I earned my nickname from my ecstatic reaction to the jewels my ex husband would shower me with on special occasions. Sadly (insurance is so expensive these day) they were banished to the bank vault twenty years ago. I have periodic visitation days with the imprisoned gems, but it is not the same as wearing pieces that make you feel beautiful.

Happy in South Sea Pearls and Rupert Everett wrapped around my neck
Fast forward to present day: I became Twitter friends with Marisol Douglas, a fellow former model turned entrepreneur whose company, Caradiaz, carries an exquisite line of affordable jewelry. In December she asked me to do an interview on Marisol’s Blog, then afterwards asked for my address to send me a “a little something” as a thank you/Christmas gift. Of course I told her that was not necessary, but you won’t believe how happy I am she ignored me.
A veritable treasure trove arrived!
I wish you could have seen my face when I opened the box to find not one, but THREE stunningly wrapped packages!
Caught on film: Tatjana’s reaction to her first diamonds
It was not too dissimilar to Tatjana’s face in the photo above when she received her first diamonds from my parents on her 16th birthday (love of jewelry runs in my family). I’d almost forgotten that charge of anticipation as I slowly unwrapped each box, prolonging the joy as long as my curiosity would allow – one beautiful layer after another.
Sheer ecstasy!
The awe of a child on Christmas morning, plus the excitement of one being turned loose in a candy store could not equal the euphoric state I was in. I was absolutely floored by Marisol’s overwhelmingly kind generosity!
With Nashra and Gina at Cecconis in Caradiaz earrings
BTW, Marisol made it clear this was not a gift for PR – “Jewels” just loves jewels so much that I had to share the experience with you. Thank you so much for reminding me how my feet glide above the ground when I get to wear gorgeous new pieces of jewelry again, Marisol. Take my word for it guys – you could make serious brownie points this Valentines Day with a striking piece of jewelry from Caradiaz, and here is a bejeweled recipe to help make the romantic evening a flawless one.
Rack of Lamb in Pomegranate – Mint Sauce
Servings: 6
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups Pom pomegranate juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (reserving a little for garnish)
1/4 cup pomegranate arils to garnish (optional)

For the lamb:

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 racks of lamb

1). Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2). Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium –low heat. Add garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add Pom juice and cinnamon stick, increase heat to medium, and bring to boil. Continue to boil for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.

3). While sauce is reducing, mix salt, cinnamon, and pepper together in a small bowl. Smear racks of lamb with olive oil, then season with cinnamon salt mixture on all sides. Place racks of lamb meat side down (fat side up) in a roasting pan, and roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 125 degrees (for medium rare) when placed in the thickest part of the meat. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

3). Once sauce is reduced, discard the cinnamon stick. Lower heat to medium-low heat; add preserves, brown sugar, and five spice powder, stirring until preserves are dissolved.

4). Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until all lumps are gone. Add to the sauce, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in most of the chopped mint.

5). Slice the lamb and serve with sauce poured over, sprinkle with remaining mint and pomegranate arils to garnish.

Serving Suggestions: I love this with my new Cinnamon Scented Brown Rice Medley Pilaf (promise to share that recipe with you next time), and any green vegetable of your choice.

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  • January 28, 2011
    9:42 pm

    Love the silver necklace! How wonderful for you. Now you have an excuse to go buy new outfits to go with them all! :)Laura Dodd-Hodges

  • January 28, 2011
    9:43 pm

    I'm not much for jewelry but I am carrying on a lascivious love affair with watches. LOLDawn Lassen

  • January 28, 2011
    9:43 pm

    It would be great to see you wearing them…Giuliana Iannotta

  • January 28, 2011
    9:45 pm

    Are you offering up your credit card for that shopping spree Laura? I have the earrings on in the last pic Guiliana.

  • January 28, 2011
    11:45 pm

    Just shared this with myself! Sounds absolutely yummy mmmmmmmm xMarie Toone

  • January 29, 2011
    1:14 am

    Yes I agree you must model them for us 🙂 They look so versatile . love it !

  • January 29, 2011
    6:48 am

    I've been bitten by the jewelery bug! Buying a pendant now, hopefully a bracelet next month. It's taken me 55 years to buy something like these for myself. Don't know what's happening to me, but lately I've been wanting to be pampered. Since there is no one special in my life to treat me like a princess, I have to do it myself. LOLRuthee Mac

  • January 29, 2011
    12:29 pm

    How kind of her! The visual of you visiting your jewels while they are in 'prison' cracks me up (hello little jewels mummy misses you)! I don't make lamb often, this is one to try!Cupcake

  • January 29, 2011
    4:03 pm

    I love love love jewelry! vintage and new and those are very lovely pieces to have. I would love to see your wear the blue flower one it looks very unique.

  • January 29, 2011
    6:14 pm

    How exquisite! Those jewels are just perfect and how sweet of her to send those to you. I will have to check out Caradiaz – I'm always on the lookout for that piece that will make an outfit sing!

  • January 30, 2011
    2:32 am

    Lys- everything is made really well, and definitely have the "it" factor going for them. Trust you Cupcake to get the visual humor – I look forward to their emancipation one day.I have so much website content, ebook, and blog writing to do over the next couple months – I probably won't be my usual social self, so it may be a bit before you see the pieces on me out and about LiLU and Tracey.Ruthee – I know exactly what's happening to you – you're finally valuing your true self-worth, and yes you DO deserve to be pampered.

  • January 30, 2011
    2:33 am

    Oh, Rupert is so handsome…I've liked him for years and years. :DSamantha Hodgins

  • January 30, 2011
    12:18 pm

    Dear Julie Anne,This post is amazing, I'm totally lost for words! Thank you so much for taking the time to write about us, I really cannot tell you how honoured I am to be featured!Thank you again & I hope you continue to enjoy the jewellery!All the best,Marisol xxx

  • January 30, 2011
    6:09 pm

    I do love a bit of bling!! I have developed a love of the bold and beautiful, if it glistens and shines and clinks and looks expensive I shall wear it!!!

  • January 30, 2011
    6:51 pm

    Those are gorgeous! And so unique!

  • January 30, 2011
    6:54 pm

    Cool, Yahtzee.Devoted Duranie

  • January 30, 2011
    7:40 pm

    still waiting for my first one.. Lucky girl :)Nicoletta Appodia

  • January 30, 2011
    7:41 pm

    Awww…now that's priceless :)Terri Berri

  • January 30, 2011
    7:41 pm

    That is exactly what my face looked like when I received the gift from Caradiaz!

  • January 30, 2011
    7:48 pm

    How wonderful:)Melanie Angel

  • January 30, 2011
    7:49 pm

    the expression… pricelessJeffrey Laner

  • January 30, 2011
    7:49 pm

    First grandchild always gets spoiled rotten – you oughta know cuz!

  • January 30, 2011
    9:05 pm

    what a great picture:)Adelle Medberry

  • January 30, 2011
    9:08 pm

    My daughter is the first grandchild and can do no wrong…lolTerri Berri

  • January 31, 2011
    12:52 am

    GREAT expression, in fact just like the one on my Tullulah's face when she opened her 21st pressie and found a Rolex watch inside! The joy to see their joy…. lol xxxMarie Toone

  • January 31, 2011
    7:09 pm

    Would it be so different with pork or beef?Giuliana Iannotta

  • January 31, 2011
    7:10 pm

    The flavors work better with a gamier tasting entree – I don't think it would taste good with beef or pork, but you could use it with duck breast.

  • January 31, 2011
    9:08 pm

    this post is great!of course follow u!!!!=Dxx

  • January 31, 2011
    9:31 pm

    looks goodDenise Clark