcome talisman.

 

Squeal Worthy Gifts For Your Flower Girl

I’ve only been the flower girl at a wedding once when I was little, but the significance of the event at the time was not lost on me. I felt pretty important. Not only did I get to wear a beautiful dress and feel like a princess for a day, but I also got to sprinkle rose petals on the aisle for the bride. Since the flower girl is often the opener of the wedding, most brides probably don’t realize what a big deal this is! After all, they have enough on their minds.

So, what do you give your sweet little helper? Here are five gift ideas that are guaranteed to be squeal and giggle worthy.

Make-up Bag

As she watches you and your bridesmaids get ready, help her get in on the fun. Don't just give her kiddy make up, but the sample sizes of the adult stuff. The tiny sizes are perfect for little fingers, but just enough to make her feel like one of the adults.

Monogrammed Robe

You have your "Bride-to-be" robe or jacket, why not get her one too, but with her title? Make it extra special by adding her name!

Polaroid Camera

Let her know that even though there may be a professional photographer around, you are equally excited about whatever moments she captures. The instant process of the camera will be sure to up the silliness fun!

Snack & Play bag

This can be customized to any age. Hand her a cute tote bag with activity books, games, and snacks that are more kid friendly than what may be available.

Jewelry

No matter what age your flower girl is, she will always appreciate a bit of sparkle like these cute stud earrings and animal inspired necklaces. Here at Milano Jewelry, we have plenty to choose from!

 

 

The Complexities of a December Birthday

Anyone with a December birthday knows that this very busy holiday month is the worst. Did you know that from the 1st of November until the 15th of January, there are approximately 29 different holidays celebrated? Wow! Now try adding your birthday to the mix.

Most December birthdays get shorted in the gift department with family and friends sheepishly admitting, “This is your birthday and [insert holiday here] present!” Well, that’s no fun!

So, if you have a December birthday to buy for, give them the ultimate all-in-one gift. One that surpasses all holidays. Buy them their birthstone in a stunning setting, offset by dazzling gems.

Even if your recipient doesn’t have a December birthday, its birthstone, blue topaz, makes an excellent gift for a variety of fun reasons. For instance, did you know that blue topaz is called “the lover of gold” and brings the wearer wealth and money? Or that it can relieve stress by stimulating a brighter life outlook for its wearer? What a perfect gift for one of the most stressful months of the year!

Know someone who loves to travel? Blue topaz is said to protect those stricken with wanderlust from homesickness and danger. What if they are an artist or creative type? Blue topaz increases one’s intuition and appreciation of beauty.  The increased awareness allows the wearer to see the big picture and how it relates to the minute detail needed to create a work of art.

All in all, the blue topaz gemstone will surely impress your friend or loved one. Check out our collection, now!

 

Are You a Pick-Pocket's Dream?

Many of our stores are in cruise port locations and when traveling “cruise style” individuals have more down time than if they were traveling by air or train.

So many parts of your trip are taken care of for you. You aren’t schlepping from restaurant to boutique, to tourist attraction, or public transportation every day of your trip.

Most of your meals, drinks and activities are planned and prepared for you. When you get to port you have more opportunities to roam, but when relaxing on a cruise ship, you are allowed to let go a little more.

Most travelers, when sightseeing in an unfamiliar country, don’t bring along expensive jewelry, but many bring expensive electronics for staying in touch and taking photos. When you’re away from home, travel vouchers, credit cards and cash are usually always on hand, making you a pickpocket’s dream.

The extra downtime afforded by cruise travelers also may mean they feel relaxed and comfortable enough to bring more expensive jewelry, to wear during fine dining experiences and evening deck strolls.

No matter how you travel, here are some tips to keep your valuables safe.

1.      Hey is that Kim Kardashian?

This is an old, but very effective technique that works in crowded locations. A group of thieves will cause a commotion, either a fight, or a fall, or a spill that will cause others to look away from their belongings, allowing their comrades to pull items from unsuspecting individuals. Another technique of distraction is to start yelling that there is a pickpocket or thief in the area. Women will instinctively touch the jewelry on their person in order of value and men will do the same with their pockets. Since a man’s suit can easily have up to ten pockets, the thieves now know what areas to target first.

Women: If you want to check your belongings, quickly search your area to ensure you haven’t dropped anything, without touching your person. Go to a secluded place, like a bathroom, away from the crowd if you want to physically check the items.

Men: If you are carrying cash, split the denominations up into several pockets. If you are carrying $100 in cash, and have five or six pockets, put a $20 in each. That way, if a pickpocket manages to pull one pocket, they will only get $20, instead of the full $100.

Both: When it comes to cards, cash, or IDs, keep these in a money belt. This secure elastic holder fits under you clothes.

2.      Grab and Run.

Many thieves will look for the easy opportunity. If you are getting on a crowded bus or train, or sitting in a restaurant, not having your pockets or handbag secure can cost you. Thieves can take off with a bag or slit the pocket of your pants and run off the moving vehicle or leave the restaurant before you can.

Ladies: Make sure your handbag has a flap that covers the main opening or a zipper.

Never leave your handbag hanging on the back of your chair or next to you. Keep it in your lap or between your feet.

Don’t ever leave your purse in a shopping cart.

Always know where your credit card is. When done using it, put it back in your wallet or purse, never a pocket.

Men: tie a thick rubber band around your wallet. Making it harder to steal.

If you are in an airport, and want to take a siesta while on a lay-over, attach your luggage to you or keep it between, or under your feet. No thief will want to risk you waking up and catching them in the act.

The most important thing to remember is that nothing will guarantee that you won’t be a victim, but being aware and taking cautious measures will ensure that you are harder to steal from. Thieves want the easiest target and steal, if you make things more difficult for them, they’ll move on to the next target.

 

Sources:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/theft-scams/outsmarting-pickpockets

http://www.pickpocket.com/Pickpocket-Prevention-Tips.asp

 

5 Ways to Pack Light For a Cruise

One of the many advantages of taking a cruise is not needing to schlep your suitcases from destination to destination, hotel to hotel. Your belongings can stay in one location during your entire trip rather than being dragged on and off trains, buses and in and out of taxi cabs.

What a relief!

So, packing for a cruise must be the easiest traveling task in the world, right?

…well…not so much…

Cruise packing comes with its own difficulties that may tempt you to over-pack. Since you are most likely going to be taking a flight to the cruise port and back home, the last thing you want to do is to have a check-in bag that could get lost or damaged.

Here are 5 quick tips to ensure you pack lite, pack everything you will need, and enjoy your trip worry free.

Multiple Climates

Even if all of your ports are tropical locations, packing only tank tops, bathing suits and shorts will not be enough. Sea towns can be unexpectedly chilly when a strong wind rolls through, you never know how cool the evenings will get and dining halls aboard ships are notorious for cranking up the A/C.

·       Pack thin layers

·       One or two sweaters/fleeces can be worn multiple times

·       Onboard laundry may not always be available and if it is, it can be costly. Bring either a travel size bottle of Febreeze to refresh your garments, or a small bottle of detergent that you can use to wash your clothes in your cabin shower.

·       Make sure you have adequate shoes for walking or hiking. Flip-flops will not always be enough.

Dress Codes

Many cruises have formal dinner options, and while not everyone gets decked out in full tux or formal gowns, it is an option. Some cruises provide tux rentals, but most dress codes allow more casual options that make room for cocktail or resort wear.

·       Men don’t always need a jacket or tie, but a collared shirt and slack will do (look for those made in non-wrinkled materials, like Docker’s brand.)

·       If multiple formal nights are available that you want to attend, accessories are the easiest way to make an outfit go a long way. Jewelry, scarves, and shoes, and different ties for men are smaller to pack.

·       Women should opt for a little black dress or a dress in a solid color that can easily be accessorized.

Depending on the countries you are traveling to, pay attention to the culture there. Certain dress codes may prevent you from enjoying all there is, if you are unprepared. In Muslim countries, women are often required to cover their heads and shoulders. In most European countries, the dress code is often fancy, where jeans and sneakers are not allowed and men need a suit-jacket or blazer.

Some onboard activities may also have certain clothing requirements like socks for trampoline or other bounce related activities. Athletic shoes may be required for certain sport related activities. Check your cruise line for these requirements and come prepared. These items can often be purchased onboard but for a much inflated price.

Emergencies

Speaking of buying items onboard at an inflated price, be very detailed about the travel size toiletries you bring.

·       Can your shampoo and body-wash be one and the same?

·       Do you have an extra memory card for your electronics?

·       Do you have plug in strips so everything can charge when needed?

·       If you need to use a hair-drier, most cruises have very weak ones in the cabins or none at all.

·       Make sure you bring band-aids, ointments (for cuts, bites, and burns), sunscreen, and painkillers (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.). Women should bring feminine napkins, just in case.

 Souvenirs

As with any trip, you are definitely going to want to bring something back, but if you are already attempting to pack lite, you may be worried that you won’t have enough room.

Never fear!

Here’s a solution!

Back a foldable duffle or bag. Many come neatly packaged in their own satchels and you can most likely fit several in your bag. Just remember, that once filled, those will be extra bags you’ll need to carry.

Documents & Precious Items

These won’t take up much room, but are extremely important. Keep them on you and easily accessible at all times. Carry a money belt with you, instead of a wallet or purse to put passports, ID, immunization records, insurance cards, and any other valuables you don’t want lost or stolen. Pick-pockets can spot a tourist away. Also, depending on where you are traveling, check the rules on all destinations and ports. You never know what documentation may be required to enter or rent things in town (for instance, if you wanted to rent a bike to cover more ground at a specific port.)

 

 

Style

New Year Style 2016!

Winter 2016 has started off unseasonably warm across the nation in many places. While many may lament the the odd temperatures, we say, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Why not embrace warmer temps with a look that will easily transition you into spring when the time comes?

Slouchy boy-friend jeans will help us feel comfortable as we work through our holiday indulgences and back into our bikini-ready bodies while this light cardigan with adjustable sleeves will keep us warm, but not too hot. Worried about appearing too slouchy? Balance things out with a cute fitted white tank or tee underneath. 

Best, yet, these grey wedge booties will satisfy your winter boot yearnings while still keeping you cool.

Then there's the jewelry...

White diamond stud earrings and Chyrsalis stackable bangles are a fun way to keep your look elegant and fun.

Best of all is the techwear from Cuff.

Want to control how and when you are reached?

What about emergencies?

Cuff jewelry puts you in control and allows you to keep your phone in your handbag or somewhere unobtrusive while you enjoy your time hands free and worry free.

Only be alerted to texts and phone calls of your choosing.

Notify authorities and family with a press of a button in emergencies.

...and..

Coming this year...

Keep track of your health data too! Set Goals. Count Steps. Measure Calories!

 

Winter Trend Report

As adults we often get fewer gifts under the tree or around the menorah to unwrap, and more cards and cold hard cash. While the lack of personalization can, at times, be disappointing, we at least have the pleasure of catching those “after holiday” deals and buying pieces we actually want. Additionally, depending upon where you live, you may have another 4-5 months of winter weather ahead of you. So, with money and gift cards burning a hole in your pocket book, what’s a girl to do? Here are a few trend ideas pulled from the 2015 Fall/Winter runways.

The lace trend is still going strong, but the mood has turned dark and enchanting. Designers like Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, Altuzzarra, Valentino, and Alice + Olivia played with black lace, high necklines, even higher slits, puffed sleeves, and ruffled silhouettes. The Victorian concept of demure conservatism was turned on its ear by the unlined lace and the body hugging seams. Milano’s 0.50 ctw Brilliant Diamond Drop Earrings in 14K white gold compliment the ardent, yet coy nature of the Neo-Victorian look.

This is one of those “essential” trends much like the statement boot, black pump, and white blouse. Every woman should have a pantsuit in her closet.  Of course, if you can get a bespoke one, even better. The trouble is that most bespoke tailors don’t study the female form and aren’t adept at creating those one of a kind pieces that move with us and hide our perceived “flaws”. Fortunately, designers like Chloe, Sonia Rykiel, and Stella McCartney are adept at draping the female form. They know how to take a typically masculine piece and still keep the lines soft and feminine. Another easy way to remain chic in a style mostly geared toward men is to wear jewelry with sensual curves like these Milano pieces.

Designers further evolved the statement coat trend of last year by adding length. Who wouldn’t love an extra layer of warmth around the legs? Especially if one is wearing a dress or skirt. Calvin Klein, Chanel and Dries Van Noten were the perfect structural designers to embrace this trend. Just like these design houses, who value clean lines and exquisitely simple silhouettes, Milano’s 4.74 ctw. Sterling Silver Pearl & Diamond Pendant creates a statement of class.