Daisy Q & A: Jewelry Cleaning

So one of you kind readers asked the following question: I think you got a jewelry cleaner one year for Christmas? Ever since I got engaged I’ve been thinking I should really look into one. I’d love more information about yours, and maybe some general info about how often, how, and which jewelry you clean.

Short answer: I did get a jewelry cleaner and I like it very much! Highly recommend!

Longer answer: I have an older version of this bad boy (Affiliate link, please purchase a jewelry cleaner however you like, just being trans-pa-rent) and I’ve been very pleased with it. I use it to clean my wedding/engagement ring, earrings, my watch (band) and glasses. If you are not a big jewelry wearer, please consider one of these for cleaning eye glasses and sunglasses.

I clean things whenever I notice they are dirty (more often in the winter when I’m contanstly applying hand cream that inevitably smudges or gunks up my jewelry/watch/eyeglass lenses) and I do it by filling the reservoir halfway to two thirds up with warm water and a squirt or two of Windex. I’ve had a few jewelers recommend glass cleaner (and it gets pretty diluted in there) and I’m cleaning glasses, white gold and stainless steel items – check with your jeweler about other metals. You can also use a splash of liquid jewelry cleaner or just warm water.

I set the timer and typically toss a few things in at once as long as they are not touching. It comes with a little stand for my watch, so my watch band can sit in the water while the face remains propped up and out of the water. Once the machine is done, I remove the items with tweezers and set the items on a clean, dry, washcloth where I polish them up and let them dry. Voila! Or…waalah. However you prefer. (Sarcasm font) When I clean my glasses I typically clean them with an eyeglass cloth before and wipe them with a lint-free cloth after, for maximum cleanliness.

What I wouldn’t clean in there? Pearls, opals or other soft stones. I’d be hesitant with costume jewelry if I didn’t know what kind of metal it was made out of.  I’d be careful and check for loose settings, screws on your glasses, etc. It is an “ultrasonic” cleaner so it cleans by shaking, so obviously you don’t want to knock anything loose! Also, these types of cleaners are not great with/not made for silver tarnish, so if you are dealing with silver tarnish, I recommend a tub of Twinkle & some elbow grease.

Fake Fall

This past weekend we ventured into Fake Fall, i.e. where the temps are decidedly below average and you have to wear sweaters and eat comfort food. This week the temps should pop back up closer to 70, which sounds much more appropriate this time of year. Despite the chill in the air we managed to do a lot, while realizing that Gracie needs some help in her fall/winter wardrobe department. Notably she only has a few pairs of pants and a few long sleeved shirts. Jackets? I have jackets covered.


Saturday morning Gracie slept in and as soon as she woke up we hit up the Lincoln Park Farm Zoo for their member’s only morning. They had a lot of activities set up and Gracie got to feed a cow, pet a goat, paint with vegetables and flowers (veggies cut in half, dipped in paint and used to “stamp”) and visit the garden to take a look at pumpkins and peppers. She had a great time, although she wasn’t interested in the rules of the goat pen so we hustled in and out of there pretty quickly. She spent a long time painting and then playing in a corn bin before we left and wandered over to the nearby farmer’s market. It was a weird morning for the market, the weather had you looking for squash and pumpkins and root veggies while the offerings included lots of berries and stone fruit. We snagged what we could from each season- the last of the summer corn, some apple cider doughnuts, bell peppers and onions, blackberries and plums. The rest of the day we spent at home, watching football, playing, reading stories and generally enjoying the day. This is a photo that captures Gracie that night: too small slippers, jammies, reading a book in her patio chair on the fireplace hearth…..

Sept 2


Sunday morning I got up and out the door (after family pancakes) and went to spinning with my ClassPass. I was glad that I had a small portion of breakfast since the class was intense and then I made it home so we could take a quick trip the playground before B could head out for (arguably, frostbite) sailing practice while Gracie and I had a girls day. her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, I swear she adds a new word every day. Lately she has added tissue, sock, slipper, and horsey. Together we made red beans and rice (she tasted the ham and stirred some empty bowls), we watched football, we read stories. Or, rather, Gracie demanded I come sit next to her on her blanket and read stories. This is her “Why are you taking a picture, just sit down and read Mama!” face:



Although it was another dismal football weekend (seriously, the vast majority of cheered-for teams lost terribly on Saturday and Sunday) we had a family meal of red beans and rice (Gracie ate none of it despite loving all components…..) before calling it a weekend. All in all, not too shabby.




Hashtag PSL

As much as I love fall, to me, September is not fall. I hate jumping into anything too early and with too much “both feet in” mentality. I laugh at those who wear their full length down coats the first time the temperature dips below 55 (whatcha gonna do when it hits negative 20, sucka?) I refuse to turn on my windshield wipers at any speed above “I can passably see out of the windshield” and no, I’m not ordering a pumpkin spice latte in September. Spoiler: although I use to love them, I now find their flavor cloying. Just give me my plain latte, thanks. So lets call a spade a spade: I’m not ordering a pumpkin spice latte.*

Anyway. September is traditionally a in between for me – so tired of my summer wear, too warm for fall wear which it isn’t time for anyway- and nothing feels quite right. Enter 2014, where up until 2 days a go it was in the 80’s, oh so warm. Then with a round of storms the temperatures dropped and it is now currently 68 degrees in my house with the windows open. It is 53 and rainy outside. We went from zero to 60 and I’m not ready. I have more tomato tarts to make! A corn, cheddar, and scallion strata! My sandals are still beckoning! But yet, here we are, wearing layers and needing socks and finding pants that fit the small people in the house (that would be Gracie).

I still haven’t bought the boots I need for the fall- I can’t seem to pull the trigger on Fryes (next year, Nordstrom anniversary sale, THEY ARE MINE) so, uh anyone have any suggestions? I’m looking for high quality thicker leather, flat sole, tan/brown/cognac color. Something comfortable but pretty that works with jeans and leggings and what not.

Anyway this entire post is dedicated to the “TOO SOON” nature of the temperature drop and the reluctant menu planning I’m doing (red beans and riceon Sunday, FINE) and my promise to never, ever drink a hashtag PSL.

*Last fall, in an attempt to enjoy what I once loved I found a pumpkin spice latte with no sprinkles and only one pump of flavoring was acceptable. But in the past year I’ve stopped liking any flavoring in coffee, so I doubt I get one.


Bits & Bobs

I don’t like olives. In fact, I detest olives. I want to like olives because every word ever used to describe them is typically right up my alley (salty, briney, pungent) food-wise, but alas. I can tell when an errant olive made it into my slice of pizza, once I remove the offesnive bit I can still taste its essence in the bite and I am struck by how thoroughly vile they are. It makes me sad because I’d love to order a martini with blue cheese olives, the drink seems so very me, and yet, I don’t like martinis and I don’t like olives. It is a complicated disappointment to be sure.

* * *

Gracie is really into “helping” these days and it is a little bit astounding what she is capable of. She helps me unload the dishwasher (I take the sharp stuff out before she meanders in, and I work on the breakables) by carrying silverware over to the general vicinity of the silverware drawer before carefully pushing each piece onto the counter while standing on her tip toes, she carries the cutting boards to the cupboard they go in and sets them on the floor. She helps me unload groceries, and if you turn your head away for just a moment you’ll find her carefully carrying a 28 oz can of tomato sauce over to where the food cupboard is (pantries are a pipe dream in the city) and you’ll worry she’ll drop it and crush her toes, but she doesn’t. She found a jar of applesauce in the bag on Sunday and carried it to the open fridge and placed it in the door, right where it goes. She helps vaccuum and dust and generally wants to “hap” at all turns. I realize she needs some actual chores so for now I think I’m going to ask her to put her dirty laundry in the basket and carry her empty milk cup to the kitchen sink. And for Christmas? She is totally getting a kids Dyson.

* * *

For years I was terrible about folding and putting away clean clothes. We perpetually had a pile of clean laundry at the foot of our bed and then it would build up into this monster that took us 40 minutes to put away. For no real reason I suddenly became tired of the huge clean laundry pile and have put considerable effort into putting clean clothes away by the end of the day. I can’t tell you how much happier it makes me- the clean foot of the bed, the refilled closet. I’m hoping this new habit sticks around. I’m also working on moving empty clothing hangers to the front of my closet so when I need an empty one I don’t have to start out with the five minute search for the empties squished among my clothes.

* * *

Dinner with Gracie has become a bit of a battle. I try not to worry too much, she eats well at daycare (organic food! hot lunch! lots of fruits and veggies!) and I had some old standbys (soup, all the soup) I could lean on when I felt like she just wanted to subsist on crackers. Lately though my standbys have been fails and I’m at a loss as to what to feed her that she will actually eat. Applesauce, coconut chips and crackers are the only sure choices, past favorites like bananas, berries and soup are now met with a “no” and a clenched jaw. Sometimes she’ll eat macaroni and cheese, sometimes she’ll eat grapes, sometimes she’ll eat smoked salmon or yogurt. Peanut butter sandwiches are now for playing, meat is generally rejected unless it is sausage and even then it is 50-50. Veggies at home are a total joke. I thought she liked yogurt covered raisins until I realized she was just chewing off the yogurt coating before spitting them back out. Food battles: ugh.

* * *

I went to my first Pure Barre class last night (thanks ClassPass!) and I think I liked it? Some parts were so absurdly difficult I wanted to laugh and I can feel it in every muscle today. Interestingly, my typically stiff lower back was a lot more loose after class and today I feel like I have a little better range of motion. I also can’t sneeze without it hurting, so you win some you lose some. Later this week I’m taking an early morning yoga class and on Sunday I have a spin class. So far so good….

* * *

Rhett Butler had been worrying us a little bit lately, he’d gotten stiff and sore and seemed to be moving more slowly. After last weekend (we visited friends in Michigan) playing with another dog for two days he seems to have returned to Chicago with his usual level of energy and range of motion. I can’t tell you how happy this makes us, although we plan on chatting with our vet about his senior status at his next yearly check up.

* * *

Gracie starts swim lessons and gymanstics classes soon and I’m really excited. Both are once a week and are “Mommy and Me” type classes. The gymanstics class is a bit of a whim but I’m hoping as the weather turns cooler it is a nice outlet for energy in a big indoor space. I don’t anticipate Gracie being a future Olympian but I think she is going to have a blast playing with ribbons and walking on a mini-balance bean. I might even get in an arm workout or two as I help her. The class is titled “Moms, Pops, and Tots” so I keep telling B his leotard is in the mail. He seems unenthusiastic. (Most likely he won’t be able to attend most of the classes due to work obligations, but we knew that from the get-go)




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