{Update}

It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in here, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing. But it does mean that I’ve been evaluating the style and look of my blog and I decided to go in a different direction. I have spent the past few months getting it ready and writing.

Well, it’s finally ready! And I do hope that if you followed me here, you will make the transition to the new site. I’m very proud of the look and feel of it and would love your input.

If nothing else, I hope you’ll stop by once in awhile and share a laugh or be inspired.

Thanks for all your support. www.WritingwithBangles.com

Sara

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Vegas, Baby!

I spent an entire WEEK in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic. Besides missing my kiddos (this was, by far, the longest I’ve ever been away from them), it was a much needed get-away, both for my business and my marriage.

I spent the first part of the week in Vegas for Stella & Dot’s annual conference. It was an inspiring 3 days…along with being lots of fun. The women I was surrounded by were some of the most fun, inspirational, beautiful (inside & out), and fashionable ladies I have ever been around. I learned and laughed so much that by the time Wednesday came around (the last day of the convention) I was already planning for the next conference. And trust me…if you’ve thought about this as a career (see this post for more information on that), NOW is the time. Plus, I’d love to have you join me next year for the conference–in Florida!

Paris, Vegas

My home away from home, for the first part of the week.

Us with Jessica Herrin

Just a few of those stylish, beautiful ladies I mentioned above…including the fabulous founder and CEO of Stella & Dot, Jessica Herrin.

Fall Line RunwayProject Runway–Stella & Dot style.

The second part of the week was a vacation with my husband. This was our first big getaway (more than a weekend in Chicago) since before kids (over 3 years). And it reminded me the importance of that one-on-one time with your spouse, post-kids. I think it’s easy to get into a routine and plan family-time/vacations, but time, alone, with your spouse is so important. I want my kids to grow up in a family filled with love and one way to help ensure that is to nurture our marriage.

Mandalay Bay, Vegas

Our home away from home for the remainder of the week. 

Time alone reminds you of why you fell in love with this person in the first place. The grind of day-to-day family life can take it’s toll on a marriage, for example:

  • work
  • money
  • a 2-year-old boy who screams ALL THE TIME (sorry, probably too specific to my life…but a legitimate stress)
  • potty-training stress–or whatever “stage” you happen to be in with kids (teething, learning to crawl/walk, transitioning from 2 naps to 1 or NO naps, the “I know everything” phase, etc)
  • sick kids
  • band gig schedule (ok, maybe a little too specific to my marriage AGAIN, but you get the point)

These things can start to add up and instead of talking with each other, you just talk “at” one another. I think the first couple of years after having a child are the hardest on a marriage (lack of sleep, new stress you are learning how to deal with, your spouse not being able to read your mind) and time away is essential to re-connecting. I’m so happy we did this and I’m unbelievably excited that we are already planning our 10th anniversary trip (next summer)!

As I re-read this I just want to say one thing–I was never NOT “in love” with my husband. I have always and will always love him more than anything. It’s just that sometimes I didn’t “like” him so much. I hope that you all can releate…and not judge me too much (remember when I wrote about my problems with that here?). And, yes, he read this before I published it, and has his stamp of approval.

On top of Mandalay Bay

I love this man. Here we are on top of the world…or at least of Mandalay Bay.

Now…one thing I was in Vegas for was the reveal of the new collection! Here are some of my favorites that I got to see up-close and personal and I’ll have another post about the new collection coming soon. So stay tuned!

Collage of the Fall Line

Happy accessorizing!

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Storming into Summer

Last week officially marked the beginning of summer. And then, the very next day, a huge summer storm swept through my area and knocked down trees (including our lovely pear tree) and left many of us powerless for 3 days. So, while it was a crazy start to summer, we’re all cleaned up and I’m ready to move on and enjoy the next few months. It’s time for some fun in the sun!

With the beginning of a new season comes a shift in how I wear my accessories. I still wear necklaces but I find I gravitate towards bold earrings and stacked arm parties. What better time of year to show off all those beautiful statement earrings I have (thanks to Stella & Dot) than when I’m constantly putting my hair up to keep it off my neck? I have a blank canvas that’s ready to be painted. (Necklaces are great for this, too, I just find on those really hot and humid days I can handle bold earrings but a statement necklace tends to feel really heavy.)

And then there’s my wrist. Short sleeve shirts, tank tops, strapless dresses…all are practically begging for some extra accessorizing on the arm. When it’s really hot, I still keep it relatively light, but I’m not afraid to go bold. Here are some of my favorite arm parties of the past few months.

Lots and Lots of Stella & Dot Arm Parties

All bracelets pictured are Stella & Dot. See them all, and more, HERE.

PLUS, I’m running a promotion right now that has a way to get one of these bracelets for FREE. See my Facebook page for more information.

Stella & Dot Bracelets

I hope your summer started better than mine, but here’s to looking ahead to a fabulous season full of blue skies, bright sun, and fabulous arm parties!

Happy accessorizing!

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Pop’s TipTop

Having two kids, within 11 months of each other, really forces you to jump right into parenthood. Into the deep end. Headfirst. And maybe “jump” is the wrong way to phrase it…it’s actually more like being pushed into the deep end of the pool, headfirst. Sure, you have a little warning…like 8-9 seconds…but you are in such disbelief regarding what’s about to happen, and you have all sorts of ideas on how to make the best of it and how you’ll do it better and more gracefully than others before you, and then before you know it….

You’re sinking.

But…it doesn’t last long. Soon you’re back to knowing it all. So if you are reading this and considering having kids, don’t worry. The sinking feeling only lasts the first 2-3 years. Or at least I’m assuming since that’s how old my kids are.

I digress. Through all the times I was sinking in a pool of uncertainty, dirty diapers, insecurity, bottles, craziness, sleeplessness…there’s no one I would have wanted by my side more than my husband.

When my first-born did nothing but cry all day from about 3 weeks until nearly 4 months, he was right there, by my side, trying everything to get her to calm down. From pacing the floor until midnight with her, to trying to massage her tiny body, or going to the store in the middle of the night for gas drops or different formula or whatever the doctor (or friends, family, the internet) suggested, to even reading to her and singing and playing guitar to try to soothe her. We literally tried everything. Unfortunately for my husband’s practice schedule, the last option did not work.

And that’s not to mention the behind-the-scenes things he did to help me. Like washing the bottles in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t have to do it in the morning. Or leaving work early when he could in order to get home as quickly as possible to take over screaming baby duty. Or not fainting, crying, yelling, or running away when I told him I was pregnant as he held our 12-week old baby girl. (I, however, may or may not have done 3 out of the 4.)

Having baby #2 so quickly was great in so many ways (and I obviously wouldn’t change anything)…but it was also hard. But, daddy was there, by my side, on the front lines, ready to do it again. And baby #2 brought it. Not in the screaming baby way #1 did, but on a whole new level. The “I don’t want to sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time each night” way. For 4 months.

Even though I am a stay-at-home mommy and daddy has a full-time job, after a bit of me trying to handle all the nighttime wake-ups & then deal with a toddler bright and early, it quickly became too much. And there was daddy. Ready to jump into the rotation. From the time of my son being 1 month to 4-5 months, we did not sleep in the same bed. One person was “off” for the night and got the room while the other slept downstairs with the baby, to be close for that special one-on-one bonding time every parent loves. At 11pm. At 1am. At 3am. At 5am…

So, with a daddy that’s willing to do all that…I think he deserves one day a year where we (specifically I) shout out to the world how awesome a dad, husband, partner, best friend he is, right?

And a special thank-you to him, too. Since I’ve been 10 years old, Father’s Day has been a day of sadness. It wasn’t until 2010, on May 22, 4 days after my dad’s birthday, when I was introduced to the next “father” in my life. The father of my children. My dad would be so happy.

Sara & Daddy

So, here’s to a pop who plays, reads, sings, dances, builds, colors, draws, helps, kisses, hugs, and loves…around the whole world and to the moon and back. And that’s a lot (in the words of E).

Daddy & E

Daddy & BAMDaddy & Kids

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Wordy Elena

The second year of Elena’s life was filled with many milestones. But it was all her words that will forever be imprinted in my memory…and my heart. Here are some of my favorites.

About Mommy & Daddy

Family

“Mommy is Sara and Daddy is a big man.”

“Daddy is a big man and that’s why he can use a big knife.”

“Daddy is a big man and goes to work. Mommy doesn’t work, mommy plays with Elena!”

“Mommy, that’s so sweet of you to help me pick up. You’re a sweet girl. And daddy’s a big man.”

{See a trend? I’m starting to wonder who taught her that…}

E: “Can I have one chip please?”
Me: “Yes, Elena. You may have one chip.”
E:”Ok. And daddy can have lots of chips.”

E: “Today is Happy Mother–I mean–Happy Sara Day!”

The Honest Toddler (aka: Specific E)

GymnasticsE

Me: “Why did you push Brandon?”
Specific E: “I didn’t push Brandon. I tackled him.”

As I’m attempting a lesson on the difference between good girls (someone who shares) and bad girls (someone who pushes), specific E says, “Well, actually, I’m a bad girl.”

While I’m preparing lunch, specific E says, “Mommy, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are yummy, not delicious.”

Snotty Miss E

Dancing E

When asking E to do something, E responds (after a big sigh), “Well, if that’s what you want…”

Me: “Elena, can you please be a little quieter?
E: “No, I don’t have to be quiet. Brandon’s awake.”

Daddy: “Sweet dreams, I love you very much.” (leans in to kiss)
E: “Thanks.”
Then I kiss her and she proceeds to wipe the area with her hand and says, “Get it off!”

Me: “You can’t take toys away from your friends. Elena, do you hear me?”
E: “I don’t want to hear you.”

Bossypants

Bossy E

E: “Norah, can you give me a hug?”
And when her friend Norah leans in, E says: “Ok, now open your arms and squeeze.”

“Norah–Dance!”

“Brandon, go in the living room. I’m playing here.”

“I neeeeeeeeeeeeed _______” (fill-in-the-blank with anything anyone within eyesight has)

Jokester

Jokster E

I call Alice “baby Alice” or Ali (since that is the way the kids refer to her). One day Elena approached her and said, “Hi baby Ali! I mean ali-gator. Hahaha! Mommy, she’s an alligator!”

Negotiator

MyE

Me: “Ok, time to pick up!”
E: “I want to play for a couple, little bit longer.”

**********

And my absolute favorite:

“Mommy, I can’t sing. But I can fly.”

May you always have that spirit, my baby girl. Always believe you can fly. Because you can. Happy Birthday.

Tinkerbell E

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Baby Shower Baubles

As a Stella & Dot stylist, I have lots of accessories to play with when I get ready. I recently co-hosted a baby shower for a dear friend and had lots of fun accessorizing a lovely dress. That’s what I love the most about accessories, they  make an outfit.

A Stella & Dot dressed up look.

Stella & Dot Accessories

Pictured: Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant, Pippa Necklace (in green), Carrie Bagles (set of 3, turquoise not pictured), Renegade Cluster Bracelet, Gilded Arrow Bangle, Secret Garden Ring

And, of course, I had one of our stylish bags with me.

Stella & Dot La Totale Medium

Pictured: Stella & Dot La Totale Medium (navy ikat)

What I love the most about this look is my layered arm. I not only like to stack my wrist with bangles, but I also try to mix in different textures to give it some variety. So, with a couple of bangles (that move around more on my arm), my favorite arrow bracelet (that lies close to my wrist and doesn’t move) and the spikes of the renegade, I achieved a beautiful, textured, layered look.

Happy accessorizing!

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Just Like My Mom

Once upon a time there was a girl. A girl who loved her mom and thought she was the most wonderful person in the whole world. And the girl wanted to be just like her mom.

SaraFirstBday

Then that girl started to grow up. She began to think she actually knew it all and that her mom was mean and too strict and didn’t know anything.

SaraTeenager

Then one day that girl had a baby. And then another baby (in pretty much the time it took you to read that sentence). And the girl felt overwhelmed, confused, unprepared, and lost. And then her mom said:

“Don’t worry so much. You are doing a wonderful job and your baby loves you no matter what.”

And suddenly the girl thought her mom was the smartest, calmest, greatest human being on the face of the earth.

GrandmawithE

I’m so lucky to have a mom that loves me with no boundaries, listens to me with an open heart (even though we disagree on some things), helps me without question, and truly is the smartest person in the world.

And since marrying my best friend, I got another mom. Another mom who loves unconditionally, listens lovingly, helps generously, and is the second smartest person in the world.

Plus, both are very well accessorized. Smart and fashionable.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those moms out there…we are the smartest people in the world.

Oh! I almost forgot the ending of the story…

The girl once again wants to be just like her mom.

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