A String of Pearls

write a love letter. act like a lady. be a little fancy.

A String of Pearls, Extras

5 Minute Pick Me Ups


We all want more time in the day. We have to do-lists that get all of our attention and a seriously neglected want-to list that seems to take the backseat at every turn. But here’s something else we all have, whether we’ll willing to admit it or not, five minutes. Everyone has five minutes. No matter how busy you think you are, we’re willing to bet if you really looked hard at your day, you could find just five minutes to slow down, look around you and treat yourself to a little bit of “me time.”

Let the dishes and the laundry and e-mails wait. We promise the world won’t come crashing down around you. It’s Friday friends, and you deserve a little break, a treat, or, heavens, even just a few minutes to close your eyes and catch your breath.

What do we like to do to fill our five minutes? We thought you’d never ask …

1. Flip through old photos – vacations, loved ones at a younger age, a family pet you miss dearly. Take a little trip down memory lane and let your mind wander.

2. Get outside – listening to the birds or feeling the sun on your face is sure to put you in a better mood almost instantly.

3. Play with your dog – Was there ever a creature so loyal and loving as the family dog? Throw a ball, take a walk or just let them run and watch how much joy they find in such simple things.

4. Pick up your bible/devotional – We’re both reading “Jesus Calling” and it’s the perfect little 30 second pick me up.

5. Unplug – here’s one of our favorites. Close your laptop, turn off your wifi and hide your phone from yourself. We love to disconnect for a little while.

6. Paint your nails – isn’t it amazing what a fresh coat of polish can do to make you feel like you just did something special for yourself? Pick up a new color or dig out your old favorite and treat yourself to a 5 minute manicure.

7. Write – whether it’s journaling, poetry, letters to a friend, writing is a great way to let yourself daydream for a few minutes.

Tell us: What are your favorite ways to unwind?

Vintage Fashion

Dance Like Someone’s Watching…

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Last week Jess attended a dance at Cincinnati’s Music Hall featuring the Harry James Orchestra. But, it was more than a dance. It was a lesson. We’d like to contradict the popular saying of Dance like nobody’s watching and replace it with Dance like someone’s watching, and heres why.

5 Reasons you should ditch the phrase Dance like nobody’s watching and instead, Dance like someone’s watching.

  1. You get to be a extra. As one of America’s greatest dancers, Fred Astaire, said “Do it big, do it right and do it with style.” These dances, hosted twice a year by WMKV radio, are one of my favorite reasons to get all dolled up for a night on the town. I’ve learned that most people who enjoy big band music also appreciate a lady in gloves.

    Jess and long time, fellow old soul, friend Rebecca before the dance.
  2. You get to be a lady. As I watched everyone dance, wishing I had 1/10th of their talent, a slower song came on. My Grandpa leaned over and said “Thats about our speed isn’t it”. I can’t say I have ever received a sweeter invitation to join someone on the dance floor.
  3. Music is a free time machine.What I love most about music is that it connects me to memories, not just my own but my loved ones. Dancing with my grandpa, listening to him hum along to the tune of Harry James’ Orchestra is something I know I’ll remember whenever I hear that song.

    Emily and our “Poppy” at the Glenn Miller Orchestra Dance. October 2017
  4. You meet new people. Surely if I’m dancing like no one is watching, I have no interest in dancing with someone other than myself (“sorry pal, you don’t exist.”). But, if you’re dancing like someone is watching, (“Hello sir, charmed I’m sure.”)

    Jess being shown how to swing at the Glenn Miller Orchestra Dance. October 2017
  5. When that someone asks you to dance, it feels like no ones watching. Whether you’re pining over the guy/ gal across the hall or you’re dancing the night away with your Grandpa/Grandma, let the music take you away. Someone was watching and once you’re with them, no one else matters.



A String of Pearls

Pop Quiz: First Lady Facts

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Happy Presidents’ Day!

Today is a day to celebrate the men who have occupied the Oval Office. Politics aside, we think there’s one thing we can all agree on … that no matter who it is taking the oath on Inauguration Day, there will always be a strong woman standing next to him. These women, the First Lady’s of the United States, didn’t just act as a supportive force as their husbands shouldered the country, both in good times and bad, they took on social issues, charities and, in some cases, even acted as Secretary.

We thought it would be fun to test our First Lady knowledge! See how many you can guess correctly – we’ll post the answers tomorrow morning.

  1. I was the first First Lady to wear pants in public. I am …
  2. I am the only First Lady to give birth to twins. I am …
  3. I won an Emmy award for my television tour of the White House. I am also an SDJ style idol. I am …
  4. I was the first First Lady to hold press conferences, write a daily newspaper column and host a weekly radio show. I am …
  5. I was the first First Lady to vote. I am …
  6. I was the first First Lady to have a Christmas tree in the White House. I am …
  7. I hosted the first Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn. I am …
  8. I received an honorary seat on the floor of Congress. I am …
  9. I was the first President’s wife to be given the title “Lady.” I am …
  10. I held a degree from Stanford University and spoke fluent Chinese. I am…

Bonus: Our current First Lady, Melania Trump, speaks 5 languages. Can you name them?

A String of Pearls, Local Love

Galentine’s Day Celebrations Abound!

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Amidst all the white table cloth reservations, heart-shaped candies, gushy greeting cards and fragrant flowers lies a lesser known, but rapidly rising February holiday. A day for celebrating the leading ladies in your life and showing appreciation for their support and friendship. Galentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and we have four perfect ways to celebrate!

Em, in the purple dress with our cousins, Heidi, Megan and Lindsay, Easter 1993. Our family did bold brows and blunt bangs long before they were in style. 

Shop Local and Celebrate Early

  • Sara’s House and Basil 1791 – Stop in to Hamilton’s newest restaurant, Basil 1791 for sushi (excuse us while we squeal with excitement. Hamilton FINALLY has a sushi place downtown! woohoo!) Then head over to Sara’s House for her FREE Galentine’s Day event. Shop her adorable home decor store, along with handmade gifts from Gingham Girl Greetings (who we also love!) desserts from, Hamilton staple, Hyde’s Restaurant  and free wine tastings from Hanover WineryDid you hear us say free wine? 


“Invest” in your friendships

  • Queen City Exchange (2/14 4pm – 12am) – If you’ve never been to Queen City Exchange, this is the perfect opportunity. Make an investment in your craft beer palate with stock market pricing or snag a few 1/2 price wine bottles. Stick around for Galentine’s Trivia beginning at 8pm

Get Cheesy

  • The Rhined – Who doesn’t love cheese? The Rhined on Elm street in downtown Cincinnati will have a special Galentine’s Day wine list, bubbly, soft cheeses and chocolates from Velveteen Chocolate and like their website says, “No crafts, no activities, just wine. cheese. and chocolate.” The makings of a perfect girls night if you ask us.
A gift for our parents a few years ago a professional, but cheesy little photo shoot.

Treat Yo’ Self in Over the Rhine

  • Grab the girls and head downtown for a whole day of pampering yourselves. Start with housemade seasonal sangria at Nation, a fresh coat of paint or a mani/pedi at Spruce Natural Nail Shop, then head out to shop the stores that are scattered throughout Over the Rhine (Elm & Iron is one of our favorites!) To top it all off head over Lane + Kate‘s collaborative store with Two Little Buds Florist and buy yourself some jewelry and a bouquet, because we all know you deserve it.


Go ahead, get dolled up, go dancing, have a couple glasses of champagne and for cryin’ out loud tell your girlfriends just how much you love them!

 SDJ E-Signature copy


A String of Pearls, Local Love, Unforgettables

10 Signs You’re an Old Soul Just Like Us 

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We’ve always been a bit different. Nostalgic. Sentimental. Whatever you’d like to call it. We listen to Glenn Miller and Harry James instead of whatever is on the radio these days. We wear gloves and pillbox hats and full skirts and bake from scratch in aprons. Different.

With the best Dad in town, Easter 2017

We find ourselves pining for the way life was for our grandparents. Simple.                    We certainly don’t mean that they had it easy. Grandma Doris lived through The Great Depression (you wanna talk about having stories to tell. Yeesh.) They saw the world go to war and watched the country come together when they needed it the most. No, life surely wasn’t easy all the time, but it was simple. Free from the tangles of social media, technology and double-booked schedules. A time of family dinners and card parties and letting the kids play outside “until the streetlights came on.”

If you’ve gotten this far, our guess is you also find yourself moving to the beat of your own drum, or in our case to the tune of a Big Band trumpet. We are dreamers. Believers. But most of all we’re “old souls” and if you answer yes to a few of these, well then you have a forever friend in Sincerely, Doris Jane.

10 Signs You’re an Old Soul Just Like Us

  1. You Daydream – Whether it’s a story from your Grandma or Grandpa, a history book, or an old record, all you have to do is close your eyes and you can time travel.
  2. You’re a “paper” person
    • Mail – You’re a total sucker for new stationery and go bananas over the perfect birthday card. Jess likes to throw in something a little sparkly, our advice to you – open anything from her over the sink, or spend the next hour trying pick up glitter and confetti. You also find great joy in finding a little something with your name on it in the mailbox (other than bills. bleh.) and you rush back inside to grab your antique letter opener.
    • Books – You’re a library regular and you adore the quiet vacation that comes with a trip through the shelves. You could spend hours trying to pick the perfect title. The one that seems to jump right into your hands. When you open it, what do you do before reading a single line? ……. Did you just whisper “smell the pages?” We thought so.DSCF5400
    • Technology – You find yourself saying things like “I need to check my planner/address book” fairly often because you don’t keep those things in your smartphone. You also seem to be ages behind your friends when it comes to technology or the latest apps.
  3. You believe things deserve to be fixed rather than thrown away – from darning a sock to patching up a bruised relationship, you at least try to fix whatever it is before discarding it. You reuse things when you can and love the feeling of pride when you’re able to make something work again.
  4. You love history – Whether it’s leafing through a history book, tracing the branches of your family tree or paging through an old family album you find history to be a free vacation. You love a little trip down someone else’s memory lane.

    Grandma Jane and our Mom, don’t you want to squeeze her little cheekies? 
  5. Music feeds your soul – You’re a little more “in tune” with what song will fill your heart and make you feel whole. You’re unceasingly romantic and know the right music can enhance an old memory or create a new one. Hit play on “Sentimental Journey” by Doris Day in our house and it’s like Grandma Jane is right there singing along.
    Em dancing with Poppy on her wedding day to “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller



    Grandma Jane (dancing with her cousin by marriage, Taft) and her dad, Great-Grandpa Laesche (dancing with his sister, Ann) 
  6. You love being outside – You enjoy gardening, watching birds, picking flowers and taking walks because being outdoors seems to stop time. While walking with Grandma Doris she gazed up and said, “those trees look like they could reach Heaven.” It’s hard not to long for the shade of an old sycamore in the middle of July after that.
  7. Shopping – Let us guess, when shopping with your friends you’ve heard that something “looks like you.” You see a vintage a-line dress in a store window and immediately match it to the gloves and swing coat you have at home. You feel at home in an antique shop because, let’s face it, you’re an antique yourself. Your style, whether it be clothing or home décor is unapologetically your own and you like it that way.
  8. You love a roadtrip – Warm air through open windows, music on and a bag of snacks and homemade cookies in the back seat is the perfect way to start and end a vacation. It gives you a chance to connect with the person in the seat next to you.
    We snapped this at 1940’s weekend at Cincinnati Museum Center a few years back


  9. You’ve been told you are “wise beyond your years” –  Deep down you’re sure you’re at least 80. You are calm, level-headed and can adapt easily to change.
  10. You have an appreciation for the “little things” – Our motto is “Little Things Mean a Lot.” It also happens to be one of our favorite old songs. It’s a reminder to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. To call your grandpa, write to that friend you lost touch with, give a gift that really means something. Fill your home with memories and belongings of family members who have passed away and continue their stories. Let your hair down and truly enjoy the people around you because some day the little things will be the big things. 
    Poppy on his birthday last year

Seek and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer, guys and dolls. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Em and a few of her bridesmaids posing with the groomsmen’s cigars  
Jess and her roommates on graduation day from The Ohio State University

…and to all the old souls out there, we love you.



Doris Jane