Friday, March 30, 2007

Come be our Myspace Friend!

We've had lots of fun on myspace recently, and we'd love to have you add us as a friend! Go to to check us out! We reveal some of our jewelry faves as well as offer sneak peaks and discounts to all of our myspace friends.

See you there!


For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The New vs. The Old

Ever since opening Ashley's Big Secret, I get asked the same questions alot- 'Do you only wear your own stuff? Do you ever wear real stuff? What about your old jewelry?'

These are very, very good questions! I have always loved jewelry, and my mother and I have been collecting for years. On the other hand, I am very proud of Ashley's Big Secret's jewelry- heck, Mom and I are personally resonsible for every piece in the store. I love our jewelry-it's new, it's funky, fun, hip. Much of what I wear is, in fact, my own stuff. Not everything, though.

For years I have received gifts of gorgeous jewelry that are all absolutely beautiful and mean alot to me because of who it came from. It's really fun for me to be able to put a really special bracelet, for example, with a fun necklace from my own collection to make both look even more beautiful.

As for some of the real stuff, Mom and I have been mixing and matching real and faux for years! In my experience, its fun to have a great pair of diamond earrings, but if you match them with a big, fabulous ring like this one, you get way more compliments on the ring! The fact of the matter is- no one knows the difference!

So there you have your answer: I wear mostly Ashley's Big Secret, but love to mix and match it with peices I already have. It's the best of both worlds!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

I am SO in Love!

I've been perfectly horrible about blogging lately, so I apologize. I've been tremendously busy- and in love! Well, not with some stupid boy! That would be far too girly for me! Oh no, I'm completely infatuated with fun new jewelry combinations for Spring. (See, you can make a girl strong, proud and self-reliant, but you can't make her give up her baubles!)

This one above is a combination that is nearing perfection, as far as I'm concerned. I've paired the Hammered Silver Cuff with a Hammered Silver Ring. They look awesome together and give off a sort of warrior-princess chic feel that I totally dig. I was so excited, I just had to take a pic so y'all could see!

I've also found a great way to spice up some of my more boring suits for business lunches: With a plane white shirt and brown slacks, I spice the whole thing up with a flower pin and gold jewelry... fabulous! With a powerful Gold Cuff on one hand and some Toni Bracelets on the other, I feel like a source to be reckoned with!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fabulocity! Fun with Models!

We had so much fun dressing up our new 'models'! It was like being a little girl again! Here's what we came up with:

Glamour is a must! This beautiful lady looks fabulous in our orange spring collection.
Check out for our complete line of spring faux jewelry at fab prices! These Circle Shell and Glass Bead sets are fab- and come in a variety of different colors. YOU too can look and feel like a diva on a budget.

This mysterious model is wearing our “Fauxture” line of pink pearls and charm necklace. We also have a beautiful charm bracelet to go with the necklace. Click on and view all of the fantastic line of faux jewelry at fab prices!

CEO during the day DIVA at night! A must have for a new twist on simple pearls. The pink pearl and charm necklace will dress up any daytime power suit and look stunning in the evening at a candle light dinner. Find out what all the hoopla is about The pink pearl and charm necklace is one of the beautiful pieces from our “Faux-ture” line
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL…..I AM THE MOST BEAUTIFULL OF THEM ALL!! Pink is beautiful…this pink pearl and charm necklace even looks fab with summer wear! Oooh! We just love pieces with great versatility!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Debut of our Models!

Today we debuted our new models! We think our fun and funky mannequins are just gorgeous! What do you think? Find them on our site here.

What should we name them???

Leave your suggestions in comments, or write us at!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at
© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Best Weekend EVER!

We had a phenomenal weekend! We can hardly get over how much fun we had! We decided that we would take part in a craft fair for a wonderful charity, the Walworth Historical Society, which keeps our paradise looking like just that.

We had a great time meeting all of the ladies there, doing a little shopping, and talking with everyone about jewelry. Our booth was a huge hit, and we want to thank everyone for making it such fun! Here are some pics:

We also decided it was time to pimp out the car... So we smacked a couple of big logos on it and added a bumper sticker. What do you think?

I hope your weekend was as amazing as ours- and thanks to everyone who made our weekend so darn special!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The why, where and what of putting wine away for another day

Why - One of the great things about wine, and people, is that the good ones grow over time. With time and proper handling, they mature and mellow and today’s rough and bold one tends to become next year’s smooth and interesting one.

For those of us interested in being smart with our money ( members one and all), the great thing about putting wine away to age is that you can find a nice, reasonably-priced wine at your wine store today. You put it in storage for a few years and, then, bring it back as a truly great wine. In this way, you can drink amazing wines and spend a not so amazing amount of money to do it.

Where – Wine should be stored at less than 60°F. Ideally, wine should be stored at 55°F, the temperature in underground cellars. So, where in your house can you find a place that will remain less than 60°F, constantly?

The answer is not in your kitchen. The kitchen is the warmest part of the house, yet it is where people most often store their special wines. When they do, their special wines are being ruined.

You need to find a place in your house that is cool and not overly dry, such as a part of your basement away from the furnace and water heater. However, if you do not have such a place in your house, you can either buy a home wine cooler to store your wines or you can rent commercial wine storage space, both of which I do.

In terms of wine coolers, I bought a 48 bottle wine cooler at Home Depot on sale for around $100, not so bad. Larger wine coolers have, as you might have guessed, larger prices. Commercial wine storage is available in all large and most medium-sized cities. For about $325 a year, you can rent a wine locker at Strong Box Wine Storage in Chicago that holds 24 cases of wine.

The advantage of having wine in a separate, inconvenient location is that you tend to forget about the wine in storage which allows it to age unmolested. In this way, you are protecting the wine from you when you wish you had a great bottle of wine; or worse, you find yourself out of your everyday wine at home late one night.

What – This is the exciting part about storing wine, or putting it back, as we budget wine snobs like to say. You get to find a wine that you like, today. A wine that is priced right, today, but will benefit from being allowed to age. You are looking for a wine that will sleep for a few years and emerge from your cellar as a great wine at a great price.

I look for big (strong flavored) wines at reasonable prices. Weak tasting wines will not improve with age. They will just further weaken in taste. For this purpose, you are specifically looking for a wine that is bold and a little rough that would benefit from the mellowing that comes with age.

An example of a wine that was bought at a reasonable price and came out of storage a few years later as a spectacular wine was a 1992 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red Wine. My son-in-law, Doctor Tim, suggested I buy the only case of it in the wine store where he worked at the time for about $18 a bottle.

While the wine was sleeping in my storage, the movie Disclosure came out featuring Demi Moore ordering a bottle of Pahlmeyer for her planned seduction of Michael Douglas. Pahlmeyer Wine, which wasn’t available anywhere anyway, became impossible to find and all the more valuable. Even without the excitement of the movie, this was great wine and when I pulled it out of storage a few years later, it was one of the greatest wines I had ever tasted and lucky me with 12 bottles. Life was good.

So, the object of finding a wine to put away is first to find one you like and that would benefit from being put away for a few years and, as any Ashley’s Big Secret Aficionado can tell you, it is lots of fun to find things to buy that are a deal.

In a coming blog, I will tell you some wines that are priced right, right now and would benefit from being put back.

In the meantime, remember don’t put nice wines in the kitchen, put them someplace where they have a constant cellar temperature and humidity or drink them as soon as you can. As for the nice wines you have without appropriate storage for them, a good plan would be to invite me ( ) to come over and help you drink anything nice that you have that desperately needs to be drunk, now.

One more thing to remember, jewelry from Ashley’s Big Secret ( is meant to be enjoyed immediately and does not need to be put away for later. Enjoy it now!

In wine we trust, J.

© Copyright 2007 Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Friday, March 16, 2007


So today I was messing around online, and I came across something that stopped me in my tracks., a subsidiary of the Best Buddies organization, is having their annual Friend-a-Thon. E-Buddies sets up intellectually disabled people with e-mail friends to foster not only friendship, but to teach real world communication skills.

People with disabilites and with special needs have always had a special place in my heart, and this is such a fantastic way to show someone you care. Gosh! I get so warm and fuzzy sometimes, don't I?

Actually, our generation is very civic minded, but we're also insane with work and school and whatever else. It's hard to find a cause you really care deeply about and can commit yourself to for any length of time. I'm sure I am just like you, I fire off about a million e-mails a day- why not make one or two count?

The picture above is of me and my brother- it was taken after months of intensive care and months more of physical rehabilitation and always reminds me that the fight, whatever it is, is always worth fighting.

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

It's WHO you know!

One secret to great wines is having a wine guy or wine gal who really knows their stuff and can lead you to wines you like at prices you love. After all, without outside help, you would be required to drink all of the wines that look like possibilities. After trying all the wines, you would have to try to remember which ones you liked.

To illustrate the size of the potential problem, Sam’s Wines in Chicago lists over 3,000 wines on their website. I, for one, could not even attempt to drink all of the wines that I think might look good at Sam’s or anywhere else.

What can you do?

You can find your own wine guy or wine gal and they can do the legwork, so to speak, for you. We at understand the value in knowing someone with taste and an understanding of quality and value. So, allow me to give you two names of people at great wine stores in our area. You might let me know of anyone in your area who fits the bill.

In Chicago, there is only one person to see. He is Celal Ince at Binny’s at 3000 North Clark. Celal (pronounced Ja-lel) has helped people I know with nearly unlimited budgets and others, like me, who are interested in drinking great wine at reasonable prices. He helped me stock my cellar with reasonably-priced great 1997 Italian reds that are drinking beautifully, now. He introduced me to my favorite white wine Sancerre, with its earthy, clean taste.

Lake Geneva now has a great wine store, Pop More Corks, on Highway 50, 25 yards east of Starbucks (we always give directions in Lake Geneva in relation to Starbucks). David Biegemann is the owner and he has over 250 wines with 150 wines under $20. He always has a selection of 6-8 interesting wines to taste. He has a great selection of small vineyard wines that are fun to try and all are reasonably priced.

To pair your reasonably priced wine with something that looks, as my daughter would say, funky fabulous, I recommend wearing a gigantic CZ ring with one of these guys' reasonably priced wine. Showing how much great taste you have in your jewelry, and, in your wine, show that you are chic and sensible. What a combo!

So, there it is – my sincere advice on two people to help you be smart in your wine buying. As to being smart in bling buying, look no further than

In wine we trust, J.
As always, you can e-mail Jeff at
Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at
© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Fanciest M&M Ever!

So M&M has a really cool feature where you can dress up an M&M to look like you. Lo and behold, I have created the fanciest M&M ever! Complete with cocktail and tiara, fabulous 'M&M Me' is going places, girl. She is born for stardom!
All she needs is pants and pearls. Go figure.

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Go Ahead... Fake It!

WOW have we received the comments, looks, laughs, and questions since starting My girlfriends think it is hilarious and of course the men think of sex. Since our secret is out, my friends are asking me which of my bobbles are real and which are fake. The fact the question is asked should be a testament to good taste and good product.

I have for years worn costume jewelry along with the real bling. The reason I have done this, is because I think many times the costume jewelry is more beautiful and makes more of a statement. Plus I can have lots of it and not spend a fortune. I can change it according to my mood, my look or whim without feeling guilty. For a woman who owns several hundred pairs of shoes, you can imagine the drawers full of jewelry I own. Or maybe you can’t….my daughter is still amazed.

We are now starting to get repeat customers to our Ashley’s Big Secret .com website. and receiving many complimentary emails from our customers. However, if you are new to our website and are hesitant to order, or if have questions regarding any of the items, I encourage you to email us at . If you want advice on what or how to wear something, again, I encourage you to email us. We would enjoy hearing from you.

YOU can dress like the DIVA you know you are and fake it too!


For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Versace Fashion Show Spring/Summer 07

Gorgeous! The sillouettes are simply gorgeous! But don't you think they'd look great with some ACCESSORIES?!?! Seriously, I'm thinking of about 10 necklaces and big, fancy earrings that would go so well with those dresses!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Our March Newsletter

Happy March! I am so looking forward to spring- I can’t wait for my wardrobe and the weather to change! Good-bye, bulky parka!

I have several things to announce: we are once again having an amazing markdown event. Our March Mayhem sale has spectacular items marked way, way down. Almost all of our green items are included. We even have a 99 cent mini-sale going on that has been extended until St. Patrick’s Day! Make sure you’re pinch-proof before the 17th! Check out the sale at our specials page.

We have also launched a companion website,, that gives tips and hints on how to pass off your fake jewelry with class and style. We are also giving out ‘I Fake It’ bumper stickers- there are more details about that on the blog.

Have a great month, everybody- here’s hoping it’s ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’!



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© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Monday, March 5, 2007

An 'Inconvenient Truth' about Boxed Wine

Last week, I wrote about a terrific wine in a box, Delicato Shiraz. I bought it for $16 at Woodman’s in Kenosha (a selection of condiments and potato chips, second to none) and was amazed that the equivalent of four bottles of wine was able to be put in such a compact container.

Therein lies the rub.

If you and a pal were to sit down for a nice evening of imbibing, you would pull out one bottle and drink it and, then, pull out another. Very likely you would go slowly on the second, as you have this, albeit imperfect, little voice in the back of your brain that warns you that opening too many bottles will lead to overload.

The inconvenient truth is that the benefit of the little voice telling you, “caution, caution” is completely defeated by the box. There is no way to tell how much of the box has been drunk in one sitting. So, without the little voice to warn you of impending doom, you drink and drink and it is very possible that you and your pal will not realize that too much has been consumed until you are slurring at each other or, dread, the box is gone!

I would like to propose a solution here.

Let’s publicize this problem. After all, many right-thinking people must be incensed by this irresponsible, unregulated and deceptive packaging. Perhaps someone could make a movie showing what can happen and suggesting, well, demanding would be better, that these insidious wine boxes have a gauge on them, like a gas gauge in a car to warn you of well, you know, that your $16 investment is about to pay you some unwelcome dividends.

In wine we trust, J
For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at
© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

March Sale!!!

We are having a huge sale for March- several items are available for 99 cents until March 6th!!!

Buy up your green for St. Patrick's day while it's on sale!

For fabulous accessories, visit Please feel free to comment here, or give us a shout out at
© Copyright 2007. Ashley’s Big Secret, Inc.