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Holiday proposal goes “Hauntingly Well” at Disney World December 7, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Engagement Rings, Destination Proposals, Engagement Rings, Holiday Proposals, Proposing Marriage, Romantic Tips , add a comment

Dear Christy,

As promised, I am writing to share the news of the big night! It was a bit of a hassle because we had some time to kill between our dinner reservation and the proposal time…which was to be 6:26pm, in honor of my favorite Disney Character, Stitch (Experiment 626). We knew we wouldn’t want a wedding on 6/26 because that would be too hot, so I had to settle for time =). We got there, killed some time, I made up some lame excuse about the Holiday Haunted Mansion revealing an “exclusive” decoration inside at 6:30pm every night up until Christmas, so that kept us out of the lines. I asked to have our picture taken underneath Sandy Claws at the entrance, and she agreed, and then I turned to her and started quoting the famous line between Jack and Sally from the actual movie (My dearest friend, if you don’t mind, I’d like to join you by your side, where we can gaze into the stars and sit together….*drop to a knee* Now and Forever). It was a really special moment…Everything fell perfectly into my plan, any other night because of the crowds it couldn’t have happened. So I’ve included a few pictures which include the last picture we ever took as boyfriend/girlfriend that stood for the reason to get into the position I wanted for the proposal, the actual proposal, and her immediate reaction when she realized everything was for real and she started crying immensely, leaving her face contorted and in an “unflattering” pose to her, haha. Thanks again for everything, the ring is wonderful and she loves it! Getting so many positive responses from everyone when they see it, it’s amazing.

Best Regards,

Newly Engaged Christopher

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Holidays are a Perfect Time to Get Engaged! December 1, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Buying Diamonds, Buying Engagement Rings, Buying Jewelry, Canadian Diamonds, Diamond Jewelry, Diamonds, Eco-Friendly Jewerly, Engagement Rings, Holiday Proposals, Proposing Marriage , add a comment

The holidays are a perfect time for couples to get engaged. Usually, the holiday season brings visits from far away relatives and friends and they present a great opportunity to share the happiness of being newly engaged and to show off the engagement ring!

 This season some celebrity couples have jumped on the holiday engagement bandwagon. Prince William and Kate Middleton kicked off the season followed by Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson. Much has been made about the Jessica and Nick engagements following one another so closely but I say so what. Let’s all try and play nice and wish them both some happiness. Poor Jessica has been under the microscope with every relationship she has had since the break up with Nick.  If she has found some happiness with Eric, that is great news!  I just can’t stand these nasty bloggers who seem to enjoy watching other people suffer. By the way how do they know who paid for the engagement ring and why do they care?

The holidays are supposed to be about good will so celebrating a happy occasion like getting engaged is a perfect fit. If you are planning on getting engaged this holiday season be sure to leave plenty of time to order the engagement ring and eliminate any stress involved with such an important purchase. Be sure to read up on choosing the right engagement ring settings and picking a perfect diamond.  Once you have done all your homework pick a good time to pop the question and have some fun!

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Giving a Diamond Its Color July 26, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Jewelry , add a comment

How Diamonds get Their Color

People should be forgiven for thinking that diamonds have no color and are brilliantly and sparklingly clear.  The truth is that this sparkling, transparency is sold and marketed by diamond merchants and jewelers and the idea that a diamond should have any color at all has been banished from the minds of many.  The truth is that almost every diamond has some color to some degree, and there can be a startling variety in the colors that are encountered in nature.

First of all, it is necessary to understand how a diamond is formed to be able to see how color variations are introduced by deformities in the otherwise, precise crystalline structure.  Diamond is formed from pure carbon at great depths within the earth’s crust where the pressures and high temperatures are extreme.  By heating and crushing the carbon atoms, they are forced into a compact atomic structure which is exceptionally strong and stable.  So strong is this atomic, crystalline structure that diamond is the hardest, naturally occurring material known to man.

This crystalline structure is also colorless with light being able to pass through the atomic lattice unhindered.  Pure diamond is indeed colorless, and there are some rare examples of them but expect to pay an exceptionally heavy price for them.  The fact is that during the formation process, Mother Nature ensures that there is plenty of opportunity for variation in how the crystal structure is formed and which will affect color variation in different ways.

The bulk of color variation in diamonds is caused by impurities being present when the diamond is formed from the carbon melt.

The most common color for diamonds is yellow or brown, and most diamonds you are likely to encounter for jewelry purposes will not be completely colorless but will have a yellowish-hue.  For most examples, there will be no discernible color or yellow-hue to be seen with the naked eye, however you may catch a tinge of yellow or a “dirtiness” to the tint of the stone.  The yellowing is created by the presence of nitrogen in the carbon forming the diamond, and because this atom is of a slightly different size to the carbon atoms in the crystal lattice of the diamond, this causes some distortion.  The physical distortion of the lattice-work in turn creates a distortion of the light passing through the stone, creating a yellow hue.

Other elements may be present such as hydrogen or boron (which will create a grey color), however it is not only impurities which create color variation.

Some diamonds are subjected to radiation sources when they are being formed or lying fully-formed in the earth’s crust.  The effect of radiation on the crystal structure is to excite the atomic structure which in turn gives off energy in the form of light and this is responsible for green diamonds.

A third cause of color variation is known as “plastic deformation” and this involves a warping of the diamond crystal lattice itself.  The precise arrangement of the carbon atoms is strained or in some instances, broken (but at the atomic level and not visible to the naked eye).  Plastic deformation creates the red and pink colors found in diamonds and in some instances, brown diamonds are created by this defect.

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Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

How to Celebrate the Academy Awards March 4, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Just Jill , add a comment

What was Genna thinking?

The world will tune in this Sunday evening to watch the Academy Award Ceremonies live from Los Angeles. We will watch the stars walk in and admire the beautiful dresses and the gorgeous jewelry! Of course some of the dresses will be judged not so beautiful and the tabloids will have a heyday making fun of the “ghastly” fashion choices of a few poor stars!  It does make you wonder if they have the lights on when they choose to wear some of the clothes we see!

It will be pure joy for the ones who take home the golden Oscar statue and better luck next time for the ones who only have the Wolfgang Puck dinner to look forward to. This event has come a long way from the modest beginnings in 1929. The first Academy Awards banquet was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and tickets cost $5! The event began to be televised in 1953 and millions in the US and Canada watched the ceremony.

I know I will be watching on Sunday night and trying to keep my eyes open until the best motion picture award is given at the end of the show.  Some of my friends go to fun Oscar theme parties and get all dressed up but my favorite way to watch is in my pajamas on my couch with some great snacks! There are so many great nominees this year it will be hard to choose a favorite or be disappointed with the eventual winners.

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

What Toyota and I Have in Common February 24, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Just Jill , add a comment

The top story in the news the last few days has revolved around the Toyota car company and its failure to address a very dangerous and scary problem with the accelerators in many of its vehicles. I have watched like hundreds of thousands of others but I do not have to wonder what it would feel like being behind the wheel in a runaway car.

Twenty one years ago, I was driving from Virginia to upstate New York in my new Mercury marquis four door sedan.  I had two children in the back seat in their car seats and my grandmother in the passenger seat next to me.  One was three, one was 18 months old and the other was 75. It was a beautiful sunny day and the drive had been going great. Both children were happy and all was calm. I usually took the scenic route because we made lots of stops along the way at the little shops and restaurants. This made the trip much more bearable for the kids. Lots of treasures to be found along highway 15!

One of the drawbacks of taking the scenic route is that you occasionally get behind some very slow moving vehicles like farm equipment. If you are patient passing zones are dotted along the way and you can easily get by these slow movers. This was the exact scenario that I encountered. Once I accelerated and passed the tractor I eased back into the right lane, I took my foot off the gas but the car continued to pick up speed. I looked at the speedometer and it was at 90 mph. I hit the brakes and it was creeping up to 100 mph. Now you must understand I did not even know my mercury could hit 100 mph!  My grandmother gave me a look and knew something was wrong. BIG TIME. We exchanged words back and forth in a frantic manner.  Eventually I put the car in neutral, hit emergency and regular brakes and we slowed down.

This ordeal was pure terror. My thoughts were for my small children and my poor grandmother who would surely die with me in a fiery ball of metal. I think of all the people who experienced this same thing in their Toyota’s and wonder about the ones who might not have been so lucky and perhaps the accident has been chalked off to driver error. I too was told by the mechanics at Ford that either the floor mat or a stuck accelerator was to blame for my terrifying trip. I could never quite accept this. I traded in that mercury a few months later. I never felt safe in it again.

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Keep Your Engagement Ring in Tip Top Shape February 19, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Jewelry Care, Just Jill , comments closed

You have a gorgeous sparkly diamond engagement ring on your finger and the metal shines like new fallen snow, here are some hints on keeping your engagement ring in tip top shape for a long time to come.

Once you come down from the high of being newly engaged regular life will resume. This means cooking, cleaning and work related activities.  All of these things will dull the appearance of your engagement ring and diamond. The good news is that this can easily be kept in check with a few simple steps.

Make-up, lotions, perfumes and hairspray will all build up on your engagement ring, cutting down on its sparkle. We recommend cleaning your engagement ring in an ammonia solution made up of 1/3 cup ammonia to 2/3 cup of hot tap water. To remove caked on dirt such as cooking sauces or play dough soak your engagement ring for ten minutes and then gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Do not use an old toothbrush because toothpaste remnants are too abrasive for your engagement ring!

It is also a great idea to have the prongs that hold the diamonds in your engagement ring checked by a jewelry professional one time per year to make sure all is well and that none of the prongs have loosened up. If you follow these simple suggestions your engagement ring will continue to look great year after happy year!

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Let It Snow, but Not in Virginia! February 17, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Just Jill , add a comment

As I am writing today there are mounds of snow plopped all over my hometown and the state of Virginia. We normally have one snowfall per year. Maybe a dusting of the white stuff just enough to give the kids a day off of school. This year we have had four large snowfalls of 4 or more inches. OK, that may not sound like much to you folks in Buffalo or Fargo, but it’s incredible to those of us living below the Mason Dixon line.

We do not have the snow plows, the shovels, and the road chemicals necessary to control the road conditions nor the snow mobiles, warm boots, parkas and sleds to make it enjoyable! We have struggled though and “oohed and aahed” at the beautiful snow covered trees and embraced the extra time inside to get all those chores done, but now we are looking for the buds to bloom and the forecast is calling for more snow!

All this is taking place while we are watching the Olympic downhill skiing competitions in Vancouver getting postponed day after day due to you guessed it…a lack of snow! This has many of us scratching our heads and thinking Global warming or worse but the weather experts simply say this is a cyclical and normal weather pattern. So I guess the old saying is true, you can’t control the weather. You just have to roll with it. So, here in Richmond I am off to buy a new shovel and some kitty litter and up at the Olympics in Vancouver they are trucking snow over to the ski slopes so the games can proceed. Go Figure.

photo credit: kurtcweishaar

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Is He the One?? February 17, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Just Jill, Romantic Tips , comments closed

Statue of David

So you have been dating for the required nine months or longer  and you are thinking that a proposal of marriage is the logical next step but are you really sure that is what you want? (ed. note: A collection of video proposals)

Sometimes we take that important next step because we have reached a certain age, we have dated a certain amount of time, or we want to start a family and the biological clock is ticking away! We want it and we enter into our commitment for some valid reasons, but maybe we need to step back and make sure we are not rushing things. Patience now can save years of heartache and pain later.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

If the answers to any of these questions are no, you should think about your relationship and whether you are in the right place. It is true like the song says that “breaking up is hard to do” but it will allow you to explore other opportunities and pay off in the long run.

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Hollywood Engagements and Our Fascination with Them February 11, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Engagement Rings, Just Jill , add a comment

Big celebrity news on the web:

  1. Kristen Bell is engaged to Dax Shepard and shows off her stunning three carat platinum ring at the Grammy awards.
  2. Russell Brandt and Katy Perry out furniture shopping while she flashes her new engagement ring!
  3. Miley Cyrus is definitely NOT engaged this was confirmed by Miley herself to Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet at the Grammys. Her ring was a cheap bobble she picked up for herself in London.

While I find all of this engagement news interesting what is really important is that these stars are setting some trends about jewelry style. We all watch what jewelry the stars are wearing because the designs are usually unique and stunning and something that we can adjust to work for the not-so-famous of us.

Trends and styles emerge that are worth adapting. The main issue is often getting the price point down while still maintaining the integrity of the basic design.  Once this is accomplished an affordable alternative to a very expensive jewelry item can usually be purchased. After all imitation is the best form of flattery!

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.

Tips for the Perfect First Date February 5, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Just Jill, Romantic Tips , add a comment

There are few things more nerve racking than going out on that first date. What will you wear? What will you talk about? Where will you go and what will you do?

Once you get past all the wondering it’s time to relax and take things one step at a time. Do something that you enjoy to do. Wear what you are comfortable wearing. Now is not the time for a complete makeover and some four inch heels. You will most definitely be uneasy if you change your entire style for the date. Make sure your clothes are comfortable and that you are not constantly pulling on your waistband or worrying about tripping over your pants!

Now is also not the time to try out ice skating or even bowling if you have never done these things before or if your date has not.

Now is also not the time to try out ice skating or even bowling if you have never done these things before or if your date has not. Go someplace easy and keep the date to a few hours at most. Leave the exotic restaurant for the second or third date and choose someplace that offers a wide variety of options including some vegetarian choices.

The most important thing is to be yourself and to be honest about who you are. This does not mean rambling on about all of you personal business. Keep some things private until the relationship has time to grow.  Most importantly let your date know whether you have had a good time or if the connection was missing. That way you both are on the same page when the date is over.

Information provided by Danforth Diamond, your engagement ring experts. Visit us at http://www.danforthdiamond.com or call us at 1-877-404-RING.