Browsed Princess Polly today and here are some of my picks for fall! Use code KATXX for 20% off your order 🙂
Okay so……….here we go! I wanted to talk about my ring because girl, let me TELL YOU… I lost so much sleep over this ring! I made SO many changes over and over again when designing this ring!! I’m sure not everyone is as particular as I am but this is a HUGE investment so I wanted to make sure it was classic, timeless, and most importantly, a ring that I will LOVE and drool over time and time again! If you’re curious about the entire ring picking/designing process, then keep on reading!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a round brilliant stone with a cushion halo. I love the look of the round stone with a cushion halo because the edges of the cushion halo are rounded, i.e. no sharp corners! See photo below. And when I started to ring shop, I thought to myself, okay, this is what I would go with. However, in the back of my mind, I have always loved the classic round brilliant stone without a halo… IF the stone was at least 2 carats. [I know it might sound superficial and I know this is not for everyone…but its just my personal preference!]
So as I started ring shopping, I focused on trying on both of these styles and honestly they are beautiful in their own ways. The round with a cushion halo is definitely more trendy, but because I wanted the halo to be quite thin (i.e. small pave diamonds), it just added a nice feminine touch to the round brilliant stone. It didn’t feel gaudy or too bulky, which was very important to me. I loved the look of it on my finger and I was pretty sure I’d go with this design. If you’re not sure about the stone shape or design, I recommend browsing through Pinterest first and see what speaks to you. And definitely try on as many rings/designs as you need!!!
But when I put on a round brilliant stone without the halo, it had this timeless, classic look which I also fell in love with! Something about the simplicity of letting the stone shine on its own really drew me in. And I do have to add, my fiance definitely loved the classic look (I think most men do!). I went back and forth between the two designs for at least a couple of weeks….haha I went back to the jewelers at least 2 or 3 times before I decided on the classic one.
So why did I end up choosing the classic one?
- I knew it would be timeless. Time and time again, a round brilliant cut will always remain the most classic. And after talking to my jeweler, I realized that I can buy other rings in the future with the halo design. The jeweler also shared the idea that changing the setting on a ring isn’t difficult at all. So, if I got bored of this classic look in a few years (which was my fear that I’d be bored with a classic look), then they can switch it out easily.
- The second reason is more personal- my fiance and I had set a budget for the ring where we were both comfortable with and with that budget, he was able to purchase this diamond!!! (I’m so so grateful!!) This did play a factor into picking the classic design because I knew I wanted a diamond to be at least 2 carats.
- My style and age- I’ve come to realize that as I age (sad haha), I find myself drawn to more and more of what is classic and elegant. And I’m referring to all aspects of my style – from clothes, to shoes, to make up. I think if I had gotten engaged at 25, I probably would have picked the ring with a halo. I really had to think about who I am today, what am I drawn to, and does the ring speak to me…!
So now that we have the shape/overall design set….(which is JUST THE BEGINNING, trust me), I can finally proceed to the next step. The actual design of MY ring. Oh boy, did I have SOOO much to learn! In photos, we typically only see the ring from one perspective, top down view. But there is SO MUCH that goes into a ring! I rarely looked at the side view so I was clueless about what kind of prongs I wanted. Only thing I did know was, I did NOT want 6 prongs. I have and always will be a 4 prongs kinda gal. (just a personal preference because 6 prongs look distracting to me, with 4 prongs I think you see more of the diamond and its roundness).
What goes into such a classic, ‘simple’ ring?
The Stone. This is where the 4 C’s- color, cut, clarity, and carat really need to be contemplated and considered!
- Let’s start off with the easiest one, which is carat. Personally, the carat size was pretty important to me, especially for a round solitaire. It’s important of course, to be realistic with your budget and know that if size is important, you may have to go lower on the scale on the other C’s! (but if you can have it all, you go girl!!!) When I worked with my jeweler, he knew that the size was important to me so he showed me stones ranging from 2-2.5 carats (within our budget of course).
- The cut – okay so I did quite a bit of research and from what I have gathered, the cut of the ring is very, very important. It’s interesting because not too many people talk about the cut of the stone beyond just the ‘shape’. But cut is also graded ladies!! The cut of a stone is what will make your ring SHINE! A well cut stone will pick up the light and make it sparkle! Depending on the shape of the stone, the cut quality may be more important in some diamonds than others. For a round solitaire, I think getting a ‘very good’ cut to ‘ideal cut’ would truly make your ring sparkle like no other!! I would make sure you ask the jeweler about the cut of the ring and have them show you different graded cuts – to see if YOU can see the difference! When it comes down to it…you’re the one that will be looking at your ring the most. So you might be more sensitive to certain Cs than others. Put your money towards what YOU value.
- The color- I think the color may be the most biased and personal characteristic to consider when you’re ring shopping. Why? Because some people are extremely sensitive to color and others aren’t! My jeweler brought in a range of colors for us – from D (the best and colorless) up through to J. D-E-F are considered colorless and G-H-I-J are near colorless. Its definitely recommended to stay within at least the near colorless range. And ONE OTHER VERY IMPORTANT TAKE AWAY….when looking at the stone from a top down view, it is VERY HARD TO SEE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE COLOR of a stone. The color SHOWS more from the bottom (i.e. if you turned the diamond upside down, you will see the yellow tones more from that angle). But how often are you looking at a diamond from that angle?!?! So if you take away anything from this blog, I would say, really consider the color. If you want to get value for your buck, know that being in the near colorless range is your best bet!!! When I looked at a G color next to an I color, they looked ALMOST IDENTICAL!!! Also- even if you are sensitive to color, the jeweler also reminded me of this….the only time you’re seeing a colorless ring next to a slightly colored ring is in the store. You have this comparison to try and distinguish which one is ‘whiter’ but the moment to step out of that store, and you’re wearing your ring….you don’t really have another colorless stone to benchmark against. SO…even if you are sensitive to color, just keep this in mind!!! Just think about what you can and cannot see with the naked eye!
- Clarity- this grades any scratches on the stone. The best way you describe it is, when you look at a diamond, some look super clean while others look like they have marks or little spots in them. Most of the time, if the grade of the clarity is VS and above, you won’t be able to see any inclusions with the naked eye. Meaning, the jeweler would have to show you under a microscope in order for you to see the scratches on the stone! I would recommend staying in VS1 and above if you are sensitive to scratches (which I was!). The scale is I-S-V-VVS-IF-F. S means slightly included and there are two levels: SI and SII, V means very slightly included, and there are two levels: VSI and VSII. VVS means very very slightly included, etc. For myself, diamonds in the slightly included range- I was able to see the inclusions with my naked eye so I stayed in the VS range. There is no point in paying $$$ for VVS and above unless you are VERY VERY VERY sensitive to scratches. HOWEVER, keep in mind, this also depends on where the scratches are. This is when your jeweler is important. When jewelers are picking out diamonds to sell, a stone can be a VS1 but depend on where the inclusion is… they can cover it with your setting or prongs!! A VS1 with an inclusion in the dead center of the stone versus an inclusion on the very edge makes a total difference!!!
So… where did I land with all my Cs?
Carat: 2.56, Cut: ideal, Color: I, Clarity: VSI, my ring size is 4.75
Other tips to consider:
- Make sure you do your research!!! Look online, watch Youtube videos and work closely with your jeweler
- Make sure you see the ring in natural light- my jeweler insisted that I always look at the stone in natural light!!
- Make sure you communicate the budget up front so the jeweler can pull the best stone to your specifications within the budget
- Take your time… this is a huge investment! Don’t feel rushed into making a decision (trust me girl, I took 2 months of going back and forth!)
- Visit a few jewelers to get price estimates so you can get a sense of the market price for the stone you’re looking for!
- Remember that this is your stone, and what you can see with YOUR naked eye!
This blog is getting extremely long so there will be a part 2 where I go into the setting. The setting is VERY important and this is where you’ll have to determine the width of the band, the height of the prongs, etc. ALL OF THIS MATTERS!!!!
Hope you enjoyed this read and found it to be informative!!!
Love, Kat xoxo
I wanted to share some of my Seattle and Vancouver adventures with y’all! Although I was pretty much off the grid for the long 4th of July weekend, I did capture a few highlights from my trip! We were only in Seattle and Vancouver for 3 full days and LET ME TELL YOU….we were DEFINITELY too ambitious! Although we packed in quite a few activities, it was still an extremely fun and eventful vacation! We went to Seattle because my little sister is interning at Amazon this summer (smarty pants–software development engineer!) and we wanted to pay her a visit! This was also my first trip traveling as an engaged couple with my fiance and family!!!
Don’t worry, on the 4th, we were actually in AMERICA haha! We checked out the Pike Market place, purchased a few goodies and enjoyed walking around in the city. We’ve all been to Seattle before so we skipped out on some of the touristy spots. The weather was beautiful as you’ll see in the photos!! Luckily, my sister lives 10 minutes from the Space Needle and the view from her balcony was INCREDIBLE! I was pretty happy that we didn’t have to head to Lake Union to grab a spot in the crowd to watch the fireworks!
Being the patriotic Americans that we are….haha we went to a baseball game on the 4th! It was such a fun experience because the stadium is absolutely beautiful, with amazing views and the energy of the crowd was great! (although there were more Cardinal fans than the Mariners?!)
And of course… I got some photos in!! Not too many because the weather wasn’t GREAT in Vancouver but I was just happy I got to wear the dresses I brought!! (no rain on the days we were in Seattle!) On the 5th, we headed up to Vancouver- which is actually only a 2.5 hour drive. TIP: LOOK UP DIFFERENT BORDER CROSSINGS TO SAVE TIME! On the way to Vancouver, we took the route that most people take (thanks to myself not having done research), and had to wait about 1.5 hours in the car to cross the border!! However, on the way back to Seattle, my genius fiance looked up an alternative route and we crossed the border within 15 minutes!!!
In Vancouver, we stayed downtown at the Sandman Hotel (pretty good bang for your buck because the location is central). We explored three main attractions in the 1.5 days we were there. Sadly we lost half a day driving up and waiting in line to cross the border! First we visited Granville Island, which was filled with cute shops, specialized markets, amazing food and just all around great vibes! Musicians were playing music and it was just a very relaxing and hip place. Definitely worth paying a visit: https://granvilleisland.com/
Although the weather in Vancouver was quite….WINTER LIKE (even in July!)…I fell in love with the abundance of plants and flowers there! The hydrangeas were INSANELY beautiful!!! And there is greenery everywhere you walk! That was probably one of my favorite things about Vancouver- the lushness.
Next, we visited Seawall! Essentially its a beautiful trail (for walking or biking) with amazing views of the city skyline. The trail is surrounded by water on one side and green lushness on the other. It was so so peaceful! I would definitely recommend biking there!!! I believe Seawall and Stanley Park are essentially in the same area and be sure to check out the totem poles there! Definitely unique and not something you would see everyday! https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/seawall.aspx
And last but not least, we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge! It was sprinkling/raining that day but a little rain didn’t damper our mood. It was absolutely beautiful and it felt amazing to be so close to the gigantic trees. I love breathing in fresh air like that!!! The bridge was not wobbly or scary…unless you have a fear of heights of course! But be warned, there is an entrance fee (I believe about $50) and it does get crowded. So if you’re looking to get a shot on the bridge with no photo bombers… I’d suggest going EARLY. The park had multiple sites (similar to a theme park) and we even got to see an owl! We walked through the tree top adventures and living forest! Be prepared to do a lot of walking but its 100% worth it! https://www.capbridge.com/explore/
After the Suspension Bridge, we went to a mall to do some shopping, ate some food and headed back to Seattle. On the way back, we pulled over because there was an INCREDIBLE LAKE and I just had to stop! The weather blessed us that afternoon, and we finally saw some sunshine!!! This was probably one of my favorite parts of our trip! Taking an unexpected stop for this beauty!! It was memorable and magical–will always remember it!!
Jam packed 3 days… with a 6am flight on Sunday, which got cancelled (won’t go into that..!) BUT we spent the last night in Seattle, ordered in Uber Eats and watched STRANGER THINGS!!! What a great way to end an amazing trip!
Hope you enjoyed the read!
May 23, 2019
We woke up, ate breakfast, packed the car and left for the road trip to Monterey around 10 am that day. Not sure if you guys know this, but my fiancé surfs…and when I say he surfs, I mean he SURFS. He loves its, breathes it, and lives it!!! Every time we travel, we MUST hit up at least one surf spot! Don’t worry, there’s a reason for why I’m sharing this! So the plan was to drive up the coast and stop along the way for quick little surf sessions.
We ended up stopping in Rincon (near Santa Barbara) around 1pm but for some reason, he was being really indecisive about whether he should surf or not. It seemed like he was in a rush to get to Avila Beach (Central California where we were staying the night). At that point, please keep in mind, I was once again not suspecting anything. I thought he was rushing because he wanted to have enough time to check out Central California since we were only there for 1 evening and had to drive up to Monterey the very next day. So while he questioned if he should surf, I encouraged him to do so! I mean, we were already there, parked the car…might as well just GET OUT THERE!! haha
So he agreed and went out for a fairly quick surf session. I think we were only there for about an hour. After he got out of the water, he was not TOO happy because he didn’t catch any good waves and thought he had ‘wasted his time’. Overall, he was just being extremely time sensitive on our drive up that day. But I was just going with the flow! I didn’t really care when we got there or what we were going to do…since he planned the trip and he’s usually the one that looks up places for us to visit! lol Anyway, so after the fact of course, I understood why he was in a rush.
He was in a rush because he told the photographer to meet us at the proposal location at 4:30pm and we were definitely running late. He knew we had to go to the hotel and check in first, change/get ready and then head out. I was pretty clueless to be honest…haha and even when he was driving, he told me to grab something from the glove compartment and apparently, the glove compartment has a ‘secret’ section that is normally closed, but when I opened the glove compartment, the secret section was open and he leaned over to slam it shut!! He later told me that the RING BOX was in that secret section of the glove compartment! I guess that could have ruined the surprise!!! But I didn’t even see anything…….!!!
Anyway….we got to the hotel around 4pm?, and I got ready, mainly thinking we’re going to shoot some content and head out to dinner because we didn’t even have time to eat lunch! (he’s lucky I don’t get hangry hahah) He took a shower and wore a white button up and jeans, which he told me after the fact that he was afraid I’d ask why he’s dressed up (normally a t-shirt and shorts kinda guy). I just thought he was dressed to go to dinner after shooting!!
So…my outfit choice—I was debating between the Revolve blue floral dress and the white VICI dress. Because I thought we were headed to the beach, I knew both dresses would look amazing but definitely thought the white one would flow more with the wind. I asked him for his opinion, and he said the white one. Specifically, he also said ‘so you can match me!‘ How gross, I’m not a fan of matching haha To be honest, at that point, I KINDA suspected something…like okay why do you want me to wear the white one and made a comment about how we should match!? But being the logical person that I am and the two glaring facts of the ring not being ready and he not having asked my dad for permission, my suspicion quickly vanished.
By the way, he was also doing stretches in his jeans when I was getting ready…apparently to loosen the jeans up so he can get down on his knees!!! haha About 20 minutes after checking in and getting ready, we headed out. And after driving for about 15-20 minutes, all of a sudden he goes oh let’s check this place out on the left. So he turned into this small parking area outside of a hiking trail. THIS IS SO TYPICAL OF HIM. haha Meaning… it is very normal for us to pull over somewhere randomly because he wants to check a place out!! So we stopped….and I thought okay, sure let’s see this hiking trail. Apparently after I got out of the car, he was waiting for me to start walking towards the entrance of the trail so he can go to the glove compartment to get the ring! I think I was just on my phone but he also went to the trunk and took a shot of vodka!!! HAHAH (apparently our photographer gave him that advice..lol)
SO WHILE I WAS COMPLETELY CLUELESS…HE TOOK A SHOT OF VODKA AND GOT THE RING! Once he locked the car, we walked together, hand in hand and he lead the way. He’s about 6 inches taller than me so he pretty much blocked my view. Of course, he SAW the engagement set up first!!! hahah I didn’t know what was happening UNTIL I SAW THE RED BALLOONS POPPING over his head in the distance.
THEN…..I WAS LIKE OMG….and we walked further into the trail and I SAW THE ENTIRE SET UP!!!!! Of course, I also saw the photographer…so I KNEW!!! IN MY HEAD I WAS THINKING OMG….IS THIS HAPPENING…THIS IS HAPPENING!!!
One thing that was REALLY important to me was that I wanted to remember his words….I didn’t want to black out!! And so although the adrenaline was flowing, I somehow calmed myself down enough…to TRULY BE IN THE MOMENT. I soaked up every single word that came out of this mouth. I SAVORED EVERY SECOND OF IT! And I remember it fairly clearly!!! We decided to keep his speech private between the two of us…but he ended it with…. Will you marry me?
And he got down on his knee, opened the ring box and I DIED haha IT WAS PERFECT, THAT MOMENT, THE LOCATION (SUPER ETHEREAL AND MAGICAL), HIS SPEECH (SHORT AND SWEET), THE FREAKING RING…..!!! I said…yes, YES, YESS!!!
We are hugging and kissing and just SO, SO HAPPY!!! Popped open the champagne bottle, ate the chocolate covered strawberries, and to top if all off, headed to the beach for an engagement shoot!!! Honestly, I really, really recommend having a shoot immediately after the proposal. I think the photos really capture that happy moment…that glow!!!
And a million paragraphs later, here we are, officially an ENGAGED COUPLE!!! I will forever remember that day, the series of events that led up to the proposal, and just that surreal feeling of knowing that we will be spending the rest of our lives together!!! I knew he was the one when I realized that I just could not imagine my life without him. He truly is ONE in a million. I am so lucky that I’ll get to call him my hubby.
Hope you enjoyed this long, long read!!! Thank you for all your warm wishes!!!
Love you babes!! xoxo Kat